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Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Current Graduate Fellows

Maryland Sea Grant Research Fellowship

Catherine Fitzgerald

Fellowship at: 

Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Project Title: 

Novel Genomic Tools to Assess Fish Diet and Prey Quality and in the Choptank River

Cool Facts: 

Catherine Fitzgerald investigates zooplankton communities of the Choptank River and potential drivers of prey selection in larval fish. She also enjoys painting, biking, and kayaking.

Dani Quill

Fellowship at: 

Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Project Title: 

Understanding the Distribution and Ecology of the Mysid Neomysis americana, a Key Forage Species in Chesapeake Bay

Cool Facts: 

Dani Quill is studying the ecology of the mysid Neomysis americana​ within the Chesapeake Bay in the context of fisheries management. She enjoys SCUBA diving, photography, kayaking, spending time with her pets, and is pursuing a PADI Rescue Diver certification. 

Fellowship at: 

University of Maryland, College Park

Project Title: 

Maryland Climate Resilience Indicators (MCRI): Participatory Indicators to Assess, Plan, and Evaluate Climate Adaptation Actions

Cool Facts: 

Daniel Teodoro is studying participation networks in socio-ecological systems management in the eastern shore of Maryland. In his personal time, Daniel collaborates in music, photography, and short film projects with his friends.

Competitive Graduate Research Fellowship

Ethan Hain

Fellowship at: 

University of Maryland Baltimore County

Project Title: 

Development and Validation of Novel, Fluorescence-based Tools to Screen For and Identify Urban and Agricultural Sources of Contaminants of Emerging Concern in the Chesapeake Bay

Cool Facts: 

Ethan Hain studies the occurrence and toxicity of contaminants of emerging concern in the Chesapeake Bay. In his spare time, Ethan enjoys cooking, baking, and playing soccer.

Ana Sosa

Fellowship at: 

Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, University System of Maryland

Project Title: 

Functional and Taxonomic Diversity of Microbial Communities in Microplastic Particles from the Chesapeake Bay

Cool Facts: 

Ana Sosa is a Ph.D student studying the taxonomy and ecological roles of microbial communities forming biofilms on microplastic particles in the Chesapeake Bay. In her spare time, she enjoys dancing, reading, teaching, watching movies, and doing yoga. 

Graduate Research Support Grantees

Taylor Armstrong

Fellowship at: 

Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, University System of Maryland

Cool Facts: 

Taylor Armstrong is studying the toxins produced by algae and identifying natural algaecides to reduce harmful algal blooms. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to audiobooks, running, and painting.

Brendan Campbell

Fellowship at: 

Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Cool Facts: 

Brendan Campbell is looking at novel ways of understanding the physical environment associated with shellfish aquaculture gear and its relation to growth and production of shellfish. Aside from work, Brendan can be found hiking, fishing, or cooking.

Sarah Cvach

Fellowship at: 

Salisbury University

Cool Facts: 

Sarah Cvach is examining possible dietary competition between ctenophores and forage fishes in Maryland’s coastal bays. In her spare time, she likes to volunteer, work, play videogames, and go out to eat with friends.

Alexander MacLeod

Cool Facts: 

Alexander MacLeod is investigating reproductive issues in wild yellow perch associated with declining populations in Chesapeake Bay tributaries. Outside of his academic pursuits, he relishes backpacking in the wilderness, playing music on the piano, and board games with friends.

Alterra Sanchez

Fellowship at: 

University of Maryland College Park

Cool Facts: 

Alterra Sanchez studies the fate and transport of organic pollutants and microplastics in the wastewater treatment process. When not in the laboratory, Alterra loves to read fantasy novels, play the Magic the Gathering card game, practice yoga, and learn to play pinball.

Dongyi Wang

Fellowship at: 

University of Maryland College Park

Cool Facts: 

Dongyi is working to design a computer vision-guided automated blue crab meat harvesting machine. He enjoys cooking, playing badminton and tennis in his spare time.  

Matthew Wilfong

Fellowship at: 

University of Maryland College Park

Cool Facts: 

Matthew Wilfong investigates the hydrology and pollution retention of different stormwater green infrastructure designs in Maryland to better understand stormwater pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  He enjoys fly fishing, trail running, and backpacking.

Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship

Laura Almodóvar-Acevedo

Fellowship at: 

The Office of Congressman Alan Lowenthal

Cool Facts: 

Laura Almodóvar-Acevedo is serving as a legislative fellow for the office of Congressman Alan Lowenthal of California’s 47th District. She is also researching habitat use of juvenile black sea bass in the Chesapeake Bay for her Ph.D. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and playing guitar.

Katie Hornick

Fellowship at: 

NOAA National Marine Fisheries ServiceOffice of Habitat Conservation

Cool Facts: 

Katie Hornick is a Habitat Restoration Specialist in the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service’s Office of Habitat Conservation. She studied the genetic impact of large-scale hatchery-based restoration of oysters in Harris Creek, Maryland. Katie enjoys making jewelry, kayaking, hiking, and exploring new places with her pug, Oliver.

Amanda Lawrence

Fellowship at: 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Cool Facts: 

Amanda Lawrence is a 2020 Knauss Fellow with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in the National Wildlife Refuge System for the Coastal and Marine Program. She loves being near the water in any capacity, be it researching, kayaking or diving.

Wenfei Ni

Fellowship at: 

NOAA OAR Climate Program Office

Cool Facts: 

Wenfei Ni uses models to understand the impacts of human activity and climate change on the long-term change of summer low oxygen condition in the Chesapeake Bay water. Aside from work, Wenfei enjoys reading crime novels, watching soccer games and hanging out with friends.

Caroline Wiernicki

Fellowship at: 

Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy

Cool Facts: 

Caroline is serving as the Knauss Marine Policy Fellow in the Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy. She enjoys running, music by Johnny Cash, and really bad puns.

Fisheries Population Dynamics Fellowship

Reed Brodnik

Fellowship at: 

Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Project Title: 

Impacts of Misspecification of Spatial Structure of Assessment and Stock on Reliability of Reference Points

Cool Facts: 

Reed is studying the population dynamics of black sea bass (Centropristis striata) in the Mid-Atlantic Bight region of the Atlantic seaboard. In his free time, Reed enjoys kayaking, fishing, and crabbing in the Patuxent River and the Chesapeake Bay.