Dr. Andrew David Thaler, Editor-in-Chief
Andrew David Thaler is a freelance marine ecologist. His interest is in how marine populations interact with each other at local and global scales. He specializes in population structure and connectivity of deep-sea hydrothermal vent endemic invertebrates and understanding how patterns of connectivity or isolation affect the ability of vent organisms to re-colonize vents after catastrophic disturbance. He received his B.S. in Biology from Duke University and his Ph.D. in Marine Science and Conservation from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University.
David Shiffman, Senior Correspondent
David Shiffman is a graduate student in Florida studying shark conservation. His time is divided between educating the public about sharks, spending days at a time at sea playing with sharks, and eating horribly unhealthy foods.
Dr. Amy Freitag, Senior Correspondent
Amy Freitag is a researcher in California (previously North Carolina) studying the many kinds of knowledge that exist about the ocean and how they might collectively help us protect it. She spends half her life studying the most charismatic of organisms – humans – and the marine resources on which they depend. While not contemplating grand social theories about democratizing science, she enjoys a good jam session and watching sunsets over the ocean.
In addition to lying on the lines and nodes between disciplines, she also appreciates and wants to foster discussion about application of research and creative ways to create outreach opportunities. She deeply hopes that someday scientific literacy is high enough that the line between the expert scientist and average person is sufficiently gray that people are comfortable working across it.
You can follow her on Twitter @bgrassbluecrab.
Chuck Bangley, Correspondent
Chuck Bangley is a former Rhode Islander attending grad school in North Carolina. Though still clinging to his New England pride, he’s had no problem adapting to the barbecue and shrimp. Chuck combines his dual interests in sharks and seafood by researching the interactions between marine apex predators and fisheries, with a focus on U.S. fisheries management. He’s also endlessly amused by fish eating other fish.
Lyndell M. Bade, Correspondent
Lyndell is currently finishing her M.Sc. in Biology, for which she uses genetic techniques to investigate the feeding ecology of cownose rays in North Carolina and Chesapeake Bay. Lyndell hasn’t always studied biology, however. She earned her B.A. in History and Theatre at Butler University, where she wrote her honors thesis on William Wallace (the medieval Scottish patriot made more recently famous by Braveheart) and fell in love with Shakespeare. After her undergraduate degree, she moved to Guam, studied Micronesian culture, and learned to SCUBA dive. She spent 20 years studying ballet and has a previous life working in museums, education, and non-profit/arts administration.
Lyndell’s interest in marine biology originated when she lived in Australia as a teenager, and spent hours scouring the rock pools on the bay across the road from her house. Many years later, while diving in Palau, she came head to head with her first grey reef shark, and her life has never been the same since. She went back to school to study ecology and conservation biology at University of Missouri-St Louis. Her work in the Missouri-Science Teaching & Education Partnership (NSF GK-12) program at UMSL introduced her to the world of avian reproductive ecology and experiential education with high school students. That work lead to a stint in the Galapagos Islands, where she lived on uninhabited islands, censused endemic Galapagos Hawk populations, and SCUBA dived with her first manta ray.
Combining her love of teaching science, her inter-disciplinary perspective, and artistic nature, Lyndell started blogging under Save-Our-Sharks and People Policy Planet. Graduate school has since eaten up most of her time, and so she is thrilled to be joining Southern Fried Science as a contributor. You can find Lyndell on twitter (@lyndellmbade) and Google+.
Iris Kemp, Correspondent
Iris has been slightly obsessed with marine science since childhood. She is currently finishing her MS in Aquatic & Fisheries Sciences at the University of Washington, Seattle. She wants to understand the causes of variable growth and survival of Puget Sound salmon. Existing information indicates that salmon survival is affected by habitat and feeding conditions in their juvenile life-stage. During this stage, salmon interact with other small pelagic species, which may affect their growth and survival.
To address the issues of salmon growth and survival in Puget Sound, Iris studies broad-scale habitat use by pelagic fish species and feeding habits of juvenile Pacific salmon and herring. More specifically, she uses mobile hydroacoustics to map pelagic fish biomass and generally characterize habitat use throughout Puget Sound. She also looks at a lot of fish guts to find out what juvenile salmon and herring are eating while they are in Puget Sound.
Additionally, Iris is a research assistant for Long Live the Kings. She works on the Salish Sea Marine Survival project, which aims to facilitate a trans-boundary (U.S./Canada) research effort to understand the causes of salmon and steelhead decline in Puget Sound and the Strait of Georgia.
When Iris is not working, she is a novice rock climber, tolerable clarinetist, and aspiring Crazy Cat Lady. She currently lives with one extremely fluffy and hyperactive kitty.
Michael Bok, Correspondent
Michael is finishing up his PhD in Biology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He works on the visual ecology of the mantis shrimp, a specious order of marine crustaceans that boast the fastest strike, worst disposition, and most complex (convoluted) visual system in the world. Specifically, Michael is attempting to unravel the molecular and optical components in the eye that allow mantis shrimp to see five different colors of UV light, as well as the polarization angle of UV light waves. Furthermore, he wants to understand the ecological and behavioral significance of such a sophisticated UV visual system. To accomplish these goals, Michael studies species of mantis shrimp that are collected in the Chesapeake Bay, the Florida Keys, California, Indonesia, and at his favorite place on earth, Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef.
When Michael is not elbows deep it mantis shrimp optics he is an aspiring photographer, enthusiastic hiker, occasional fossil hunter, exceptionally mediocre guitarist, and a worn out rugby player.
You can also find him at his other blogs: Arthropoda, a science and photography blog focusing on the world’s greatest phylum; and Scotch and Chocolate, a skeptical blog that irreverently takes on pseudoscience of all stripes. In addition, you can follow Michael on Twitter and on Google Plus.
Dr. Kersey Sturdivant, Correspondent
Kersey Sturdivant is a benthic ecologist at Duke University who studies focus on human influences on benthic ecosystems, with a special focus on marine ’dead zones’. As the co-creator of Wormcam, a real-time ocean observing system, Kersey is also interested in using marine technology to increase human awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the marine environment. You can follow him, and his exploits with wormcam, on twitter (@WormCam).
Sarah Keartes, Correspondent
Sarah Keartes is a science blogger studying marine biology and journalism at the University of Oregon. A self-proclaimed Attenborough wannabe, and all-around shark junkie, she is dedicated to exploring new tools to promote ocean outreach through science communication, and online community building.