Partnerships - Marrowstone Marine Field Station

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The disease ecology research program at the USGS - Marrowstone Marine Field Station leverages its unique strengths and capabilities through a robust network of collaborations with scientific partners.  This collaborative approach enables us to consolidate the expertise of leading scientists from disparate backgrounds and organizational structures in addressing complex interdisciplinary research questions.

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Herring sampling in Sitka Sound, AK

Herring sampling in Sitka Sound, AK with Angie Bowers (Sitka Sound Science Center) and Dr. Maya Groner (Prince William Sound Science Center). Credit: Paul Hershberger, USGS. (Public domain.)

The Herring Research and Monitoring Program at the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council is dedicated to understanding and mitigating the factors that negatively impact the recovery of Pacific herring populations; this program provides the foundation for an extremely diverse and robust network of scientific partners at the Marrowstone Marine Field Station (MMFS). Close collaborators within this program include the Prince William Sound Science Center; University of Washington - School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences; Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Alaska Department of Fish and Game (Cordova Office, Homer Office, Sitka Office, Juneau Fish Pathology Laboratory, and Headquarters Office in Juneau; Sitka Sound Science Center; University of California – Davis; and NOAA Fisheries - Northwest Fisheries Science Center, - Alaska Science Center - Auke Bay Labs and Ted Stevens Marine Science Institute; and University of California – Davis.  The MMFS contributes to this dynamic network of partners by leading the Herring Disease Program, a long term effort intended to understand, forecast, and mitigate the impacts of diseases to populations of Pacific herring.

The Salish Sea Marine Survival Program, organized by the Pacific Salmon Foundation and Long Live the Kings, is designed to determine the primary factors affecting the survival of juvenile salmon and steelhead in the Salish Sea.  It is the largest collaborative research project of its kind in the shared waters between British Columbia and Washington State and is represented by more than 60 partner organizations from federal, state, provincial, and private institutions throughout the U.S., and Canada.  The MMFS holds seats at the International Synthesis Committee, Salish Sea Mortality Coordinating Committee, and Steelhead Mortality Technical Team; further we are actively leading research intended to understand and mitigate the impacts of disease mortality to populations of outmigrating steelhead smolts.  Some of our closest partners in this program include Long Live the Kings, NOAA Fisheries Northwest Fisheries Science Center – Manchester Research Station, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, Sea Doc Society, University of California – Santa Barbara, and USGS – Western Ecological Research Center who are working together to identify and mitigate top-down forces affecting steelhead survival throughout the Salish Sea.   

Other close partnerships include professional collaborations with researchers at University of Marlyand Baltimore County evaluating the effects of climate change on marine disease processes, Cornell University evaluating the impacts and causes of sea star wasting disease, Alaska Pacific University and the International Pacific Halibut Commission evaluating the effects of a parasite to populations of Pacific halibut. 

Extended Research Family

By utilizing these expansive partnerships, we have been able to extend our capabilities and leverage resources beyond the level of our single institution.  This type of collaboration is only possible through the dedication and support of our extended family, including:

Diane Elliott
Dr. Diane Elliott is a Research Microbiologist at the Western Fisheries Research Center, where her research interests include understanding of the epizootiology and pathogenic mechanisms of important fish pathogens, particularly bacterial diseases of salmonid fishes.

Evi Emmenegger
Evi Emmenegger is a Research Microbiologist at the Western Fisheries Research Center, where her research interests include molecular phylogeny and taxonomy of fish viral pathogens, focusing on infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV).

John Hansen
Dr. John Hansen is a research Immunologist at the Western Fisheries Research Center, where his research interests include development of cellular and molecular reagents for fish leukocytes.

Gael Kurath
Dr. Gael Kurath is a Research Microbiologist at the Western Fisheries Research Center where her research interests include genetic diversity, evolution, and control of fish RNA viruses.

Jim Winton
Dr. Jim Winton is an Emeritus Supervisory Research Microbiologist at the Western Fisheries Research Center, where he works with scientists, technicians, post-doctoral researchers, graduate students and visiting scientists working to improve methods for the detection of fish pathogens, determine factors affecting the epidemiology of fish diseases, and develop novel control strategies for reducing losses among both hatchery-reared and wild fish.

Nancy Elder is a Fish Biologist at the Western Fisheries Research Center who studies the ecology of marine systems.

Dr. John Piatt is a Research Wildlife Biologist at the USGS Alaska Science Center, specializing in breeding biology and feeding ecology of seabirds.

Dr. Jim Bodkin is an Emeritus Research Wildlife Biologist at the USGS – Alaska Science Center, specializing the population biology and ecology of marine mammals, especially sea otters.

Dr. Maya Groner is a Research Ecologist at the Prince William Sound Science Center and Western Fisheries Research Center who integrates results from laboratory and field experiments into mathematical models to understand the impacts of diseases on Pacific herring populations.

Dr. Rob Campbell is a Biological Oceanographer at the Prince William Sound Science Center who tries to understand how plankton and fish interact with the physical environment.

Dr. Kristen Gorman is a Research Ecologist at the Prince William Sound Science Center who is interested in understanding the impacts of overwinter bioenergetic demands on herring survival.

Dr. Mary Anne Bishop is a Research Ecologist at the Prince William Sound Science Center who is interested in the estuarine ecology of shorebirds, fishes, and benthic invertebrates.

Caitlin McKinstry is a Research Assistant at the  Prince William Sound Science Center who is the best photo-microscopist we have the pleasure of working with.

Dr. Scott Pegau is the Program Manager at the Oil Spill Recovery Institute and a Research Scientist for the Prince William Sound Science Center who is interested in connecting oceanography and fisheries disciplines.

Dr. Trevor Branch is an Associate Professor at the  University of Washington – School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences – Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management who utilizes mathematical models to synthesize biological data.

Dr. Chelsea Wood is an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington – School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences who is interested in the ecology of fish parasites.

Dr. Carolyn Friedman is a Professor at the University of Washington – School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences who is examines infectious and non-infectious diseases of wild and cultured marine invertebrates.

Catrin Wendt is a graduate student at the University of Washington – School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences who is interested in understanding natural and anthropogenic factors affecting the fish parasite Ichthyophonus sp.. 

Dr. Andrew Whitehead is a Professor at the University of California – Davis, Department of Environmental Toxicology who is interested in evolutionary and ecological functional genomics, population genomics, conservation genetics, stress physiology, and ecotoxicology.

Dr. Elias Oziolor is a post doc at the University of California – Davis, Department of Environmental Toxicology who is interested in the intersections between ecotoxicology, evolution and population genomics.

Dr. Ted Meyers is the Lead Fish Pathologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game – Juneau Fish Pathology Laboratory. 

Dr. Nat Scholz is a marine biologist and zoologist at the  NOAA Fisheries - Northwest Fisheries Science Center, where he manages the Ecotoxicology Program.

Dr. John Incardona is a developmental biologist and ecotoxicologist at the NOAA Fisheries - Northwest Fisheries Science Center, where he investigates the long-term impacts of oil spill on fish survival and performance.

Dr. Alysha Cypher is an NRC Post Doc at the NOAA Fisheries - Northwest Fisheries Science Center, where she is investigating the population-level impacts of cardiac abnormalities that manifest in larval herring after early life stage exposures to petroleum hydrocarbons.

Tiffany Linbo is a biologist at the NOAA Fisheries - Northwest Fisheries Science Center where she investigates the toxicological effects of pesticides and herbicides on the physiology and behavior of developing fish.

Dr. Barry Berejikian is the Program Manager of the Behavioral Ecology Team at the NOAA Fisheries - Northwest Fisheries Science Center, and the Station Chief at the Manchester Research Station.  He is interested in understanding top down and bottom up processes affecting wild and cultured Pacific salmonids.

Dr. Ron Heintz is the Program Manager of the Recruitment Energetics and Coastal Assessment Program at the  NOAA Fisheries – Alaska Fisheries Science Center - Auke Bay Labs where he is interested in understanding the recruitment mechanisms of capelin, juvenile pollock, Pacific cod, herring and rockfish.

Michael Schmidt is the Deputy Director of Long Live the Kings, where he develops and implements large-scale, collaborative projects.

Iris Kemp is a Research Ecologist at Long Live the Kings, where she manages sampling collaborations associated with LLTK projects. 

Bruce Stewart is the Manager of the Fish Health Program at the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, where he supervises a team of fish pathologists who care for the health and well-being of fish at tribal fish rearing facilities.

Dr. Kevin Lafferty is a Research Ecologist at the Western Ecological Research Center and an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of California Santa Barbara – Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology Program who is interested in the ecology of parasites.

Clark Marino is a graduate student at the University of California - Santa Barbara who is studying the ecology of Nanophyetus salmincola, a digenean trematode parasite.

Dr. Colleen Burge is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County - Institute of Environmental Technology where she works on marine host / pathogen / environment interactions.

Dr. Drew Harvell is a Professor at Cornell University – Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology where she investigates host-pathogen interactions and the sustainability of marine ecosystems.

Dr. Brad Harris is Associate Professor of Environmental Science at Alaska Pacific University ,where he investigates the roles of anthropogenic and natural disturbances on population dynamics.

Dr. Nathan Wolfe is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Science at Alaska Pacific University, where his research projects involve ecological physiology.