Alan Friedlander • Mary Donovan • Kosta Stamoulis • Eva Schemmel • Hal Koike
Paolo Usseglio • Jonatha Giddens • Whitney Goodell • Alex Filous
Kaylyn McCoy • Keith Kamikawa • Ron Vave • Patrick Curry 
Lauren Matthews • Erica Donlan

Alan Friedlander – Principal Invesigator


For more than 30 years Alan Friedlander has been examining population regulation in marine ecosystems with particular emphasis on responses to exploitation, marine protected area effectiveness, as well as traditional and contemporary fisheries management practices. Alan is currently Chief Scientist for National Geographic’s Pristine Seas project whose goal is to locate, survey, and help protect the last wild places in the ocean. He started his career in the early 1980s as a fisheries extension officer in the Kingdom of Tonga and then worked for Territorial Fish and Wildlife and the National Park Service in the US Virgin Islands where he conducted research on coral reefs throughout the Caribbean. Alan received his Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the University of Hawaii and was a National Research Council Postdoctoral Associate with the Pacific Fisheries Environmental Lab in Monterey California. He was previously the leader of the Hawaii Cooperative Fisheries Research Unit and Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Hawaii where he is currently the Director of the Fisheries Ecology Research Lab. The mission of the lab is to help identify and address major issues in marine conservation to inform wise ecosystem-based management throughout Hawaii and the broader Pacific region. Our interdisciplinary approach uses cutting-edge technologies and analytical tools to better understand biophysical and anthropogenic processes that influence marine ecosystem dynamics. Alan has published more than 100 scientific papers and has spent more than 8,000 hours underwater from coral reefs to the arctic and to depths of thousands of feet. As Chief Scientist for Pristine Seas, Alan’s goal is to conduct research to help understand what the ocean was like before heavy human impacts, to understand what we have lost in other places because of human impacts, and most importantly, to set proper conservation and management goals for our oceans.


Mary Donovan – PhD beginning 2013, MS 2009 – 2012


Dissertation: Critical thresholds in marine systems: Gaining insight from natural and anthropogenic drivers of tipping-points on coral reefs

Mary received her undergraduate degree in Biology from UC Santa Barbara where she studied under Dr. Robert Warner and worked as an underwater technician for the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans conducting kelp forest monitoring in the Channel Islands. After graduating, Mary moved to Honolulu to work for NOAA’s Coral Reef Ecosystem Division’s oceanography and fish teams monitoring U.S. Pacific Coral Reefs. In 2009, Mary joined the Friedlander lab as a MS student studying life history variation of coral reef fishes and received her degree in 2012. After finishing her MS, Mary worked in the lab as a researcher on multiple projects including leading a meta-analysis of reef fish survey data in the Hawaiian Archipelago and serving as the lead analyst for IUCN’s Global Coral Reef Monitoring Program under the supervision of Dr. Jeremy Jackson. In 2013, Mary re-enrolled in the PhD program and will continue to work on compiling large datasets to address questions about ecological thresholds on coral reefs in the Caribbean and Pacific.


Kostantinos (Kosta) Stamoulis – Researcher beginning 2012, MS 2009 – 2012


Thesis: A seascape approach to investigating fish spillover across a marine protected area boundary in Hawaii

Kosta Stamoulis earned his Bachelors in Marine Science from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. After graduation he worked for the State of Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources as a reef monitoring technician and GIS specialist. Following his interests in coral reef and spatial ecology, he later moved to Oahu to pursue a MS and began working in the Friedlander lab. He earned his degree in Geography at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 2012 and has since been working in the lab on a variety of projects as a full time research associate. His research focus is seascape ecology and marine protected areas with applications for marine spatial planning and resource management.


Eva Schemmel – PhD beginning 2010


Dissertation: Spatial and temporal consideration and reproductive characteristics, spawning seasons, and lunar periodicity in Hawaiian reef fishes with applications for community based fisheries management

Eva grew up in the Pacific Northwest and has had a passion for the ocean and conservation since a young age. Her academic interest in biology and fisheries management began with her high school honors project and continued during her undergraduate degree in Marine Biology from Hawaii Pacific University where she conducted an honors project in mariculture working with the Oceanic Institute. Eva earned a MS degree from Oregon State University where she studied the interactions between hatchery and wild steelhead and mitigating these interactions while supporting the recreational fishery. Currently, she is a PhD student in the Friedlander lab, focusing on reproductive fish biology and tropical reef fisheries management. She works with Hawaiian communities to develop fisheries monitoring programs whose aim is to develop local management strategies.


Haruko (Hal) Koiki – PhD beginning 2010


Dissertation: Sea cucumber fisheries analysis and stock assessment in Seychelles

Haruko (Hal) Koike earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Zoology program at Oklahoma State University and in 2010, joined the Friedlander lab to pursue her doctorate. Her research focus is fishery stock assessment models with spatial ecology to support ecosystem based fishery management. Another research interest is comparing management scenarios by creating bio-economic models that includes multiple aspects of marine resources (such as tourism, fishery, and cultural use) through social surveys.


Paolo Usseglio – PhD beginning 2010


Dissertation: Dynamics of the Bacalo (Myctoperca olfax) fishery in the Galapagos Archipelago

Paolo earned his bachelor’s degree from Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica and his master’s degree from the University of Windsor where he worked with Dr. Peter Sale on questions related to population connectivity and marine protected areas. He joined the Friedlander lab in 2010 to pursue his doctorate degree and is studying the Bacalo fishery in the Galapagos by conducting life history, movement, and population estimates. Paolo is also involved in several other projects in the lab and in collaboration with NGOs in the Caribbean where he now lives and works.


Jonatha Giddens – PhD beginning 2012


Dissertation: Predatory fish invasions and reef fish management dynamics in Hawaii

Jonatha moved to Hawaii in 2002 to pursue her passion for researching and exploring Hawaii’s waters. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Marine Science and Anthropology in 2010 followed by a MS in Conservation Biology from UH Hilo. Jonatha’s master’s and PhD studies are focused on the ecological effects of the introduced top predatory grouper roi (Cephalopholis argus) on Hawaiian reef fish assemblages. The main objectives of her research are to 1) involve fishers in a study that tests the effects of roi on reef fish associations in West Hawai‘i and 2) evaluate management options to restore potentially impacted ecosystems. Her long-term career goal is to link coral reef fish ecology, traditional ecological knowledge, and fisheries management in tropical marine ecosystems. Jonatha’s overarching question is: What are the ecological factors and the underlying social-system structural traits associated with effective community-based reef fish management? The outcome of developing this knowledge will be to provide the information necessary for appropriately managing the effects of an expanding human population on our near-shore resources and adapting to our changing environment in a sustainable trajectory towards coral reef ecosystem health and human well-being.


Whitney Goodell – MS beginning 2012

Thesis: Reef fish nursery habitat and benthic habitat mapping for community-based fisheries management in Hā’ena, Kaua’i

Originally from Concord, CA, Whitney attended Oregon State University earning her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. She began her research career in terrestrial ecology, but after experiencing the coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific, happily found her way to the world of marine ecology. In 2012, Whitney moved to Honolulu to begin a MS degree in the first cohort of the Marine Biology Graduate Program at UH Manoa. Her research interests lie in marine ecosystem function and how reef fish assemblages and ecological dynamics are impacted by anthropogenic changes. Her thesis research is an investigation of reef fish nursery habitat and the links between benthic habitat and juvenile fish abundance. This work will be used to inform community-based resource management efforts in the study area of Ha’ena, Kauai. Whitney’s career aspiration is to directly apply her work towards ecosystem conservation and management by continuing to research and explore how natural ecosystem processes can most effectively be conserved.


Alex Filous – MS beginning 2012


Thesis: Movements of predatory fishes around Molokini Marine Life Conservation District

Alex Filous is a MS student, joining the lab in 2012. After graduating from the University of Idaho with a B.S. degree in fisheries resources he spent 4 years working in either fisheries research or as a fishing guide throughout the Pacific. Currently his research interests include the study of the fisheries of the tropical Pacific with a focus on recreationally important species and their fisheries across the Pacific islands, including apex predators and bonefishes. The subject of his thesis research includes an investigation of the movement patterns of apex predators in the Molokini Crater Marine Life Conservation District Maui, HI using acoustic telemetry. The objectives of this research are to describe the movements of giant trevally, bluefin trevally and white tip reef sharks, and with a combination of telemetry and human use data, determine if the movements of these predators are correlated with the intensity of human activities in Molokini crater. After the completion of his graduate education, he hopes to find a job where he can produce science that can help guide the development of sustainable fisheries in the Indo-Pacific and encourage the engagement of fishermen in the scientific process.


Kaylyn McCoy – MS beginning 2013


Thesis: Quantifying total catch of Hawaii’s nearshore fisheries

Kaylyn received a BS in Zoology from North Carolina State University, and moved to Hawaii to work with the Aquatic Invasive Species Team at the Division of Aquatic Resources. After 4 years of working on management of invasive algae in the Main Hawaiian Islands, she joined the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Ecosystem Division where she was part of a team monitoring coral reef fishes in the US Pacific. After surveying reef fish populations around 41 different islands and atolls in the Pacific and talking to many fishermen, she decided to pursue an advanced degree with a focus on sustainable fisheries. Kaylyn joined the Friedlander lab in fall 2013 in the Zoology masters program and will be working on developing a rigorous quantitative estimate of near shore recreational fisheries catch in the Main Hawaiian Islands.


Keith Kamikawa – MS beginning 2013, technician 2012-2013


Thesis: Temporal and spatial dynamics of oama (juvenile M. vanicolensis and M. flavolineatus) recruitment around Oahu

Keith grew up on Oahu and fishing has always been part of his life. He received a bachelor’s degree from the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle in 2012 and moved back to Hawaii to pursue his passion for Hawaii’s ocean and fishes. He joined the Friedlander lab in 2012 as a technician working on various projects and eventually transitioning into the project coordinator for the ‘Ō‘io Tagging Project. Keith began as a MS student in the Marine Biology graduate program in fall 2013.


Ron VaveRon Vave – PhD beginning 2014

Dissertation: Social-ecological resilience of community based natural resource management systems in Fiji to climate change

Ron earned three degrees from the University of the South Pacific in Fiji between 1999 and 2005; BSc in Biochemistry, Postgraduate Diploma in Marine science and a Masters in Marine science. The masters was on “Coral recruitment during a post-bleaching recovery period”. From 2000 till July 2014, he was working with the Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA) Network, through the University of the South Pacific, in seven countries. And by the Fall of 2014, he joined the Friedlander lab to pursue his doctorate with an interest in cultural protected areas in Fiji. The intent is to assess the social and ecological benefits of short term, marine protected areas in Fiji that are established following the death of a chief.


Patrick Curry – Technician beginning 2014

Vaya con dios 048

Patrick is a research technician joining the lab in the beginning of 2014 after volunteering to help with various projects over the course of about six months. In December of 2012 he completed a master’s degree in Zoology at UH Manoa, assessing the potential impacts of an invasive snail species (Oxychilus alliarius) in the Hawaiian Islands and creating a habitat suitability model for O. alliarius that was applied to tropical and subtropical islands around the world. Prior to his master’s, he completed a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences with a minor in Entomology at UC Riverside (2008), and subsequently worked in California date orchards conducting integrated pest management for the Carob moth (Ectomyelois ceratoniae) and the Banks grass mite (Oligonychus pratensis). His interests are based in studying and applying various research techniques which has allowed him to comfortably work with a variety of organisms including date palms, insects, snails, and now marine fishes.


Lauren Matthews – Undergraduate beginning 2014


Lauren Matthews is a University of Hawaii at Manoa undergraduate who is pursuing a degree in Global Environmental Science and a certificate through the Marine Option Program. Previously, she worked as an aquarist assistant and marine outreach volunteer at The Natural History Museum of Santa Barbara’s Ty Warner Sea Center while attending Santa Barbara City College. She joined the lab in 2014 to assist in the Moon Calendar project and is doing her thesis on lunar differences in fecundity of Hawaiian reef fishes.


EricaDonlanErica Donlon – Undergraduate beginning 2013

Erica Donlon is a University of Hawaii at Manoa undergraduate who is pursuing a degree in Marine Biology and a certificate through the Marine Option Program. In the summer of 2013, she went on her first research cruise with CMORE on the RV Kilo Moana. She joined the lab shortly after to assist in marine benthic surveys using CPCe. She hopes to graduate in two years and go to grad school to study something marine related, but is unsure of what quite yet.


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