Andrew Goeppner

My research interests revolve around the conservation of species and ecosystems. By building upon our knowledge and understanding of the deep sea, we are better preparing ourselves to preserve the ecosystem and the creatures that call it home

Hannah Johnson

I am interested in the reproductive ecology amongst deep-sea fishes. For my Master’s thesis, I will be focusing on reproduction of a deep-sea genus fish known as Chiasmodon (Scombriformes; Chiasmodontidae). I will be researching aspects of reproduction including separation of sexes (i.e. potential hermaphroditism), size at maturity, spawning frequency/timing, and gonad development. . Throughout the duration of my Master’s, I will be working as the Laboratory Manager and Research Associate under Dr. Tracey Sutton. I attended Providence College where I received my undergraduate degree and studied under Dr. John H. Costello focusing on the biomechanics of various animals. I was able to speak at a conference during my time at Providence in which I presented my research on the bio-fluid interactions of animal propulsors.


Lederer E., Johnson H., & Costello, J.H. (2017). Bio-Fluid Interactions of Flexible Animal Propulsors. 10th Annual Rhode Island Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows Conference, RI SURF, Conference conducted in Rhode Island, July 2017, MES-4 (A), pp. 57.

Kathryn Lim

I am interested in the types of gear and tools used to study the ocean. Specifically, different style and sizes of nets used for trawling. My thesis project is on the trophic ecology of Scombrolabrax heterolepis, an intermediate predator that is caught primarily by large midwater trawls.




Travis Kirk

I am interested in the trophic ecology amongst deep-sea fishes. My Master's thesis project will be looking at the diet of a deep-sea genus fish known as, Chiasmodon (Scombriformes; Chiasmodontidae). I will be conducting a trophic study using stomach content analysis aiming to answer the questions of what, when/where, and how often these fish feed in the Gulf of Mexico. During my undergraduate studies, I was involved in herpetology research under Dr. Sean Sterrett, involving diet studies and population surveys of local freshwater turtles, along with the habitat distributions of various salamander species. I am also a co-author on a published paper, describing a shift in the diet of the Barbour's Map turtle after the introduction of an invasive bivalve.

Publications: Sterrett, S.C., Kirk, T.J., and L.L. Smith. 2020. Evidence of a dietary shift in female Barbour's Map turtle (Graptemys barbouri) to exploit and exotic mollusk. Chelonian Conservation and Biology. Special Issue on Graptemys Biology. doi: 10.2744/CCB-1431.1.




Devynne Brown

I am interested in the processes of bioluminescence and the luminescent capabilities of various deep-sea organisms including fishes, crustaceans, and other invertebrates. I will be studying light output of luminescent fishes and other deep-water fauna, the distribution of these light sources throughout the water column, and exactly what organs or adaptations these marine organisms utilize to glow! My other interests (and experiences) revolve around sea turtle conservation and the anthropogenic stress inflicted on seagrasses using stable isotope analysis. I received my undergraduate degrees from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where I also was a member of the cheerleading squad all four years.