As a student at Duke University, the Atlanta native traveled to Thailand to rehabilitate and research her favorite animal — sea turtles. In addition, she built and analyzed nanoparticle aquatic microcosms, investigated marine worms, and conducted independent research on trophic dynamics. May also studied marine bioacoustics at the University of South Carolina, Beaufort.
When she graduated from Duke in 2017, May received a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences, with a minor in biology, as well as a certificate in marine science and conservation leadership. Her time at Duke taught her what a career in marine science could look like. While she enjoyed rehabilitating and researching sea turtles and parrotfish hatchlings, she also learned the ways in which her research could facilitate changes in fisheries management and in ecosystems as a whole.
May’s course work exposed her to several marine coastal areas, including the Chesapeake Bay. Her knowledge of the region, combined with her broad interest in marine sciences, made her a great fit for Maryland Sea Grant.
As a Sea Grant Fellow, May worked on education, policy and law projects, culminating in the Maryland Sea Grant Coastal Law and Policy Roundtable in 2019. After the fellowship, she returned to Duke to pursue a Coastal Environmental Management master's degree.
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Smithville is a community on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, on the edge of the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. A century ago, Smithville had more than 100 residents. Today, it has four, in two homes: an elderly couple, and one elderly woman and her son, who cares for her.
Shivish Bhandari is a graduate student in the Bioenvironmental Science Ph.D. program at Morgan State University studying environment-genome interaction in Eastern oysters. Outside of his studies, Shivish enjoys traveling, bird watching, and photography.
Though fish populations typical experience spatially varying mortality, abundance, and fishing pressure, stock assessments commonly model a population that is assumed to be well-mixed. When assumptions about population mixing are not met, these models can result in biased estimates. Spatial population estimates are particularly beneficial to the Chesapeake Bay as this region faces unique challenges as a result of climate change, fishing pressure, and land use within the watershed.