The Humphries Lab is rolling right through these strange New England winter weather patterns and into the Spring 2019 semester! As per usual, this semester will see our group increase in size, travel across borders in the name of sustainable fisheries, and expand our minds, teaching skills, proposals, and scientific pubs! All the activity is seriously invigorating, and this upcoming semester should be a time of lots of hard work paying off for all of us. Read on for specific updates on each lab member!

Austin kicked off the new semester abroad on the Kenyan coast, getting the new USAID project named #SecureFish up and running. The project will identify conditions under which local fisheries could improve provisions of vital nutritional resources to pregnant women and young children in local communities while also sustaining marine ecosystem functioning. Austin spent 3 weeks in Kenya meeting with collaborators and local community members to establish protocols for data collection. Austin will be busy this semester teaching an Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management course, mentoring students, and overseeing so many other research projects that really he needs his own separate blog post to cover it all.

Annie, our newest Humphries Lab member, is quickly getting oriented to her graduate program and diving into a packed class schedule that covers ecosystem-based fisheries management, big data analysis, marine protected area (MPA) management, and of course graduate seminars! She’ll be spending the semester getting going on her work with the RI C-AIM group modeling the Narragansett Bay social-ecological system.

Celeste has been hard at work contributing to the maintenance of a horde of kelp babies in their aquaculture nursery and helping to oversee their deployment at sea to grow and provide data for her kelp growth model. Celeste is working with her collaborators to parameterize the kelp model and will be teaching an undergraduate recitation course on introductory ecology.

Elaine has been working on the construction of a data analysis work-flow protocol for environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling in Indonesia and helping to lead programming as a part of the student-led CELS department Professional Learning Community (PLC), including a panel she recently co-moderated on social responsibility and equity in STEM. This semester she will be working on developing her proposal and teaching an undergraduate herpetology course.

Elle is back stateside after many months in Bali working through data and writing her first manuscript. She presented her research at the 5th International Marine Conservation Congress meeting in Malaysia and participated in the Youth Summit during the 2018 Our Ocean Conference in Bali. This semester Elle will be preparing for comprehensive exams and teaching and grading for multiple undergraduate courses.

Evans has his eyes set on a Summer 2019 graduation. He has his work cut out for him finishing up data analysis, polishing off his dissertation chapters, and preparing to defend his dissertation on sustainable management of the Ghanaian sardinella fishery. Meanwhile, Evans has also discovered the secret to reversing hair loss. No joke. But we do ask that you hold all requests for information on this front until after his successful PhD defense.

Kelvin has already been busy expanding his professional toolkit by participating in various workshops early this semester, including the 2019 SABER West conference on STEM education research and a National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) workshop on network modeling. Kelvin will continue this semester lending his expertise to various projects in the lab, such as the RI EPSCoR C-AIM effort to build an end-to-end model of the Narragansett Bay ecosystem and working with socioecological fisheries data from Wakatobi, Indonesia, to understand management tradeoffs.

Kelvin reunites with a research mentor and former graduate school classmate from University of Hawaii for dinner after the SABER West conference.

Kelvin reunites with a research mentor and former graduate school classmate from University of Hawaii for dinner after the SABER West conference.

Lauren will be spending the upcoming semester overseeing the usual wide range of research activities, from data visualizations to travel coordination to drafting manuscripts. A couple of the major projects that will be occupying Lauren’s attention in the coming months include finalizing a data matrix of Narragansett Bay fish diets for input into the ecosystem model being developed by the RI C-AIM modeling group, and handling data coming in from the USAID #SecureFish project examining marine resources in Kenya as a solution to local nutrition insecurity.

Melati will be busy this semester working to finish analyzing fish landings data and market networks from our Wakatobi, Indonesia, field site. Melati expects to graduate in May.

Melati and research collaborator Professor Wa Iba of Universitas Halu Oleo celebrate one year of successful data collection with a fish fry.

Melati and research collaborator Professor Wa Iba of Universitas Halu Oleo celebrate one year of successful data collection with a fish fry.

Paul conquered his comprehensive exams and is now enjoying working as a teaching assistant for both marine ecology and intro to biology undergraduate courses. Paul is also wrapping up his SESYNC graduate pursuit research on the impacts of hurricanes on coastal socio-ecological systems. His major goal this semester is to complete the first chapter of his dissertation and get his manuscript on periodically harvested fisheries closures published.

As always, stay tuned for highlights before classes wrap up and we break for the summer field season! Wait, it’s summer time already?!