Mike is a professor in the Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Program within the School of Forest Resources and Conservation (SFRC). His research focuses on fisheries management and fish habitat requirements, and he uses a combination of field investigations and simulation mod-eling to evaluate management options for fisheries resources. Dr. Allen was appointed Director of NCBS in 2015 and manages the station, as well as teaching a graduate course entitled “Fish Population Dynamics” in the SFRC.
Savanna directs the extension/outreach programs at NCBS. Her program focuses on enhancing best practices for sustainable tourism and creating opportunities for volunteerism and citizen science programs that enhance the quality and management of habitats and species within the Nature Coast region. As a Regional Specialized Agent, she also focuses on providing leadership, coordination, and mentorship for county extension faculty in the region.
David is a quantitative ecologist who focuses on fish population and ecosystem modeling to inform management of recreational and commercial fisheries. David’s laboratory addresses challenges that include how stressor such as algae blooms, invasive species, and fishing prussure influence the structure and function of marine food webs and impacts fisheries resources.
Charlie is an estuarine ecologist whose work broadly addresses coastal conservation and community ecology, specifically habitat requirements for fishes and invertebrates, the ecology of foundation species such as submerged vegetation, and impacts of stressors (e.g., oil spills, non-native species) on estuarine food webs. Charlie’s laboratory operates a large field research program that spans the northern Gulf of Mexico, and he uses a variety of empirical and experimental approaches to explore how stressors will influence food webs, predator-prey interactions, and economically important species.
Biological Science Staff
Brad is an estuarine ecologist with experience working on oyster reef and salt marsh ecology, with interest and skills in spatial analysis and GIS. Brad leads the sampling for the Lone Cabbage Oyster Reef Restoration project and works to evaluate effects of restoration meth-ods on ecological processes in this region.
Holden is a fisheries ecologist whose work has focused on invasive species impacts and control efforts. He has extensive experience in the ecological implications of nonnative species, management options, and bioeconomic implications of control efforts. He is working to explore how changes in freshwater quality and quantity will influence fish and wildlife populations in the Suwannee River estuary.
Reggie coordinates research around shellfish aquaculture including hard clams and oysters, with emphasis on laboratory operations, water delivery, water quality, and logistics of lab and field operations in aquaculture research.
Ashley is an estuarine ecologist who focuses on stressors that influence aquatic ecosystems including seagrass, salt marsh, and mangrove habitats. Ashley works with Charlie Martin’s laboratory and leads field sampling and experiments that are key to understanding processes ongoing in estuarine environments.
Suzanna is a marine mammal stranding biologist for the University of Florida Marine Animal Rescue who responds to dead, distressed, or injured cetaceans, manatees, and sea turtles in Levy, Dixie, and Taylor counties. UF MAR is part of the Southeast Marine Mammal Stranding Network under the NMFS Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program that is partially funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The data collected from these responses help to better understand the marine mammal populations along our coast. Additionally, Suzanna assists in necropsies and other research projects.
Travis is a wildlife ecologist whose work addresses the conservation and management of reptile populations in the region. He works extensively with turtle populations including the Suwannee Alligator Snapping Turtle and the Diamondback Terrapin, and his work seeks to understand threats to reptile populations including impacts of climate change, bycatch harvest, and predator effects on nest success of reptiles.
Natalie is a shellfish ecologist whose work supports the aquaculture industry in the region. She utilizes a range of laboratory and field approaches to understand factors that can improve aquaculture operations, and she regularly conducts public outreach and education regarding the shellfish aquaculture process and the industry.
Leslie provides leadership and outreach to the shellfish aquaculture industry statewide. A 25-year resident in Cedar Key, she works closely with shellfish growers to address challenges in all aspects of shellfish aquaculture (e.g., seed production, grow out conditions, environmental factors influencing aquaculture effectiveness, and economic aspects of shellfish aquaculture). Leslie has worked with a wide range of collaborators statewide to address factors that can improve shellfish aquaculture operations.
Hannah Walsh is a Marine Mammal Stranding Biologist with the University of Florida Marine Animal Rescue that is partially funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). She responds to sick, injured, or deceased marine mammals and sea turtles in Levy, Dixie, and Taylor counties of the Big Bend of Florida. UFMAR is a part of the Gulf Coast Stranding Network where they assist other network partners and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on a regular basis providing clinical, necropsy, and research services. Hannah aids in these responses and necropsies as well as other numerous research projects.
Emily coordinates the website and social media for NCBS, as well as graphic design of materials for public outreach. She leads our K-12 programs that in the past two years have hosted over 1,000 fifth-graders to visit the Station and Seahorse Key Marine Lab. Emily works with the entire NCBS team to manage and operate the social media presence for the research and extension programs.
Cassandra grew up in central Florida. She has always had a passion for nature and wildlife. This passion encouraged her to take Oceanography in high school. Through this course, she examined specimens in the classroom, on the East Coast and Gulf Coast beaches of Florida. Later in life, she participated in trainings on grassroots, educational outreach, campaign strategies, and knowledge of environmental factors on ecology. Her study interests through these trainings were education on sustainability for oceans and forests. In 2014, Cassandra moved to Levy County, FL. Here she completed her AA at Santa Fe College, and started working for the Levy County Visitors Bureau as the Administrative Assistant. There she gained extensive knowledge in marketing in the tourism industry, as well as knowledge for marketing a nature based destination. Her goal is to help maintain and preserve the quality and originality of the coastline, and help educate communities about the beautiful coastline the NCBS serves. Cassandra brings over eight years of customer service and administrative skills to the team at NCBS.
Cassandra has responsibility for all fiscal aspects of the station. She works with the group to coordinate all hiring, grants, expenditures, and logistics of guests who use the facility for classes, public events, and research purposes. Cassandra ensures that employees are educated on training required, reporting of time and management grants and expenditures at the station.
Kenny is a US Coast Guard licensed boat captain and is in charge of all sampling logistics and safety operations at NCBS. He works with our entire team and guests to the station to ensure the safe use of boats and field operations in our region. Kenny provides upkeep and maintenance for facilities at both Cedar Key and the Seahorse Key Marine Lab. He also works with K-12 and college school groups to conduct field sampling, and he provides education to all visitors about the history of this region and its natural resources.
Bhawna Thapa is the Research Administrator at the Nature Coast Biological Station. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University. Dr. Thapa's career interest is in sustainable economic development and her prior work focused on integrated research, fieldwork, and capacity building efforts in agricultural extension systems, natural resource management, and community development.
Bhawna serves to coordinate grant writing and proposal development at NCBS. She coordinates proposals among our team and faculty on campus. Bhawna also coordinates data management processes for ongoing projects at the station.