Feature Stories 2019: PhD candidate recognized for research

PhD candidate Owen Nichols (photo courtesy O. Nichols)
Feature Stories 2019: PhD candidate recognized for research
PhD candidate recognized for research

Owen Nichols, who is pursuing his PhD in marine science at SMAST, received the "Best Student Oral Presentation" Award presented during the Cephalopod International Advisory Council 2018 Conference.

SMAST PhD candidate Owen Nichols was awarded "Best Student Oral Presentation" Award during the Cephalopod International Advisory Council 2018 conference for his research “Offshore influences on inshore squid: linkages between water mass dynamics and Doryteuthispealeii distribution.” “Essentially we're trying to untangle the effects of environmental factors on squid distribution (when and where they go) and abundance (how many there are) at multiple scales in space and time,” said Nichols, who is collaborating with Professor Emeritus Jim Bisagni on the project.

Over the course of his career as a marine scientist, Nichols has earned various awards. In 2016, he became the second honorary recipient of the John Annala Fishery Leadership Award, which was established by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute to recognize the contributions that the GMRI’s first Chief Scientific Officer, John Annala, made to GMRI and to the fisheries science and management community in the northeast.

Additionally, his research on "Environmental effects on squid availability to a seasonal inshore fishery: Untangling drivers, mechanisms, and scales" earned him an award for Best Oral Presentation by a PhD student during the 8th annual Intercampus Marine Science Symposium.

Nichol's research interests include distributional ecology, fisheries oceanography, marine mammal/fishery interactions, and ecosystem-based fishery management. He earned his BA in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island and his MS from UMass Dartmouth under the guidance of Steven Cadrin, Professor and Department Chair of Fisheries Oceanography.