CFF Employees

CFF Employees

ricky-alexanderRicky Alexander, Research Biologist ·

Ricky graduated from the University of Maine at Machias in 2009 and worked for about 3 years as a fisheries observer in several fisheries on the East Coast, West Coast, and the high seas of Pacific Ocean. In 2013, he began monitoring the Gulf of Mexico as a protected species observer for a seismic exploration company. Ricky began his master’s degree at the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley later that year, which focused on red snapper reproductive habits. Upon graduation, Ricky returned to New England and worked for the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries on a project tracking Jonah crab reproduction and movement throughout the Gulf of Maine. Ricky’s work with CFF is focused on monkfish reproduction and flatfish bycatch reduction in the sea scallop fishery.





Amy Carlson, Research Biologist ·

Amy graduated from the University of New England in 2013 with an M.S. in Marine Science. Her thesis focused on movement patterns of spiny dogfish in the Northwest Atlantic. Upon graduation, she worked as a geospatial technician for the Sulikowski Fish and Shark Research Lab at the University of New England’s Marine Science Center. Her role was specializing in conventional, acoustic and pop-off archival satellite tagging methods on species such as Atlantic sturgeon, spiny dogfish, monkfish, dusky sharks and porbeagle sharks, and applying the implications to improving fisheries management, refining movement patterns and nursery grounds, and collecting data on discard mortality. Amy joined Coonamessett Farm Foundation in August 2017. While she assists on many of the ongoing projects at CFF, her main focus is leading both of our electronic fish tagging projects. Our collaborative ocean sunfish project with the New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance (NECWA) started in August 2018 and will collect satellite tag data to better understand the behavior and movement patterns of these fish trapped in Cape Cod Bay and factors leading up to a stranding event. The second project will look at the inshore and offshore movement and habitat types of black sea bass in Chesapeake Bay and will begin in the spring of 2019. She is also is co-PI on our monkfish project, that will develop reproductive “profiles” for sexually mature and immature individuals.



Jason Clermont, Research Biologist ·

Jason has been with CFF since November 2016 and currently leads the HabCam survey and research efforts at CFF. Prior to joining CFF, Jason served as the Science Operations Coordinator for the Sea Education Association in Falmouth, MA. He graduated from East Carolina University in 2008 with a M.S. in Biology where he focused on understudied aspects of estuarine species. Prior to graduate school, he was employed as a Research Associate at Scripps Institution of Oceanography working on phytoplankton research as well as participating in the CALCOFI research cruises. Jason has also spent time as a fisheries observer in Alaska and North Carolina, gaining insight into both large and small-scale fisheries. During 5 years working at the New England Aquarium’s Conservation Department, he had a hand in assessing and developing projects designed to improve the environmental performance of a variety of fisheries around the world. This work ignited a passion for incorporating the typically intimate knowledge of fishermen and fisherwomen into projects designed to sustain the resource they depend on.

Stephen Davies, At-Sea Biologist·

Stephen Davies has a B.S. in Fisheries and Aquatic Science from Purdue University (May 2013) and a Master’s degree in Aquatic Ecology from Ball State University (June 2017). He has experience in freshwater, marine, and aquaculture systems. His freshwater experience involves lotic and lentic systems in Indiana and Michigan collecting benthic and pelagic samples for benthic macroinvertebrates and pelagic zooplankton and larval fish species richness, diversity and density. Conducting Indexes of Biotic integrity in glacial streams and lakes in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and electroshocking streams and lakes for population density and PIT tagging studies. His first project involved the diet content analysis of suckers (Catostomidae) in Lake Michigan to quantify trophic interactions and food-web dynamics of white and longnose suckers. His transition to Marine systems occurred upon graduation in 2013 as a groundfish observer on the East Coast taking trips from Massachusetts to North Carolina, sampling catch from trawl and gillnet commercial fishing vessels. Stephen gained experience in the animal husbandry of zebra fish for medical research while working at Duke University. He worked with state of the art monitoring systems for over 75,000 zebrafish and was involved in the breeding, incubation, and rearing of zebrafish from embryo to adult. While at CFF, Stephen has been involved in multiple projects and has a wide exposure to the different tools used by CFF to monitor the ocean, from static camera stands to mobile habitat cameras. He has continued his fisheries biology work by participating in bycatch trips, gathering relevant biological data on various species in George’s bank and quantifying the effectiveness of gear modifications on scallop dredges. He has also had the opportunity to be involved in CFF turtle tagging trips. Stephen is SCUBA certified (PADI), ARCGIS certified and has experience using R for the statistical analysis of fisheries data.

Farrell Davis, Fisheries Technologist ·

Farrell received a Bachelor’s degree in Aquaculture and Fisheries Technology from the University of Rhode Island in May of 2011 and is currently working on his Master’s degree. Before working for the Foundation in September of 2011, he worked as an intern for the NEFSC Ecosystem Survey Branch taking part in the scallop, Gulf of Maine shrimp, and ocean quahog/ surf clam surveys. His career in commercial fisheries began at sixteen when he worked on small fishing vessels out of Chatham, MA during the summer between school years. He has never stopped enjoying fishing since.






Luisa GarciaLuisa Garcia, Research Biologist ·

Luisa received a bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology in 2009 from Universidad del Valle, Colombia. After graduating, she worked for four years as an assistant researcher in the Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras – INVEMAR (Colombia). In this position she participated in several research trips and specialized in fisheries stock assessments and the reproductive biology of the main commercially harvested shrimp species (Litopenaeus occidentalis, Solenocera agassizi, and Farfantepenaeus brevirotris) in the Colombian Pacific. Luisa moved to the U.S. in 2015 and completed a master’s degree in Marine Affairs at URI in 2016. At CFF, Luisa heads an on-going seasonal bycatch study researching changes in the distribution of bycatch species in the scallop fishery on Georges Bank. She hopes to apply her passion for sustainable fisheries management to this study and future research at CFF.




mary-head-shot_v2Mary Newton Lima, Research Coordinator  ·

Mary started working at Coonamessett Farm Foundation in September 2016. She has spent the last 20 years working as a marine biologist and environmental scientist for environmental consulting firms and government agencies. For the past ten years she has focused primarily on human health and ecological risk assessments and environmental remediation. She received a M.S. in Marine Biology and Fisheries from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Miami and and a B.A. in Earth and Environmental Science from Wesleyan University. Mary’s research focus at CFF is education and elasmobranch biology fisheries marketing.


Samir Patel, Sea Turtle Biologist ·

Samir started working at Coonamessett Farm Foundation in August 2014. He received his undergraduate degree in Biology from George Washington University in 2005 and in 2013 a PhD from Drexel University in Environmental Sciences focusing on sea turtle ecology, satellite telemetry and climate change. Prior to joining CFF, Samir worked as a high school biology and chemistry teacher and assisted on sea turtle projects in Greece, South Africa and Costa Rica. At CFF, Samir is involved in multiple projects, including protected species research both offshore and within local Cape Cod waters, and using telemetry and optical approaches to study the ecology of commercially valuable fish species.

Liese and the mussels halfLiese Siemann, Research Biologist ·

Liese started working at Coonamessett Farm Foundation in September 2014. Previously, she worked for seven years at the Marine Biological Laboratory studying animal camouflage using novel image analysis and statistical methods and raising multiple species of cuttlefish and octopus. She also spent five years as the administrator of the Woods Hole Science and Technology Education Partnership. Liese received a BA in Biology from Cornell University and a PhD in Biological Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program. Her dissertation focused on modelling the molecular population genetics of long-finned pilot whales. She has taught college courses on marine resource management and cetacean biology. At CFF, Liese’s research focuses on using innovative methods to design bycatch reduction technologies, model animal-fishing gear interactions, and assess marine animal populations.