Joshua Stoll, Assistant Professor
I am privileged to work with a talented team of students, researchers, and collaborators. Our team focuses on the human dimensions of marine systems and how social-ecological dynamics shape and are shaped by formal and informal institutions. In pursing this work, we aim to engage in issues that are directly relevant to coastal communities and policymakers in Maine and beyond, while also advancing general knowledge about the concepts of resilience, adaptation, and transformation. As the team lead (and our glorified cheerleader), I have sought to position myself to engage in this area of work by actively participating in fisheries: I have spent multiple seasons as a sternman hauling lobster traps off the coast of Maine; worked at a federal salmon hatchery on the Columbia River; served as a policy analyst in NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Policy; and run a small oyster farm. I am also actively engaged in building the Local Catch Network, which is an international network of fishing communities engaged in work to strengthen local and regional seafood systems. These types of direct engagement help to inform my research and are conversely informed by my research in an ongoing and iterative process.
Caroline Ferguson, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Hillary Smith, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Sahir Advani, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
I am a marine social scientist with an interest in small-scale fisheries, seafood value chains, and their contributions to coastal livelihoods and food security. As a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Stoll lab, I will be co-leading an assessment of local and direct seafood marketing in the USA. With experience working at Skipper Otto’s Community Supported Fishery and a passion for sustainable and equitable seafood, I look forward to engaging in research with practical benefits for coastal communities and local food systems. I have experience conducting research on industry and scientific perceptions of oyster mass mortalities on the Canadian west coast, the values of multi-cultural small-scale fishing communities in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India, and marine protected area effectiveness in Egypt. I am also an Adjunct Junior Fellow at Dakshin Foundation, an Indian marine conservation non-profit, and continue to engage in equitable and community-based marine conservation in the Global South.
Theresa Burnham, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Inspired by my training as an ecologist and a deep respect for the unique cultures supported by marine fisheries, my current research aims to describe the socioeconomic impact of Maine’s lobster fishery on fishermen and coastal communities. The collaborative American Lobster Fishery Social Indicators Project I co-lead with Josh Stoll is combining local knowledge and spatially explicit economic data to identify meaningful indicators of resilience in the fishery. Beyond this particular project, I am committed to contributing to an inclusive and open academic community that celebrates participation from all. In my free time, I like to make ice cream with ingredients from my garden and spend time on the beach with my family.
Tolulope Oyikeke, PhD Student
With a great passion for marine science, I earned my bachelor’s degree in Marine Science and Technology from FUTA, Nigeria and my master’s degree in Climate Change and Marine Sciences from UTA, Cabo Verde, under the framework of WASCAL and sponsorship from BMBF, Germany. My graduate research so far has focused on the behavior of marine animals in a changing climate with research groups in GEOMAR, UniPorto and Universitas Diponegoro. Currently, I am conducting regional assessments of seafood self-reliance to determine the extent to which regions in the US meet current seafood consumption. This project interests me because of the interdisciplinarity and opportunity to explore the socioecological dynamics of seafood systems and marine policies that could bring change.
Joelle Kilchenmann, PhD Student
A graduate of Northeastern University and the Three Seas Program, I am now a first year student pursuing a PhD in Ecology and Environmental Science, working to develop research questions at the intersection of environmental sustainability and the wellbeing of coastal communities. As climate change exacerbates existing inequities in resource-dependent communities, I aim to conduct research that prioritizes the perspectives of fishermen and highlights the sociocultural value commercial fishing provides to the state of Maine. When I’m not supporting the fishing industry by snacking on lobster rolls, you can find me in the woods, probably in a hammock – with a book.
Melissa Rhodes-Reese, PhD Student
My research examines how management practices influence fishing participation while developing methods to bridge data gaps to inform equitable policy decisions. I plan to use my experience to contribute to the development of social and well-being indicators for individuals as well as fishery dependent communities by integrating economic, health and demographic data to improve the representation of human dimensions in Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management. I am looking forward to applying what I have learned in nearly a decade and a half of living, studying and working in Southeast Alaska while learning about new systems as a PhD student in the Stoll Lab.
Krissa Davis, Graduate Student
I am a graduate of the University of Alaska Southeast Fisheries Technology Program. I started a career in the seafood processing industry in Alaska in 2013 and worked in positions including Quality Assurance and Fleet Management. I completed my undergraduate degree of Marine Science at the University of Maine in 2021. I’m returning to the lab as a graduate student in the School of Marine Policy. During my Assistantship I will be working collaboratively with Maine Sea Grant and the Wabanaki Tribal Nations to address tribal needs in Marine Policy. I’m passionate about creating localized food systems that support food sovereignty, equitable access to resources, and educational programs for youth interested in working in fisheries. Gunalchéesh (thank you) to the People of the Dawnland for the opportunity to work on Wabanaki land.
Alessandra Moulton, Graduate Student
I received a BA in environmental science from Colby College, where I studied gender access in Maine fisheries and aquaculture. After receiving my BA, I worked in food systems for two years at an oyster farm, mushroom farm, and soup kitchen. At UMaine, I study food sovereignty, sustainable food systems, and social justice within the U.S. seafood sector. I am interested in how we can transform our food system to create a nexus between environmental and societal health and personal well-being.
Abbey Conley, Administrative Associate (CL3)
Turning a childhood dream into an accomplished career, I have been a Licensed Veterinary Technologist at New England Aquarium, Shedd Aquarium, Smithsonian National Zoo and Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. Working with Zebras to Zebra sharks, I had to adapt after a back injury stopped my physical lifting days. I have since managed a Spay and Neuter Clinic, a professional Fish Veterinary Membership Organization and now I am happy to provide administrative support for all the wonderfully smart and ambitious members of the Social Oceans Laboratory. Located outside Richmond, VA, I have a small flock of pet sheep and their guard llama, Emilio, along with many other animals.
Former Lab Members
Jordan Richardson : Local Catch Network Coordinator
Sarah Risley: Dual Masters in Marine Policy and Marine Biology
Marina Cucuzza: Dual Masters in Marine Policy and Marine Biology
Bryce Risley: Dual Masters in Marine Policy and Marine Biology
Melissa Britsch: Dual Masters in Marine Policy and Marine Biology
Josephine Roussell: Research Associate
Colin Eimers: Professional Science Masters
Jaelee Vanidestine: Professional Science Masters
Ellie Oldach: Research Fellow
Emily Farr: Research Fellow
Taylor Witkin: Research Associate