When I think of SAFS, the first words that come to mind are friendship, resilience, and collaboration— all of which I was very lucky to gain as a graduate student in SAFS, and still carry with me. The journey to SAFS was one of many detours, a few dead ends, persistence (or perhaps stubbornness?), and serendipity. My love for aquatic systems, invertebrates, plants, and the outdoors in general began as a kid visiting lakes outside Bogotá (Colombia) with my family.Read more
My interest in fish and marine mammals started young. While other kids were memorizing baseball card statistics or the pathways on Super Mario and Zelda, I was memorizing fish identification books. My interest was driven by the fact that my father was a fisheries and marine mammal biologist, and I was fascinated with fishing and fish in general.
During my childhood, I had many opportunities for my love of fish and marine mammals to grow.
Oh my, where do I start? I suppose I should begin in 1975 as I’m completing my MS thesis at the University of Hawaii (UH), studying the life history of a butterflyfish. At the time, I was fully submerged in reef fish ecology and thought Peter Sale’s lottery hypothesis was “the thing.” I was hoping to continue on to get a PhD, perhaps at Scripps or the University of California, Santa Barbara.Read more
After completing a BS in Zoology at the University of Montana and working in Florida’s mangroves for a year, I was drawn to University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fisheries Science (SAFS) by its strengths in sound science and effective application. I entered SAFS in 1990 as an MS student. During a scoping visit the year before, I had been lucky enough to connect with Si Simenstad and learn more about his estuarine research and potential research opportunities.Read more
My path to, and back to, UW SAFS has taken a few turns. An impressionable high school sophomore in Massachusetts visited John Hughes at the Massachusetts State lobster hatchery and caught the aquaculture bug. Two years later, I was enrolled in the UW College of Fisheries. There I made ends meet by guiding tours of the salmon hatchery and keeping Frieda Taub’s continuous culture glassware ultra-clean while learning what fisheries was all about.Read more
Having a primary interest in fish behavior and ecology, I decided to come to the UW College of Fisheries in the fall of 1963 after earning a BA in biology from Occidental College (CA). Initially, my major professor was Alan DeLacy (MS, 1933; PhD, 1941), but in January 1964, I became Don McPhail’s research assistant and his student. Don introduced me to the Olympic mudminnow (Novumbra hubbsi) that month, and it became the subject of my thesis research.Read more
Like the paths that many others have followed, my road to becoming a stock assessment scientist was a series of fortunate events. I spent much of my childhood recreational fishing, but never really had the goal of becoming a marine biologist, mainly because I was unaware the option existed. I moved from a little dairy farming community, where I grew up, to Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, to do a Bachelor of Science with a double major in zoology and computer science.Read more
When I was a new graduate student at Florida State University (FSU) starting an MS on ant ecology, a post-doc told me to go somewhere else to get my PhD. Why? I asked. Had I made a mistake coming to FSU? Was there something wrong with this department? No, he just thought it was a good idea to spread your educational experience across more than one university, because each has a different academic culture, and you learn something different from each.Read more
I grew up in Miami, Florida and was introduced to the world of marine biology and fisheries at a young age. Like many SAFS alumni, my introduction came with a rod and reel in hand. Most of my experiences were with my father and brother in search of whatever fish were biting during that time of year. Fast forward several years, I completed my undergraduate degree at Duke University, where I was an early admission to play soccer.Read more
Somewhere there is a picture of me about age 4, taken by my dad on a Staten Island beach in New York, standing at the water’s edge, arms in air, wind in my hair and butt naked! I think that is when I grew gills on the back of my neck and fell in love with the ocean.
Fast forward a “few” years, about a year and half after I finished my undergrad studies at University of Rhode Island (BS, 1999), and I was ready for a change.