HMSC Currents

Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Center blog

HMSC Currents

New Staff

Please help us welcome new staff at HMSC!

(Click on thumbnail photos for larger view)

Jeff  Wiseman – 4/2011: The HMSC Business Center has a new face in the role of accounting technician. Jeff Wiseman joined the staff in April, 2011 filling the vacant role much to the relief of his colleagues. He comes from OIT in Klamath Falls where he was Asst. Director of the campus bookstore, The Paper Owl. Having spent 10 years with OIT, he is no stranger to Higher Education.  Jeff and his wife, Lorrie, are empty nesters who relocated to Newport. They are proud of their two boys, Austin , 27 and Derek, 24. Also, their family consists of Rascal & Diego, Sirius, Prissy and Sadie, the family pets, a combination of 2 dogs, a cat, and 2 birds, an African Grey and an Amazon Parrot. In his off hours he enjoys the outdoors, gardening, woodworking, and baking. His biggest pleasure is exploring second hand stores looking for older furniture and M&M’s collectiables. Added to this he and Lorrie have taken to exploring Northwest Oregon on weekends. If asked, Jeff would tell you this is truly a new adventure and a pleasure to be at HMSC making new lifelong friends.

Beth Slikas – 10/2010:  Beth Slikas  joins the HMSC community as a postdoc in Scott Baker’s lab, researching the population genetics of Pacific right whales. Having worked previously on birds and viruses, this project will be her first experience with marine mammals. She is excited by both the scientific challenges and conservation implications of the work. She is thrilled to join the diverse and active research community at HMSC. Beth obtained a bachelor’s degree in physics. She then became interested in evolutionary biology and in birds while working as a lab assistant in the ornithology department at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia (her hometown). Beth earned a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, using genetic data to assess the evolutionary relationships among stork species. She then did postdoctoral work on avian population genetics and phylogenetics, first at the University of Copenhagen, then at the Smithsonian Institution. Most recently, Beth worked as a staff scientist in a virology lab at Blood Systems Research Institute in San Francisco, using metagenomic techniques to search for undescribed viruses in human and animal samples. Beth moved to Newport with her cats and horse, and she has been enjoying being part of the HMSC and Newport communities. She enjoys hiking, running, birding, and biking, and she is looking forward to indulging these interests in the local area.

Lori Boatwright – 10/2010: I am a pt fisheries technician in Jessica Miller’s lab polishing juvenile Chinook salmon otoliths. I’m a certificate Aquarium Science student at OCCC with aspirations of becoming a shark aquarist after the program. I was born and raised in Ashland, WI. I have a B.A. in Biology with a concentration in Marine Sciences from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. My husband and I lived in Santa Cruz, CA for 7 years before relocating back to Des Moines. I was an Education Specialist at the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines for the past 4 1/2 years – my job duties included maintaining the education animal collection (~25-30 different species), public animal programming and overnights at the Zoo. My favorite education animals included Nala: a ball python, Benny: a barred owl and Amborro: a blue and gold macaw. I was the volunteer diver at the Blank Park Zoo with the aquarist for 5 years. I love living back near the ocean and enjoy the natural beauty of the Oregon Coast. In my little free time, I’m volunteering at the Oregon Coast Aquarium with the Husbandry Department and with the Volunteer Dive program. My husband and 2 fur-babies (cats) still live in Des Moines until I’m done with the one year program at OCCC.

Eric Brasseur – 9/2010: I work for the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission as the gear technician for the observer program.  I started in Seattle in January  2010 and was transferred to Newport in October.  I came here from the East coast via Alaska.  I began my career in marine science with a BS in marine biology from Old Dominion University in 1994.  Not wanting to leave the area, but needing to make a decent living I didn’t get into a full time science position until 2000 when I started working for the Chesapeake Bay Multispecies Modeling and Assessment Program at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. I joined the group during its primary development stage and  enjoyed the freedom and responsibility of creating and maintaining a paperless electronic data collection system for the survey. I left VIMS after a big life change and started working as an observer in Alaska with the intent of heading to Hawaii after a few months.  It didn’t happen quite that way and I ended up working in Alaska off and on for 15 months.  I finally made the move to Seattle in September of 09 to look for a permanent science position on the West Coast, so here I am. My girlfriend and her son joined me here in Newport and we are beginning to settle in. Having a family is very new to me and I am enjoying every minute. I am an avid photographer and cyclist.  I also love to sail, kayak, windsurf and hike and am really looking forward to exploring the area.  I have trained in the martial art of aikido since 1992 and hope to offer a class at the rec center or somewhere in a few months.

Kristin Politano – 8/2010: Kristin Politano is working with Dr. Sarah Henkel in the Benthic Ecology lab, researching the ecological impacts of wave energy development off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California. Kristin earned bachelor’s degrees in both Biology and History at Florida State University, and then went on to get a master’s degree from the University of Florida in Fisheries and Aquatic Science. Her thesis focused on the effects of hypoxia on grazer activity in spring fed river systems of Northern Florida. Her research interests include coastal and benthic ecology, water quality, and sediment transport. Prior to coming to HMSC, Kristin worked for the consulting firm CH2M Hill in Washington D.C. as a junior ecotoxicologist as well as the University of Maryland Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (CBL) as a Faculty Research Assistant. While at CBL, Kristin worked with the National Fish and Wildlife Service to design long term monitoring programs aimed at judging the structural and functional success of tidal and non-tidal wetland restoration projects funded in the Chesapeake Bay region. She also worked in urban systems, looking at the effectiveness of stream restoration practices at reducing sediment and nitrogen loads in stormwater. Kristin considers her job at HMSC a welcome return to the marine environment and benthic ecology. She and her husband live in Newport and enjoy hiking with their dogs, Bella and Gibson.

Yang Lu – 4/2010: Yang Lu joined HMSC as postdoc in April, 2010. She was born and raised in Tianjin, PRC, a city right next to the capital. After getting her Bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications in Tianjin University in 2004, she went to National University of Singapore (NUS) for her PhD study in Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and obtained her PhD degree in 2010. Her research areas include signal processing, noise subspace estimation, MCA/PCA, etc. During her time in Singapore, she also worked 6 months for NUS as a research engineer on relay networks. She traveled and dived many places in Southeast Asia and become really interested in marine lives. She is now working with Dr. Mellinger on bioacoustics.

Jennifer Fisher – 3/2010: Jennifer Fisher is a faculty research assistant in Bill Peterson’s lab. She moved to Newport from CA where she worked at the Bodega Marine Laboratory for four years. There, she was studying the physical transport processes that affect the distribution of crustacean larvae. Her passion for larval ecology has allowed her to study in many cold water locales such as Antarctica, Alaska and South Africa. In Bill’s lab, she’ll be investigating how changing ocean conditions affect zooplankton communities (including crabs). She received her BS from Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA and her MS from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in Moss Landing, CA. Outside of work, you’ll likely find her foraging in the woods with her dog Denali.

Chris Magel – 3/2010: I am the newest staff member with the AFSC – Fisheries Behavioral Ecology Program. My interests lie in sensory ecology and animal behavior.  My particular background is in sensory physiology, particularly olfaction and vision in both fish and invertebrates.  My role(s) here in Newport are two fold.  First, I hope to collaborate on the various projects going on here at the AFSC, but bring my research experiences, which will (hopefully) provide some new tools to the AFSC for studying the effects of fish behavior on issues of relevance to NOAA/NMFS.  Second, I will be taking over IT responsibilities for the group. I grew up in Lancaster, PA, attended Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, and received a BS in Biology.  I went South seeking a coastline and warmer weather and took a job at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), where I eventually entered the graduate program at VIMS and received a Masters Degree in Marine Science.  At the push of my VIMS graduate advisor, Dr. Richard Brill, I applied for and successfully landed a job with NOAA, specifically with the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Fish Behavioral Ecology program(the reason I’m writing this bio).  I immediately sold most of my belongings, packed my Honda Civic, threw my bikes on the roof rack, and drove West. The West coast is a pretty awesome so far and Newport is a small, but concentrated community with tons to offer.  I am an avid athlete and love riding my mountain bike and road bike, playing tennis, ultimate frisbee, hiking…the list goes on.  It’s an added bonus that the Rogue Brewery is 5 minutes by foot from the lab…

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