Sean McNally - PhD Candidate
Sean is a recent MS graduate in the Marine Science and Technology program at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He will continuing his education and pursue his PhD work in the Tlusty lab. Sean studies will focus on work within the Massachusetts Shellfish Initiative (MSI) to support the long-term goal of abundant shellfish resources for Massachusetts communities. Through the MSI Consensus building and prioritization will lead to increased state resources for water quality monitoring, increased cooperation between permitting and regulatory agencies, increased public funds to sustain shellfisheries in MA, expansion of shellfisheries in MA, and increased educational resources/opportunities about fisheries science to shellfish stakeholder groups. In developing the MSI Sean has been working collectively with the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance (CCCFA), the Massachusetts Aquaculture Association (MAA), and The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Sean will examine steps to integrate new technologies into current aquaculture monitoring and regulation schemes. This knowledge will extremely helpful in shaping Sean's future science goals of applying understandable science in future development of legislation within state and federal systems, and outreach to shellfish stakeholder groups.
Alex Bonnano - MS Candidate
Alex is a graduate of Roger Williams University where he worked on the captive broodstock conditioning, egg collection, and larval rearing of the Atlantic Lookdown, Selene vomer. AFter graduation, he spent time as a professional marine biology intern for The Walt Disney Company at The Seas. At Disney, where he was given the opportunity to fine-tune his knowledge of marine species by caring for over 150 species of marine organisms. At U Mass, he will work on how to detect fish that were caught using cyanide. Cyanide fishing, introduced into Southeast Asia in the 1960s, is among one of the most destructive human activities occurring in the area, and in addition to aquarium fish, is also used for the live food fish trade. Estimates have placed the amount of cyanide used in the Philippines as high as 150,000kg per year, although the exact magnitude remains unknown. Currently, there is no easily implemented test to ensure that a fish was not caught with cyanide. Stopping illegal cyanide fishing will be a significant step in helping to improve coral reef health.
Alan Abend - PhD Candidate
Alan is currently the Assistant Dean of the School for the Environment, UMass Boston. He obtained his BS and MS in Wildlife Biology and Conservation from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He also has a Culinary Arts degree from Johnson and Wales University. Alan did his initial PhD work at Texas A&M University Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Science and is continuing his research in the Tlusty lab. Alan’s early research focused on diet analysis of marine fisheries, whales and seals using stable isotope and fatty acid analyses. He is currently looking how to improve the production of farmed seafood to decrease waste and utilize seafood production waste into profitable products.