Meet our current MRM-ers!

Given the interdisciplinary nature of marine resource management, “focus areas” need not be restrictive. Rather, students have the opportunity to craft research and programs of study that bridge disciplines and perspectives, overlap in scope and have a component of management in all of them. You can see this in the work of many of our students.

Meagan Abele

Fisheries and aquaculture; Marine industry

Meagan’s upbeat personality, diverse work experiences, and passion for marine conservation make her an ideal MRMer. After earning her B.S. in marine biology at University of British Columbia in 2014, and working in some interesting and related jobs, Meagan currently works with Mark Lomeli and Waldo Wakefield on conservation engineering solutions for the commercial groundfish fishery to reduce bycatch and seafloor interactions.


Laura Baker

Fisheries and aquaculture

Laura is a native Oregonian who grew up hiking, farming and logging in the forests of Cascadia, where she learned firsthand about stewardship and management of natural resources. Laura came to MRM so that she could continue to build skills and tools to help people who live in coastal communities and rely on the ocean’s resources. She is excited to work with people to continue to manage our resources well by bringing science, management, policy and people together.


Jennifer Beaullieu

Fisheries and aquaculture

After attaining a B.S. at Georgia Southern University and researching bottlenose dolphins at Savannah State University, Jennifer wanted to turn her focus to the intertwining of marine science, public policy, community, economics and ethical action. She was happy to join the MRM program, which spans these disciplines and acknowledges and acts upon their interface.


Josh Blockstein

Fisheries and aquaculture

Josh’s smile still shows despite the COVID mask. After earning his B.S. in biological sciences at USC in 2017, and taking advantage of several national and international opportunities to round out his skill base before coming to graduate school, Josh is working with Michael Harte and Jenna Tilt on the hazard vulnerability of underrepresented groups on the Oregon Coast, particularly the Latinx community. He is working as part of the new Cascadia CoPes Hub based at OSU.


Leanne Cohn

Fisheries and aquaculture; Marine industry; Coastal processes, hazards, and climate change

Leanne was awarded the prestigious NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center Fellowship to start her graduate studies in MRM. After earning her B.S. in wildlife management and conservation from Humboldt State University in 2016, and gaining lots of field experience, Leanne’s determination and strong interest in GIS, climate change, and fisheries come together on a research project with Chris Harvey focused on the potential geospatial, biological, environmental and socio-economic impacts of offshore wind on fisheries in Oregon.



Laurel Field

Coastal processes, hazards, and climate change; Fisheries and aquaculture

Laurel comes to the MRM program with an intertidal ecology background. She joined the program to gain policy and management expertise that will help her to conduct applied, interdisciplinary ocean research. Laurel’s thesis research assesses global Marine Protected Area effectiveness and progress towards international targets for ocean protection.


Raquel Gilliland

Fisheries and aquaculture; Coastal processes, hazards, and climate change

Raquel majored in aquatic and marine biology, and minored in environmental studies and geography, earning a B.S. from Stetson University. She started her marine career in coral reef restoration and conservation working in the Florida Keys and then Oahu, Hawaii. She then continued towards environmental consulting and educational outreach for a nonprofit in Hawaii working on wastewater management and cesspool conversions. Looking to extend her career in resource management, she joined MRM where she is conducting research with Maria Kavanaugh regarding HABs, phytoplankton and fisheries management.



Aleah Hahn

Coastal processes, hazards, and climate change

Aleah comes to MRM from Michigan State University where in 2021 she earned her B.S. (dual major) in biological & ecological engineering and German. She is conducting research with Desiree Tullos on the impacts of Stage 0 river restoration on aquatic habitats and energy dissipation. Aleah sailed competitively in Michigan where she mastered nautical skills, worked together as a cohesive crew to sail effectively, and utilized leadership skills to achieve a common goal. Aleah brings this same vigor to MRM.


Abby Knipp

Fisheries and aquaculture; Coastal processes, hazards, and climate change

Abby pursued marine research during her undergraduate degree at the land-locked University of Illinois Urbana Champaign where she had a double major in environmental sustainability and Spanish, and a minor in integrative biology; she earned her B.S. in 2019. Abby’s initiative and ability to find understudied social-environmental linkages led her to work on research with Kelsey Emard focused on equity and access of marine protected areas, their consequent effects on livelihood, and the politics of power in these spaces. Abby was awarded the 2021 Provost’s Distinguished Graduate Fellowship.



Julianne (Annie) Merrill

Coastal processes, hazards, and climate change; Fisheries and aquaculture

Annie is a self-proclaimed social justice warrior, environmentalist, wildlife lover and outdoor enthusiast. Annie received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Westminster College – Salt Lake in 2018. She came to the MRM program because she’s passionate about ocean conservation and want to use her scientific skill set to inform responsible policies and management strategies that reflect sustainability.


Carly Ringer

Marine Science Education and Engagement; Coastal processes, hazards, and climate change

Carly majored in geography and minored in mathematics at BYU. After graduating in 2019, and producing several scholarly products, she landed a full-time position at ESRI as an ArcGIS Pro Product Engineer. Why MRM? While she’s from Illinois, her heart has always been drawn to the coast and coastal issues. Carly is determined to use her math, geography and computer science skills to improve her (and others') knowledge of and access to coastal marine resources. Carly is working with Meagan Wengrove on research focused on coastal resiliency using natural coastal features to both build habitat and provide protection to communities against extreme storms.



Grace Roa

Pollution, Invasive Species, and Water Quality

In 2021, Grace earned a B.S. in biology from the University of North Georgia. Grace’s ties to OSU, however, are not new. After working with John Chapman via the Research Experience for Undergraduates Program (where he called Grace the “best REU student I’ve ever had”), she went on to excel as an Oregon Sea Grant Summer Scholar, and is now focusing her graduate research on host-parasitic energetics relationship between native and invasive mud shrimp.



Becky Smoak

Fisheries and aquaculture

Becky earned her B.S. in Earth and environmental science from Washington State University. Her graduate studies focus on developing phytoplankton-based indicators of food quality, work that could benefit state agencies, NOAA fisheries management and the fishing industry. Becky is a team player and her research is a collaboration between scientists at OSU and NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center. 


Rhianna Thurber

Coastal processes, hazards, and climate change; Fisheries and aquaculture

Rhianna comes to MRM by way of Maui, Hawaii, where she spent the last five years working with her favorite marine species: North Pacific humpback whales. She’s an avid advocate for ocean conservation, especially with individuals outside the scientific community. Rhianna came to the MRM program to increase her understanding of marine conservation from a more direct management and policy perspective, and as a way to gain access to greater future career opportunities.


Laura Vary

Fisheries and aquaculture

Laura is a Maine transplant living in Oregon and was excited to join the MRM Program. Laura currently studies the flexibility in spawning behavior of fishes in the Bering Sea as well as larval biogeography in the region and works with scientists at OSU and the NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center. Aside from her research, Laura is deeply concerned with how pressing social justice issues intersect with the current climate of natural resource management, and was thrilled to join a program that adopts a multi-faceted lens to resource management and fisheries science.


Katrina Vickery

Marine Science Education and Engagement; Coastal processes, hazards, and climate change

It doesn’t take long in a conversation with Katrina to pick up on her passion, stellar work ethic, commitment to scholarship, leadership, and broad interdisciplinary knowledge in both the natural and social sciences. After double majoring in marine biology and environmental science, and earning her B.S. from the University of New Haven in 2021, she’s excited to be working with Shawn Rowe on research focusing on climate change outreach and engagement with “interested but disengaged” audiences.



L. Austin Williams

Fisheries and aquaculture

Austin is a rock climbing, woodworking, water-sport enthusiast. His research addresses barriers to sustainable shellfish aquaculture by focusing on best management practices to control native ghost shrimp and invasive eelgrass in estuarine environments. Austin is an entrepreneur and comes to OSU with a decade of experience in many interdisciplinary fields, from seafloor mapping to seafood production. He holds a B.S. in marine biology and a certificate in mesophotic seafloor ecology.


Johna Winters

Marine industry

Johna’s research, focusing on sexual harassment policy development and implementation in the academic ocean research fleet, spans the fields of sociology, oceanography and policy. Johna takes pride in her research. She states that the MRM program is the perfect fit for her because its interdisciplinary nature has allowed her to tackle a research project that doesn’t fit into a single discipline, and contributes toward a more inclusive future for science.


Go to the Marine Resource Management Program page