Ph.D. Students


Laura Jay Williams

Education: M.S. Marine Science, 2011, University of New England
B.S. Marine Biology, Minor in Education, 2005, University of New Hampshire

Current Research: Red snapper, Lutjanus campechanus, has historically supported important commercial and recreational fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico.  In recent years extensive management efforts have been undertaken to rebuild red snapper stocks.  These efforts have been difficult to evaluate due to the complicated life history and movement patterns of this species.  The purpose of Jay’s research is to address these problem areas by providing detailed movement and mortality data for this species using long-term acoustic telemetry.  She is presently using Vemco VPS technology to track both the fine-scale (within 1 meter) and broad-scale movements of red snapper on artificial reefs.  She will be looking at red snapper residency, home range, and habitat use patterns and how these patterns relate to both environmental and biological parameters.  Jay is also actively tagging shark species (potential predators of red snapper) to evaluate their fine-scale and broad-scale movements on artificial reefs.

Anticipated Graduation: Fall 2015



Megan Mckinzie

Education: M.S. Marine Biology, 2012, California State University, Long Beach
B.S. Biology, 2005, University of Puget Sound

Current Research: Megan recently moved to Alabama from Alaska where she was working as a fish ecologist at the Prince William Sound Science Center conducting research on post-spawning related movements of herring, long-term seasonal movements and residency of Pacific cod and EVOS herring monitoring projects.  She will continue to conduct telemetry based research on marine fishes while at the Auburn Fish Lab. Her specific research objectives are still to be determined.

Anticipated Graduation: Spring 2019