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 centered 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 will focus on a modified dredge that seeks to minimize flatfish bycatch in the Limited Access General Category scallop fishery.





Amy Carlson, Research Biologist ·

Amy graduated from the University of New England in 2013 with an M.S. in Marine Science where 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.



john-and-the-fluke-croppedJohn Ceccolini, At-Sea Biologist ·

John graduated from Roger Williams University in 2016 with a B.S. in biology. Throughout his four years of undergraduate education, John studied biology, psychology and physics. He also worked on the university owned oyster farm for two years, operating the farm and conducting research on oyster growth. The research he conducted primarily focused on experimental growth methods, and the resulting internal and external growth of the oysters. His studies involved implementing these methods on oyster farms across New England, ranging from New York to Maine. John joined CFF in the fall of 2016, and continues to broaden his marine biological research experience. His work primarily focuses on at-sea field work, his contributions as a PI on the HabCam project, image and video analysis, and exploration of aquaculture studies.






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 graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Fisheries and Aquatic Science and, upon graduation, worked for about 2 years in the Northeast Fishery Observer Program. He also worked at Duke University in the School of Medicine Zebrafish Core Facilities as a research technician assisting in the daily aquaculture and animal husbandry operations. In April 2017 he earned his master’s degree at Ball State University in aquatic ecology, studying the spatiotemporal variation of trace organic contaminants in Indiana wetlands and degradation pathways. Stephen joined CFF in the spring of 2017.






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 a PhD in Environmental Sciences with a focus in Sea Turtle Biology from Drexel University in 2013. Samir’s PhD dissertation focused on identifying, via satellite telemetry, the at-sea behavior of loggerhead turtles in the Mediterranean Sea and the potential impacts of climate change on the foraging and nesting ecology of this endangered population. Samir has also worked as a high school biology and chemistry teacher and has assisted on sea turtle projects in Greece, South Africa and as a postdoctoral researcher in Costa Rica. At CFF, his main focus is continuing the long term loggerhead satellite tagging and ROV project.

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.