PI / Graduate Students / Postdocs / Technicians / Alumni

Gavin Fay

Associate Professor
+1 508 910 6363
Personal website
Google Scholar


Quantitative researcher & Lab manager


Ashleigh Novak
Technical associate
Personal website
Google Scholar


Graduate students


Amanda Hart
Ph.D. candidate
Google Scholar

Amanda joined the Fay lab in the fall of 2016. She grew up in New Mexico and attended the University of Miami where she majored in Marine Science and Biology. Her PhD thesis work is centered around developing methods and communication tools for ecosystem-based fisheries Management Strategy Evaluation. In this work, Amanda is using ecosystem models of New England and Mid-Atlantic fisheries that seek to include a broader range of environmental data, fishing fleet dynamics, and species interactions than current stock assessment models.



Lucy McGinnis
M.S. student
Lucy joined the Fay Lab in the summer of 2020. Her M.S. research is focused on improving the use of fishery dependent data in Northeast US fishery stock assessments. Since graduating from Boston University in 2018 she has been expanding on the research from her undergraduate thesis using micro-CT imaging and modeling software to compare the morphology of sympatric sand lance species (genus Ammodytes) in the Gulf of Maine.



Robert Wildermuth
Ph.D. candidate
Google Scholar

Robert’s research interests focus on how to use quantitative tools to make effective management decisions with uncertain and incomplete knowledge. His PhD work is looking at how assumptions about the structure and function of marine social-ecological systems can affect decision-making. He is applying both quantitative and qualitative models in Bayesian statistical frameworks to analyze decision-support tools for managing the social-ecological system on Georges Bank, USA, including objectives of fisheries sustainability and human wellbeing. Robert earned a B.S. in Zoology and Biological Sciences at Colorado State University and a M.S. in Biology at Arizona State. Research topics included demographic effects of California sea lion aggressive behavior, sexually selected traits in the Trinidadian guppy, and oil spill impacts on marine mammal and mollusk populations. (Main collaborator: Dr. Sarah Gaichas, NOAA NEFSC)



Megan Winton
Ph.D. candidate
Google Scholar

Megan’s research interests are centered on the development and application of statistical methods to improve understanding of the spatial ecology and population dynamics of highly migratory marine species. Her Ph.D. research is focused on developing frameworks to integrate electronic tagging data into population assessments for protected or prohibited species, with focus on geostatistical methods applied to loggerhead sea turtles in the Mid-Atlantic, and to white sharks off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Megan earned her M.S. in Marine Science at California State University Monterey Bay’s Moss Landing Marine Laboratory, and received her B.S. in Biology from Emory University. Megan has applied her quantitative analytical skills in positions at several research institutions, including Connamessett Farm Foundation and the NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center. (Main collaborators: Dr. Heather Haas, NOAA NEFSC, Dr. Greg Skomal, Mass DMF)


Postdoctoral researchers


Jonathan Cummings, PhD
Postdoctoral researcher
Personal website

(Main collaborators: Dr. Lisa Kerr, GMRI & Dr. Sarah Gaichas, NOAA NEFSC)



Tammy Silva, PhD
Postdoctoral researcher

(Main collaborators: Dr. David Wiley, NOAA SBNMS)


Lab technicians


Tabitha Breault
lab technician, undergraduate researcher
(Main collaborator: Tammy Silva)




Liberty Schilpp
M.S. 2018
Education Coordinator & Science/Math teacher, Nauset Academy, Brewster MA
Liberty completed her non-thesis M.S. degree in the Fay lab, with research on evaluating factors contributing to variability in size-at-age for Northeast US groundfish, and the implications of size-based time-varying natural mortality in state-space stock assessment models for Gulf of Maine cod. (Main collaborator: Dr. Tim Miller, NOAA NEFSC)



Ashley Weston
M.S. 2018
Quantitative Research Technician, Gulf of Maine Research Institute
Ashley grew up fishing on the Chesapeake Bay. She attained a B.S. double major in Fisheries Conservation and Biological Sciences from Virginia Tech. For her MS thesis, Ashley worked with groundfish stock assessments in the Gulf of Alaska, focusing on developing models that account for the effects of environmental drivers on fisheries resources and discerning robust selection tools for these models. In addition, Ashley investigated subsequent implications of future climate change within these stock assessments on current management policies. (Main collaborator: Dr. Carey McGilliard, NOAA AFSC)



Dr. Vanessa Trijoulet
Visiting Scholar UMassD, Postdoctoral researcher NOAA NEFSC 2016-2018
Stock assessment scientist, Danish Technical University, Denmark
Google Scholar
Vanessa worked in collaboration with NOAA Fisheries (Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Woods Hole) and SMAST on the development of a multispecies state-space fisheries assessment model for the Georges Bank stocks. Vanessa’s research focus is on marine ecosystem modelling, with interests in using modelling to study population-level interactions and improve conservation and management strategies. Vanessa obtained her PhD from the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, UK) where she applied bioeconomic models of grey seal predation impacts on the West of Scotland fisheries. Vanessa has a Master’s degree in oceanography, specialized in marine biology from the Oceanographic Centre of Marseille, and a Bachelor’s degree in Sciences and technique specialized in life sciences and marine biology from the University of La Rochelle. (Main collaborators: Dr. Kiersten Curti & Dr. Tim Miller, NOAA NEFSC)



Sofia Gabriel
lab technician 2019
PhD student, University of Tasmania
(Main collaborator: Megan Winton, Atlantic White Shark Conservancy)



Samantha Weiss
lab technician 2019-2020
(Main collaborator: Megan Winton, Atlantic White Shark Conservancy)