9/2002 to 7/2005        University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, England

Ph.D.                           Major: Natural resource and environmental management

Dissertation: Performance Indicators of Marine Protected Area Management: A Case Study on Stakeholder Perspectives in the Egadi Islands Marine Reserve (Sicily, Italy)


8/2000 to 5/2002       Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

M.E.M.                        Major: Coastal Environmental Management

Thesis:  Small-scale Sicilian artisanal fisheries: Opinions of artisanal fishermen and socio-cultural effects of marine protected areas


9/1995 to 5/1999       University of San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA

B.A.                             Major: Marine Science, Minor: Environmental Science



Fishery Officer - Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN

November 2017 to present, Rome, Italy

  • Participate in cross-departmental committees and efforts to coordinate organizational work on tenure, area-based management and biodiversity mainstreaming in support of fisheries management decisions
  • Respond to FAO member country requests for technical and policy assistance, provide technical advice, assistance and solutions to FAO country offices and provide technical backstopping to field projects
  • Collaborate and participate in capacity building and knowledge sharing with FAO member countries
  • Coordinate and cooperate with relevant partner organizations on issues of common interest and joint activities, including partnerships towards meeting Aichi Biodiversity Targets 6 and 11, Sustainable Ocean Initiative, Sustainable Development Goals)
  • NFI focal point for the FAO Internship and Volunteer Programme

Fisheries management

  • Analyzing the social and economic impacts of fisheries management measures
  • Key task leader in the NFI fisheries tenure team, including organization of regional workshops to develop a handbook on how to coordinate the implementation of the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT) and chapter 5 of the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on Securing Small-Scale Fisheries (SSF Guidelines)
  • Supporting the FAO Global Work Programme on Fisheries Tenure through the design and facilitation of regional workshops with the aim of providing capacity building materials that improve the update of the VGGT and SSF Guidelines
  • Coordinating with the FAO land tenure group on operationalizing the VGGT
  • Designed and implemented a questionnaire to collect information for case studies on rights-based approaches in fisheries management
  • Member of the conference organizing committee for User Rights and Tenure in Fisheries 2018 conference in Yeosu, Korea, developed content and design for conference website, co-organized conference program

Area-based management

  • Marine spatial planning and marine protected area focal point for NFI
  • Leading divisional work on identifying, monitoring and evaluation of spatial management measures for meeting commitments to the Convention on Biological Diversity; including organizational responsibility for an expert workshop and resulting development of guidance for FAO member countries to interpret the CBD Decision on other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) for the fisheries sector
  • Developed and implementing work program for linking fisheries and area-based management with a focus on developing guidelines and best practices for meeting Aichi Target 11 commitments through effective area-based management outside of strict marine protected areas
  • Providing technical assistance to countries and Regional Fisheries Management Organizations in the development and monitoring of spatial management measures and measures to protect vulnerable species, habitats and ecosystems that co-exist with the fisheries sector

Small-scale fisheries

  • Developing a monitoring and evaluation framework for the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on Securing Small-Scale Fisheries
  • Facilitating cross-functional coordination and goal completion between the FAO Small-scale fisheries technical network and the NFI Fisheries Tenure Team

Social and economic indicators

  • Co-chair of ICES working group on social indicators in fisheries (WGSOCIAL)
  • Developing a common set of indicators for evaluating social sustainability in fisheries management
  • Co-PI of the Future Seas project, with a focus on leading a social and economic analytical team to develop socio-economic input to management strategy evaluations, including the development of social and economic performance indicators and input into a bootstrap economic model to predict changes in economic efficiency of fisheries in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem

Climate change

  • Research focused on climate change impacts on fisheries and aquaculture, tenure, spatial planning, and small-scale fisheries
  • Developed a climate change adaptation toolbox to assist FAO member nations with adapting their fisheries and aquaculture to climate change


  • Member of local organizing committee and session lead for the 2019 FAO International Symposium on Fisheries Sustainability


Socio-Economic Technical Consultant

FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Division (June 2017 – November 2017)

  • Drafting a climate change adaptation strategies toolkit and supporting information for a chapter in the updated version of FAO Technical Paper 530 Climate Change Implications for Fisheries and Aquaculture

Marine Stewardship Council (February – November 2017)

  • Drafted a questionnaire aimed at collecting information on the socio-economic effects of MSC certification on the fishery clients who originally applied for certification and their supply chain
  • Drafted a protocol for implementing the socio-economic effects survey
  • Conducting a pilot of the questionnaire implementation in summer 2017, analyze the questionnaire results and produce a report describing the pilot results, lessons learned from implementation and recommendations for implementing the questionnaire across all certified and pre-assessment MSC fisheries

NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) (October 2016 – September 2017)

  • Analyzing the potential effects of climate change on the U.S. west coast swordfish fisheries and the fishing communities dependent on those fisheries using fishery dependent and independent data
  • Developing fishing community well-being indices for the U.S. west coast swordfish fisheries

NOAA Fisheries, Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) (April – September 2017)

  • Researching and drafting text for a best practices guide for fisheries social impact assessment

NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) (January – September 2016)

  • Provided social science support to the drafting and finalization of the Alaska Regional Action Plan for implementing the NMFS Climate Science Strategy
  • Developed a toolkit to provide background and guidance for using the NMFS Community Fishing Engagement Indices and Community Social Vulnerability Indices
  • Co-developed and drafted a NMFS report on the human dimensions of U.S. catch share programs, including the development and presentation of community-level catch share performance indices
  • Conducted textual content analysis of interviews with participants in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands crab fisheries and drafted text for the 10-year review of the associated catch share program
  • Conducted a social network analysis and textual content analysis of semi-structured interview data to explore linkages between community fisheries challenges and the presence of social networks
  • Completed a groundtruthing exercise to qualitatively test the validity of the NMFS Community Fishing Engagement Indices and Community Social Vulnerability Indices


Social Science Researcher - Universite de Bretagne Occidentale, AMURE/LABEX/IUEM 

January 2016 - November 2017, Brest, France

  • Conducted ecosystem services research on socio-economic and cultural ecosystem services provided by the oceans and coastal ecosystems.
  • Provided advice and on-site research support for the socio-economic valuation of mangrove, seagrass and salt marsh ecosystem services at partner sites in Madagascar, Mozambique, Ecuador and Indonesia for the Global Environment Facility Blue Forests Project
  • Worked with an interdisciplenary research team as part of the H2020 research project "ECOPOTENTIAL" to devlop conceptual and analytical models and analysis that assess and monitor the provision of ecosystem services in the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas using Earth Observation, remote sensing and in situ socio-economic data. Current focus is on the provision of ecosystem sevices (e.g., whale watching tourism, shipping) provided by cetaceans in the Pelagos Marine Sanctuary off the coast of France, Monoco and Italy.
  • Active member of the ICES Working Group on Resilience and Marine Ecosystem Services


Affiliate Professor - University of Washington School of Marine and Environmental Affairs

May 2012 to Present, Seattle, WA

  • Advising Master's and Ph.D. students on their research projects. 
  • Serve on thesis and dissertation committees
  • Mentored student capstone projects


Social ScientistNOAA - Alaska Fisheries Science Center

November 2009 to December 2015 (6 years 2 months) Seattle, WA

  • Lead scientist for conceptualizing and executing non-economic social science research and data collection for NOAA in Alaska.
  • PI and co-PI on numerous research projects.
  • Supervise a team of 2 to 5 research assistants and graduate students at a time.
  • Responsible for writing grant proposals and managing project budgets, timelines and grant reporting requirements. Between 2010 and 2015 received over $1.9 million in research funds.

Notable accomplishments

  • Developed community well-being indices that incorporate social, fisheries and environmental variability data for analyzing of the effects of changes in social structure and fisheries resource availability associated with fisheries management changes or other large scale environmental changes (e.g., climate change) on fisheries-dependent communities, and monitoring the sustainability and well-being of fishing communities over time.
  • Development of online non-technical visualizations and documentation of the social characteristics and levels of fisheries dependence of communities across Alaska
  • Core team member for development of the NMFS Climate Science Strategy
  • Lead chapter author for the 2013 National Climate Assessment)
  • Co-lead of a NCEAS working group (2016-2017) aimed at understanding the long term biological, oceanographic and socio-economic effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill on the Gulf of Alaska social-ecological system and how that knowledge can be used to improve predictions of future response to natural and anthropogenic changes.


Fish and Wildlife Biologist  - US Fish and Wildlife Service

February 2006 to November 2009 (3 years 10 months) Carlsbad, CA

  • Major activities included developing, assessing, reviewing, or providing recommendations on habitat conservation plans, restoration and revegetation projects, and research studies for fish and wildlife species and their habitat.
  • Coordinated with partner agencies, non-governmental organizations, and stakeholders, and represent the FWS at meetings for controversial, multi-agency large-scale or regional projects.
  • Regularly negotiated with persons or agencies with differing interests and points-of-view.
    Evaluate and analyze projects concerning the ESA, FWCA, NEPA, CEQA, NCCPA, CWA, MBTA, and other State and Federal laws, guidelines, policies, and administrative regulations.
  • Develop recommendations for avoidance and minimization measures for project impacts for resource protection, mitigation, and enhancement of habitats and ecosystems upon which numerous listed, proposed, and candidate species and species of special concern depend


Marine Section Board - Society for Conservation Biology

2006 to 2009 (3 years)

  • Participated in strategic planning for the Marine Section of SCB
  • Sat on the steering committee and chaired the Communications committee for the first International Marine Conservation Congress in Washington D.C. in 2009 and second Congress in Victoria, B.C. in 2011
  • Managed the Marine Section website content


Research Associate - University of Portsmouth - Centre for the Economics and Management of Aquatic Resources

January 2005 to July 2005 (7 months) Portsmouth, United Kingdom

  • Independently performed field research on environmental impacts of dredging on local fishing communities and tourism; analyzed data and wrote reports; designed maps; and, managed and designed biological databases.


Project coordinator and lead researcher - Istituto di ricerca sulle Risorse Marine e l‚ÄôAmbiente

October 2002 to June 2005 (2 years 9 months) Palermo Area, Italy

  • Designed and implemented two focus groups and three survey instruments to determine fisher opinions of three marine protected areas in northwestern Sicily.
  • Developed methods for research: questionnaires, unstructured interviews, focus groups, the analytical hierarchy process, and institutional analysis (methods were used with fishers, residents, tourists, managers, researchers).
  • Supervised and trained three surveyors to conduct interviews.
  • Coordinated with local communities and cultural groups living near and within a large Mediterranean marine protected area.
  • Analyzed efficiency of protected area interpretation techniques in educating a variety of community groups.
  • Analyzed survey data and developed recommendations to increase management efficiency and success in established marine protected areas.


Marine Protected Area Consultant and Policy Director - Orca Relief Citizens Alliance

May 2002 to June 2005 (3 years 2 months) Friday Harbor, WA

  • Provided social scientific support and expert advice in the design of marine protected area proposal to protect orca whales in Washington State and how to involve relevant stakeholder groups (e.g. NGOs, fishers, whale watch companies, residents) in the creation of the proposal.
  • Designed and implemented surveys on the effect of fishing vessels on the prey of Orca whales.
  • Designed and maintained organization's website.
  • Coordinated volunteer recruitment for field activities.
  • Assisted with volunteer supervision during 2002 summer field season for Orca whale movement monitoring.