Anna malek mercer, Phd
Anna Malek Mercer serves as the executive director for the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation, and has been in this position since December 2015. Throughout her career, Anna has worked closely with the fishing industry to develop research projects, conduct field work, and communicate and apply results. Prior to joining the Foundation, Anna ran a variety of collaborative fisheries research projects while completing her PhD at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. In addition to her doctoral work, Anna has experience with bay scallop research and management, ocean productivity research, intertidal ecology research, coral reef research, invasive species research, tropical ecology instruction, and artisanal fishery development. Anna has also been extensively involved in marine science outreach programs in New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
Anna has experience with fisheries research and education at the local, state, national, and international levels. Anna earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Marine and Freshwater Biology from the University of New Hampshire in 2008 and went on to work at the Nantucket Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, where she investigated the growth, survival and reproduction of the Nantucket bay scallop and the efficacy of stock enhancement programs. Following her work on Nantucket, Malek was employed by the CIEE Research Station in Bonaire to study the effect of coastline development on nearshore coral reef ecosystems. Anna enrolled in the doctoral program at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography in 2009. While in graduate school, Anna served as the URI GSO fish trawl assistant, conducting weekly otters trawls in Narragansett Bay and managing an expansive database. Anna also served as the Field Coordinator for the Southern New England Cooperative Ventless Trap Survey, working with fishermen to assess the distribution and structure of lobster and crab populations in Rhode Island and Block Island Sounds to help guide the location of offshore wind energy development. Anna completed a PhD in Oceanography at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography in August 2015, where she employed a collaborative research approach to investigate the spatial distributions, population structures, and interactions of marine fishes and invertebrates in Rhode Island’s coastal waters. Prior to assuming the position of executive director, Anna spearheaded a number of research projects for the CFRF, with the goal of expanding fishermen’s involvement with scientific data collection and application.
Terry Winneg serves as the Business Manager of the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation and has been in this position since July 2012. Prior to joining the Foundation, Terry worked as a full charge bookkeeper for a landscape architectural firm in Rhode Island. She has held various financial positions in the field of accounting over the past 20 years in Rhode Island, Hawaii, Virginia, and Maine.
Terry holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Rhode Island and has +20 years of experience working in the field. In the past she has worked as a bookkeeper, budget & cost analyst, profit analyst and bid proposal analyst. She is a 2015 QuickBooks certified user.
Aubrey Ellertson serves as the research associate for the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation and has held that position since February 2016. She is concentrating her work on the Lobster and Jonah Crab Research Fleet, and WHOI Shelf Research Fleet projects. She will assist the Executive Director with the management of fleet project databases, outreach activities, and act as a support liaison for the fishermen participating in each fleet project.
Aubrey graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in May of 2011 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. While attending undergrad, Aubrey studied abroad in the Turks and Caicos Islands with The School for Field Studies (2010). Upon graduating in 2011, Aubrey worked as a Northeast Fisheries Observer and At-Sea Monitor aboard commercial fishing vessels. Aubrey worked primarily out of Gloucester, Boston, Scituate, and Cape Cod, MA, Rye/Seabrook/Hampton NH, and Portland ME. Her favorite part of observing was the interactions she had with the fishing community. In 2013, Aubrey came into the office to be a Data Editor with the Northeast Fisheries Observer Program, working to maintain records on eleven of her individual fisheries observers, and to track their performance. Aubrey was also extremely involved in the outreach program within the NE Fisheries Observer Program, traveling often for outreach events, as well as visiting different fishing ports to do dock work, meet industry members, and educate fishermen about the program.
Thomas Heimann serves as a research associate for the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation and has held that position since September 2016. Thomas’ work focuses on the Black Sea Bass Research Fleet project. Thomas will work collaboratively with the Executive Director and RI DEM on project implementation including; fleet selection, training, and support as well as database management.
Thomas graduated from Prescott College in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science specializing in Marine Science. During his time at Prescott College, Thomas spent the majority of his studies based out of the Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies in Bahia De Kino, Sonora, Mexico on the Gulf of California. Thomas worked closely with the local artisanal fishing community as well as partaking in at-sea shrimp trawler by-catch surveys. After graduation, Thomas spent one year living in Norway familiarizing and enjoying the local fisheries of Northern Europe. In 2014, Thomas returned to attend Northeastern University to pursue a Master’s in Marine Biology and graduated in 2016. While in attendance at Northeastern, Thomas took classes at the Marine Science Center in Nahant, Massachusetts, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Bocas del Toro, Panama, and Friday Harbor Laboratories in Friday Harbor, Washington.
Michael Long serves as a research associate for the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation and has held that position since March 2018. He serves as the field coordinator for the Southern New England Cooperative Ventless Trap Survey. Michael will collaborate with the Executive Director and University of Rhode Island to train fishing vessel crew members and sea samplers, conduct field work, manage databases, and summarize project findings.
Michael received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Rhode Island in 2014 where he studied Aquaculture and Fisheries Technology and participated in fisheries research projects including the URI GSO fish trawl survey, lobster trap species and size selectivity, juvenile blue crab abundance and distribution, and whelk fishery dynamics. Following graduation from URI, he participated in a one-year internship with the CFRF, in which he assisted with the WHOI Shelf Research Fleet project and BOEM Offshore Wind Energy project which identified potential impacts of offshore wind energy development on fisheries resources in the Northeast region. Michael also served as a sea sampler with the Southern New England Cooperative Ventless Trap Survey during its first year of surveys in 2014. Michael continued his fisheries research as a Master’s student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Massachusetts Audubon Society’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary where he conducted horseshoe crab acoustic telemetry, mark-recapture, and spawning abundance studies.
CFRF BOARD OF DIRECTORS
FRED MATTERA, President
Fred is a commercial fisherman and has been in the industry for over 40 years. He has been the owner and operator of an 84 ft. freezer trawler out of Point Judith since 1984. Fred currently serves as the president of the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation and also owns and operates the North East Safety Training Co., conducting safety training for commercial and recreational fishermen.
John Kennedy, Vice President
John is the Vice President of Commercial Lending at The Washington Trust Company bank.
DAVID SPENCER, TREASURER
David is a commercial lobsterman and has been engaged in the lobster fishery for over 40 years. He currently owns and operates the F/V Nathaniel Lee, an 85 ft. offshore lobster vessel out of Newport, RI, and serves as the president of Fishermen in Newport (Newport Lobster Shack). David currently serves as the treasurer of the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation.
Donald Fox is the manager of the Town Dock fishing fleet and the co-owner of the F/V Lightning Bay based out of Point Judith, Rhode Island.
Jeff Grant is a commercial fisherman and industry representative on the Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Council. Jeff graduated from the fisheries program at the University of Rhode Island and participates in a number of fisheries in Rhode Island and Alaska.
Jon Knight has worked in various capacities in the commercial fishing industry for over 30 years, and is the founder and owner of Superior Trawl based in Pt. Judith, Rhode Island. Jon is a leader on the east coast in the field of trawl making and design, and was part of the research team that won first place in the WWF Smart Gear contest in 2007 for the development of the Eliminator Trawl.
Christopher Lee is the Senior Director at Sea Fresh USA, Inc., a vertically-integrated processor and supplier of premium seafood based in Rhode Island. Chris was introduced to the seafood industry in 1992, when as a Peace Corps volunteer in Central America he worked on small-scale aquaculture development projects. Starting in 1994, Chris worked extensively in Spain and Italy to coordinate Sea Fresh USA’s Mediterranean bluefin tuna ranching operations, which were among the first of their kind in the industry. Additionally, Chris has also worked to develop the seafood auction trading platform of the food trading e-commerce site GlobalFoodExchange.com. as well as a seafood buyer for a large national foodservice distributor.
Mike is the owner and operator of the F/V Captain Robert and the F/V Mister G, based out of Point Judith , Rhode Island. He is the president of the Eastern New England Scallopers Association, and a member of the Sea Scallop Advisory Panel and the Rhode Island Fisheries Advisory Board. Mike participates in a wide variety of collaborative research, including the CFRF/WHOI Shelf Research Fleet.
Chris is the owner and operator of two scallopers/trawlers (F/V Karen Elizabeth and F/V Yankee Pride) in Point Judith. He is a member of the Northeast Trawl Survey Advisory Panel and has been a participant in many collaborative research projects.
Norbert has decades of experience working in the commercial fishing industry, including owning and operating offshore lobster vessels and participating in the hagfish fishery. Norbert is the vice president of the Atlantic Offshore Lobstermen's Association and has participated in collaborative research across the Northeast.
Mark Sweitzer is a commercial lobsterman and owner of the F/V Erica Knight based out of Point Judith, Rhode Island. Mark received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Duke University and has been fishing out of Rhode Island since 1974. Mark is an active participant in the CFRF Lobster Research Fleet and CFRF/WHOI Shelf Research Fleet.