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Steering Committee

Andrea Bogomolni obtained her Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut in the Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science. She is currently a postdoctoral investigator at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Her current research addresses seal/fishery interactions, pathogens in marine mammals and how environmental stressors may affect health. In her research, seals continuously have been found to be the ideal representative sentinel species for monitoring ocean and human health. In addition to disease related research, she is also involved in spearheading seal monitoring, counts and individual photo identification in seals in southern Maine/Northern New Hampshire and is dedicated to increasing communication and collaborations to address and answer questions involving seals in the northeast U.S.

Anna L. Bass Ph.D., is a Research Associate in the Biology Department at the University of New England. She previously was an Assistant Research Professor in the Marine Science Center at the University of New England and served as the Science Advisor for the Marine Animal Rehabilitation and Conservation program at UNE. Anna trained as a zoologist and has interests in molecular ecology and evolution, disease ecology, and systematics. Recently she has explored the application of molecular techniques to questions regarding health of individual organisms and coastal systems.

Greg Early has worked with marine mammal rescue, rehabilitation research and husbandry programs for over twenty five years and has organized meetings and conferences about pinniped/human interactions on the east and west coasts.

Keith Matassa is the Executive Director of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach, CA. His research interests are multifaceted, but center around new and emerging diseases that affect marine animals and humans including transmission of these diseases, immunology systems of marine mammals and antibiotic resistance. He is also involved in research into the disposal of marine mammals by composting and studies the breakdown of persistent and non-persistent contaminants and pharmaceuticals in the compost pile.

Owen C. Nichols is the Director of the Marine Fisheries Research program at the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Massachusetts. His primary research interests include fisheries oceanography, distributional ecology, and marine mammal/fishery interactions. Key elements of his work are direct involvement of fishermen in all aspects of research projects, and the application and deployment of advanced sensing and imaging technology.

Kristen Patchett is the Stranding Coordinator for the Marine Mammal Rescue and Research Team of the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Previously, Kristen was the program manager at the Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine. She has worked with a variety of marine mammal and sea turtle species in both field and rehabilitation settings. She also coordinates volunteers, trains and manages staff as well as conducts lectures and outreach.  

Christopher Reeves is a science and environmental journalist based in New England. His writing explores society’s interdependent relationship with nature and the research behind it. Chris draws upon extensive experience in both marine ecology and environmental education to deliver unique perspectives on the sometimes difficult, sometimes funny ways that we are connected with our world, especially with the ocean. Chris earned a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an M.A. in Science Writing from Johns Hopkins University. He spends as much time as possible in, on, and around the ocean, sailing, swimming, diving, teaching, hiking, and in boats. In his free time, Chris gives public talks and workshops about plastic pollution, marine science, and science communication. He is an Odd Salon Fellow and serves as the Media/Outreach Chair for NASRC.

Lisa Sette is part of the Marine Animal Entanglement Response Team at the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (PCCS). She is also working on a seal project with PCCS investigating the movements and site fidelity of gray seals as well as the occurrence of entanglement using photo-identification. Currently, she is monitoring several haul-out locations around the Cape and Islands.

Stephanie Wood has worked on several pinniped studies in the northeast U.S. including seal captures and tagging, aerial survey work and food habits studies. She received a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her dissertation research focused on the recovering gray seal population in the northeast U.S. She is currently a contract biologist for the Northeast Fisheries Science Center.

Rob DiGiovanni is the founder and Chief Scientist for the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society. He has responded to over 4,600 strandings and directed his team in various rescue and rehabilitation techniques, including the disentanglement of Leatherback sea turtles, animal transport, and post-rescue animal care. Rob lectures at both universities and community events about his first-hand experience with marine mammals and sea turtles.  

Last updated: April 2, 2018