Robert Wildermuth, PhD candidate at UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology (SMAST), has been awarded a 2018 NOAA Fisheries Sea Grant Population and Ecosystem Dynamics Fellowship.
According to the press release, the highly competitive “program is focused on workforce development in an effort to train highly qualified professionals in areas of critical need for NOAA’s science-based approach to fisheries management.”
“My project ‘Performance evaluation of qualitative and Bayesian network social-ecological models for use in Integrated Ecosystem Assessment,’ aims to provide ecosystem assessment models as tools to support marine resource management decisions,” said Wildermuth. Wildermuth’s project also focuses directly on the National Sea Grant Office and National Marine Fisheries Service priorities of integrated ecosystem assessment and marine ecosystem-based management, which support NOAA’s Healthy Oceans goal: marine fisheries, habitats, biodiversity sustained with healthy and productive ecosystems.
The total amount awarded for the two-year fellowship is $67,539. Wildermuth’s dissertation research for the fellowship involves collaborators in the Ecosystem Dynamics and Assessment Branch of NOAA Fisheries’ Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) as well as working-group participants in the ICES Working Group on the Northwest Atlantic Regional Sea.
He is working closely with his NOAA mentor Dr. Sarah Gaichas of the NEFSC, and his graduate advisor Dr. Gavin Fay, assistant professor of fisheries oceanography at SMAST. “These fellowships are among the most prestigious national awards for PhD students conducting quantitative research in fisheries and marine ecosystem-based management,” said Fay.
Wildermuth joins current Fellow Megan Winton (2017 recipient), Benjamin Galuardi (2011), & Dan Goethel (2010), as SMAST students who have received these fellowships.