For over 15 years my livelihood has been based on the ocean. As a dive instructor, scientist, and commercial fisherman, I’ve developed a deep and complex relationship with marine life. I see the ocean as an awe-inspiring bioenergetic system, as a wilderness I hope to preserve for future generations, and as a resource – a means from which I and many others support our families. While these worldviews could appear to contradict each other, they in fact share the same long-term goal: a robust, sustainable ecosystem. My career aims to advance this common goal, using cooperative research and education to guide science-based use and conservation of marine and coastal environments.
Broadly, I’m interested in applied research that guides natural resource management. As a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Florida, my current focus areas include the bioeconomics of commercialized invasive species harvest and the developing lionfish fishery; innovative fisheries gear, including deepwater lionfish traps and self-releasing fish hooks; management strategies to reduce discard mortality in recreational fisheries; and, applying ecosystem models to value coastal reef restoration and forecast the effects of land-use and climate changes to estuarine communities.
Learn about the Lionfish testing of traps that Dr Holden Harris is doing.