Recent Graduates

Dr. Micah DeanPhD

B.S. University of Vermont

M.S. Cornell University

Micah Dean graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Vermont in 1999. After completing his undergraduate studies, he worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a year before moving on to Cornell University to pursue a Master’s degree. During his time at Cornell, Micah studied the spatial and temporal distribution of juvenile Chinook salmon in nearshore Lake Ontario. After completing his Master’s degree in 2002, he took a job as a research scientist at the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries in Gloucester. Over his 15 year career at MADMF, Micah has had the opportunity to work on a variety of fisheries issues, including cod spawning behavior, recreational discard mortality, coastal migration of striped bass, and population dynamics of forage species. Building from this base of experience, he began his PhD at Northeastern in 2015, focusing on the influence of spatial and seasonal heterogeneity on population and fishery processes for Atlantic cod. Through his ongoing role at MADMF, Micah designed and helps coordinate a bottom trawl survey that leverages an industry-science partnership to intensively sample the Gulf of Maine cod population.  The data provided by this survey offer a novel perspective on the dynamics of this important resource and form a primary data source for his dissertation research.


Dr. Louise Cameron – PhD

B.S. University of St. Andrews (UK)

Louise graduated from The University of St Andrews in 2015 with a BSc in Marine Biology. Her PhD research focused on the impacts of ocean acidification and warming on marine bivalves and their fisheries. She answered these questions using a combination of field studies of bivalve performance across naturally occurring carbonate chemistry gradients that can be used as a proxy for future climate change, and through tank experiments that she used to investigate how ocean acidification and warming interact to impact bivalve physiology. You can learn more about her research on her website: Louise received her doctorate degree in April 2020.


Zuyuan Gao – Professional MS Student

B.S. Ocean University of China

Zuyuan graduated with a B.S. in Marine Biological Resources and Environment from Ocean University of China in 2019. After that she went on to explore Marine Biology as a master student in Three Seas Program, Northeastern University. During her graduation internship, she worked with the Grabowski Lab to study the fish use of oyster reefs in Rhode Island. Zuyuan is interested in reef ecology including coral reefs, oyster reefs and artificial reefs.


Jonathan Auguste – Professional MS Student

B.S. University of New Haven

Jonathan Auguste graduated with a B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of New Haven in 2017. After completing his undergraduate, he went on to work as a technician with a local fish hatchery on Long Island raising brook and rainbow trout. He received his M.S. in Environmental Science and Public Policy at Northeastern in 2019, focusing on black sea bass research along with other members of the Grabowski lab.


Kelsey Schultz – Professional MS Student

B.S. The Ohio State University

Kelsey Schultz graduated from The Ohio State University in 2014 with a B.S. in Biology.  Directly following graduation, she entered into the Three Seas Master’s program at Northeastern, where she explored the ecosystem services oysters provide, including their ability to improve water quality in coastal areas. More specifically, she compared natural oyster reefs and oyster aquaculture sites, exploring the potential effects of oysters on reef nutrient cycling in both locations. She mainly focused on the effects of oyster density and biomass on biogeochemical cycling by looking at tissue and shell bioassimilation and reef sediment organic matter.


 Robert Murphy – PhD

B.S. Northeastern University

Robert Murphy graduated from Northeastern University with a B.S. in Marine Biology in 2012. During his undergraduate career, Robert worked in the Grabowski lab studying the diet of the recreationally important striped bass (Morone saxatilis). His Ph.D. research aimed to further examine the potential relationship between striped bass and their dominant prey items in the Gulf of Maine. Specifically, his research focused on understanding the intricacies behind striped bass prey selectivity and potential physiological and ecological implications of prey  selection. Bobby’s research also targeted striped bass management along with the socio-economic consequences of policy reform. His survey work aimed to identify the perceptions and local ecological knowledge of striped bass fishers in New England. Bobby received his doctoral degree in May 2018.


Chris Baillie – PhD

Chris Baillie received his B.S. in Biology with a minor in Marine Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2010. After completing his undergraduate, Chris worked with Dr. Joel Fodrie at the University of North Carolina as a technician working on fisheries ecology in seagrass and oyster reef systems. Broadly, his interests include marine community ecology and conservation. More specifically, he is interested in connectivity of marine ecosystems and populations, complex trophic interactions, impacts of anthropogenic modifications to marine systems, and disease ecology.  His Ph.D. dissertation centered around the invasive shore crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus and received his degree in December 2017.


Chris Conroy – PhD 

M.S. Environmental Science – University of Maryland

Chris Conroy received his doctoral degree in December 2016 where he focused on populations interactions in marine environments and how they are affected by anthropogenic factors such as fishing and climate change. More specifically, Chris studied the role that intrapopulation diversity plays in the stability and resilience of Atlantic cod Gadus morhua populations and its importance to the management of this essential fishery.


Marissa McMahan-  PhD

B.S. Biology – University of Southern Maine

M.S. Marine Biology – University of Maine

Marissa’s research focused on trophic interactions impact on population dynamics and community structure. More specifically, explored predator-prey interactions and how indirect effects of predators influence prey behavior. Marissa’s graduate research at the University of Maine utilized acoustic telemetry to track fine-scale movement behavior of the American lobster (Homarus americanus) in the presence and absence of predators. Marissa plans to continue studying how behavioral responses to predation influence ecosystems. She received her doctoral degree in December 2017.


Alison Frye – Professional MS Student

B.S. Bates College

Alison graduated from Bates College in 2010 with a degree in Biology. She spent several years teaching high school science before beginning her master’s degree at Northeastern within the Three Seas Program. Her research in the Grabowski Lab investigated the use of living shorelines in the form of oyster reefs to restore estuarine habitats. Working with the Town of Essex, Alison’s study focused on selecting sites where oysters could both survive and provide the greatest ecosystem services to The Great Marsh, such as erosion control and wave attenuation. In this study, she tracked the survival and growth of juvenile remote set oysters; measured sedimentation rates, sediment organic matter, and natural recruitment; and quantified the rate of marsh retreat over the past decade.


Stephen Heck – Professional MS Student 

B.S., Middlebury College

Stephen Heck graduated from Middlebury College in 2010 with a B.A. in Biology.  Since then, he has spent the warmer seasons working as a research technician on a bay scallop restoration project in Nantucket, MA.  For the better part of each year he conducted background research for the Environmental Defense Fund on several fisheries conservation projects. Stephen completed his masters degree through the Three Seas Program of Northeastern University.  Fundamentally intrigued by the interconnectivity of everything, he is particularly interested in studying the effects that anthropogenic activities have on marine ecosystems and using research to understand how to best mitigate those impacts.  Stephen explored population dynamics of sea scallops in the Gulf of Maine during his time in the Grabowski lab