Look below to see past mentees and where they are now!

Aaron Macy

AAA Aaron

Aaron was one of Rob’s first assistants back in 2013 in Shark Bay, which was formative in confirming his interest in marine science.  He is currently completing his PhD in Biology at Dauphin Island Sea Lab under Dr. Just Cebrian looking at how ecosystem services of coastal habitats change under climate change.  He wishes to pursue a career in sustainable land management.

Jack Olson

AAA Olson

Jack was one of Rob’s first assistants back in 2013 in Shark Bay.  After completing a Master’s degree in Puerto Rico, Jack is now working for Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) on spiny lobsters.

Amy Morgan

Amy A

Amy assisted in Rob’s dissertation work in Shark Bay in 2013, which at one point, included catching crows that had invaded the kitchen trailer!

Niki Norton

AAA Norton

Niki  was part of the 2013 SBERP field team and is now a Lieutenant (Junior Grade) in the NOAA Corps.  Under Rob, she gained invaluable field experience and training as a deck-hand, field biologist, and small boat operator.  Niki completed time on the NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada in the eastern Pacific where she was responsible for Navigation, Dive Officer, Medical, and Bridge duties.  She now supports the Southeast Fisheries Science Center in Miami as administrative liason for NOAA cruises.  Her ability to make things work with few tools and often in remote environments (300nm offshore) can be directly attributed to the skills attained keeping boats running and long working days in the rural outback with Rob.

Matt Jew

AAA Matt

Matt worked with Rob in Shark Bay in 2014.  He’s currently a lecturer at Cal State Monterrey Bay and pursuing his master’s degree at Moss Landing Marine Lab on trophic ecology of deep water catsharks.  Matt attributes his success in his master’s in part to daily fieldwork with Rob in Shark Bay, which forced him to overcome his susceptibility to seasickness.

Tessa Code

Tessa A

Tessa was a member of the Shark Bay team in 2014 and was happy to gain experience in the multi-pronged objectives of that season. She considers this experience instrumental in securing a job with the National Park Service in St Croix, USVI as a biological science technician.  Tessa now works for the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center as a Marine Debris Technician, collecting derelict fishing gear in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

Hayley Nuetzel

AAA Hayley

Hayley was another integral member of the 2014 Shark Bay team. After getting her master’s from UC Santa Cruz, Hayley became a population biologist with the San Diego Zoo.  There, she plays animal match-maker by using demographic and genetic data to advising matings for captive populations which will maximize genetic diversity and fitness.

Clark Morgan

Clark A

Clark “The Shark” Morgan was one of Rob’s assistants in both the 2014 and 2015 Shark Bay field seasons, where he gave Rob not only 110% effort, but also a new water bottle from the civilized world.  Clark recently graduated with a Master’s from University of North Florida under Dr. Jim Gelsleichter, where he studied the habitat use and trophic dynamics of nearshore sharks in Northeast Florida.  He considers his time in Shark Bay instrumental to learning what makes an effective field leader and successful graduate student, as well as to developing his research interests.

Ellen Last

AAA Ellen

Ellen joined SBERP with Rob in 2015.  Afterwards, she joined the Joint Nature Conservation Committee in the UK as a seabed survey support officer.  She has since been promoted to a marine impacts scientist, where she focuses on understanding anthropogenic pressures in deep sea environments.

Danielle Barnas

Danielle A

Danielle was Rob’s first intern at Mote in the Coral Reef Ecological Processes (CREP) program in 2017.  She was instrumental in helping Rob’s first projects off the ground, including benthic and reef fish surveys.  After her internship, Danielle worked as a fisheries biologist for Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC) before accepting her new role as a Marine Ecology and Ocean Acidification Research Technician at California State University, Northridge (CSUN).

Maria Pozo

Maria P

Maria was one of Rob’s interns in 2017 and helped with fieldwork and with construction of field equipment.  She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Australia on shark sensory biology, and how it can be manipulated to create shark deterrent devices.

Aaron Kent

Aaron Kent A

Aaron joined the CREP program in 2017 and was Rob’s first undergraduate intern.  He’s currently completing is Bachelor’s degree at Florida Atlantic University.

JP Everhart


JP joined the CREP program in 2017.  While at Mote, JP focused on multiple projects, including estimating reef fish biomass on patch reefs of the Florida Keys and determining dominant herbivores in the coral reefs of the Gulf of Aqaba (for which he will be a co-author).  JP’s time in the CREP program sparked an interest in tropicalization of reef fishes, a topic he wishes to pursue in graduate school.

JP also gave the first CREP intern research presentation- on data he had collected to determine whether his jokes got funnier over his internship period (they didn’t).  He now works for the Boy Scouts of America SeaBase as a marine STEM educator.

Farah Gustafson

AAA Farah

Farah was an intern with Rob during 2017 and 2018, where she helped out with myriad projects.  She’s looking to continue to gain experience in marine research before pursuing graduate education, and is co-authoring a paper on herbivory of reef fishes in the Gulf of Aqaba with Rob and JP.

Brittany Minnig

AAA Brittany

Brittany worked with Rob in the CREP program in 2017.  After CREP, Brittany studied the social and reproductive ecology of Gunnison’s prarie dogs.  Brittany is now pursuing a master’s of professional science at Colorado State University.  She attributes mentorship while a CREP intern as important to guiding her current research directions.

Alexis Wolfe


Alexis was a summer undergraduate intern in the CREP program in 2018, where she caught and tagged many lobsters.  She’s currently pursuing additional education in marine biology at the University of Florida.

Sally Dowd

Sally A

Sally was an undergraduate intern with Rob in summer 2018 and was one of the first interns to get college credit for her internship.  Part of this requirement was a public presentation of the work she completed while at Mote, on seagrass/coral facilitation.  She is a junior at UC Berkeley majoring in Molecular Environmental Biology.  Sally attributes her time in the CREP program towards making her a more independent and confident scientist.

Colin O’Donnell

Colin A

Colin was an undergraduate intern with Rob in summer 2018 and was one of the first interns to get college credit for his internship.  He’s now working to finish his Bachelor’s degree at Texas A&M.

Avery Renshaw


Avery joined the CREP program in fall 2018, assisting with a remote sensing project, a seagrass/coral facilitation project, and a nurse shark bycatch reduction study.  She is a co-author with Rob on an upcoming publication resulting from this bycatch work. Rob’s mentorship helped solidify Avery’s interests in tropical marine ecology research. Currently, she seeks to further explore the field before pursuing graduate education.

Cam Sperrin


Cam joined the CREP program in fall 2018 and was almost immediately thrust underwater to lead demanding benthic free-diving surveys.  Over his internship he mastered both sharks and lobsters, and is a co-author with Rob and Avery on an upcoming paper. He’s now in the British Military, where his experience in handling nurse sharks is presumably put to daily use.