The following article is adapted from a release published by NC Sea Grant.
Congratulations to Matt Damiano for being one of just ten students to be selected for the national 2020 Fisheries-Sea Grant Joint Fellowship! Earning a fellowship is a competitive process that involves national review by an expert panel. Fellows are guided by at least two mentors, one from the fellow’s university and one from NOAA Fisheries, and they will participate in a yearly research symposium.
Matt’s work will focus on stock assessments and management strategy evaluation tools for common dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus), a highly migratory species in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. His mentors will be Kyle W. Shertzer from the NOAA laboratory in Beaufort and Dr. Jie Cao from NC State’s Department of Applied Ecology.
“This project is going to allow me to expand my skill set in the development and implementation of quantitative methods for fisheries stock assessment and management strategy evaluation,” says Damiano, noting that he anticipates the results could be applied and implemented by U.S. and U.S.-territory fishery management councils and commissions, as well as intergovernmental fisheries management bodies.
Unraveling the stock of species like dolphinfish is complicated since they have both commercial and recreational interests. “It’s important to consider the uncertainty associated with management measures, which are not currently consistent throughout dolphinfish’s range,” Damiano explains.
The Fisheries-Sea Grant Join Fellowship has supported over 100 population and ecosystem dynamics and 35 marine resource economics doctoral fellows since 1990. A 2018 review of the program found that 92% of fellows remain in their field and about 30% work for NOAA as a fisheries scientist. Alumni of this fellowship typically hold future positions in NOAA Fisheries, other agencies, academics and fishery management councils.
Meet all of the fellows here.
Congrats again, Matt!