Coastal Research Crew

Dr. Marcel Reichert, Senior Marine Scientist, Section PI

Dr. Marcel Reichert

Marcel leads the Coastal Research Section of the Marine Resources Research Institute at SCDNR. The 30-35 biologists and scientists in this section are responsible for conducting research of fish, crustaceans, and sea turtles in the coastal waters off South Carolina and the southeast region. Monitoring these marine populations is an important part of the section's activities. Marcel grew up in The Netherlands and earned his PhD at the University of Groningen. He has conducted research in Ireland, the Caribbean, the Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, and the University of South Carolina before joining SCDNR in 2004. His research interest and experience is in Marine Ecology and Fisheries Science. Besides managing the Coastal Research Section, he acts as a chief scientist during research cruises and assists with fish life history studies. Marcel is also a member of the Scientific and Statistical Committee, and advisory committee to the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council. He teaches graduate courses in "Fisheries Science" and "Marine Policy and Conservation" at the College of Charleston, and advises graduate students from various academic institutions.

Degrees: B.S. and M.S. Biology (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands), PhD Marine Biology (University of Groningen, The Netherlands).

Office: 843-953-7558


Dr. Tracey Smart, Associate Marine Scientist, Data Manager

Dr. Tracey Smart

Tracey is the data manager for the Coastal Research Section. She oversees data collection protocols, electronic updates and improvements, and data sharing procedures. She also serves as a data analyst for the Coastal Research Section, and participates in fisheries management workshops as a life history and indices data provider and analyst. Her research interests include reproductive biology, early life history ecology, and taxonomy. She joined the survey in 2011.

Degrees: B.S. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (University of Arizona), M.S. Biology and Ph.D. Biology (University of Oregon).

Office: 843-953-9226


Dr. Walter (Wally) Bubley, Assistant Marine Scientist, Age-Growth Laboratory Manager

Dr. Walter (Wally) Bubley

Wally is the lead biologist of the survey's age and growth laboratory and the fishery-dependent program. He cooperates and communicates with commercial and recreational fishermen as part of the survey's fishery-dependent program, meaning he organizes sampling efforts to obtain information that either cannot be gained through or supplements our fishery-dependent sampling. He also oversees the diet studies laboratory and acts as a chief scientist aboard Reef Fish Survey research cruises. His research interests include life history, including age/growth and reproduction, fish ecology, and fisheries science/management through the SEDAR stock assessment process. He joined the survey in 2014.

Degrees: B.S. Zoology (Miami University); M.S. Marine Biology (University of Charleston); Ph.D. Animal and Nutritional Sciences (University of New Hampshire)

Office: 843-953-9810


Dr. Dawn Glasgow, Underwater Video Manager

Dawn oversees our underwater video effort for the RFS. Her interests in marine ecology include reef fish linkages to the environment, reef fish species interactions, and bathymetric mapping. She has been with the survey since 2009.

Degrees: B.S. Biology (College of Charleston); M.S. Environmental Studies (University of Charleston); and Ph.D Integrative Biology (University of South Carolina)

Office: 843-953-0480


James Brooks, Logistics and Supplies

James Brooks

James is involved with vessel logistics, the maintenance of gear and field work for the Reef Fish Survey. He assists with age growth, histology, and fecundity lab work. His interests are fishing, boating and being on the sea. James has been with the survey since 2014.

Degrees: B.S. Biology (College of Charleston)

Office: 843-953-0434


Joseph (Joe) Evans, Age-Growth Biologist

Joseph (Joe) Evans

Joe is a biologist in the Reef Fish Survey's age and growth laboratory. He helps process and age many of the life history samples collected by the survey. He also acts as a watch chief on Reef Fish Survey research cruises. Along with working in the age and growth laboratory, Joe lends his services as a diver to the Coastal Receiver Array project. Joe joined the survey in 2012.

Degree: B.S. Marine Biology (Roger Williams University)

Office: 843-953-0773


Margaret Finch, Data Management, Life History Biologist

Margaret Finch

Margaret assists with data management, the processing and ageing of life history samples, and field work for MARMAP. She also enjoys doing data analyses in R and GIS. Her research interests include fish ecology and species distribution modeling of reef fish species. Margaret has been with the survey since 2015.

Degrees: B.S. Biology and Math (University of Mary Washington), M.S. Marine Biology (University of Charleston)

Office: 843-953-7146


Keilin Gamboa-Salazar, Life History Biologist

Keilin Gamboa-Salazar

Keilin is the lead life history biologist for the Coastal Trawl Survey. She is involved in collecting, processing, and interpreting fish age/growth and reproductive histology samples. She assists with data requests and analysis, reports, as well as cruise logistics and gear where needed. Her research interests include life history and behavior of marine life, especially the reproduction aspects. She has been with the Coastal Research Section since 2016, and with the Trawl Survey since 2021.

Degrees: B.S. Biology (Berry College); M.S. Marine Biology (College of Charleston)

Office: 843-953-9002


Homer Hiers, Life History Biologist

Homer Hiers

Homer assists primarily with field research pertaining to gear maintenance and deployment, as well as the collection and processing of life history samples. He also assists with data entry and gear fabrication. His research interests include methane clathrates existing along the U.S. Atlantic coast as well as anthropogenic impacts on sustainable fisheries within the South Atlantic Bight. He has been contributing to the Survey since 2018.

Degrees: B.S. Geology (College of Charleston)

Office: 843-953-0114


Jonathan Jones, Life History Biologist and Section Safety Officer

Jonathan Jones

Jonathan acts as the otolith technician: collecting, processing, and interpreting otolith samples for age growth analysis. He also assists with various aspects of field sampling including: gear and net maintenance, vessel prep, refinishing equipment, procurement, technical troubleshooting, deployment/retrieval of nets, and data collection. He acts as the section Lab Safety Officer conducting chemical inventories and lab maintenance in MRRI. Some of his interests include the status of marine fisheries and biodiversity of the South Atlantic Bight. He has been a part of the survey since 2018, but began his career with the SCDNR in 2017 as a Coastal Resources employee aiding in fisheries and education programs.

Degrees: B.S. Marine Science (Coastal Carolina University)

Office: 843-953-1693


Kevin Kolmos, Life History Biologist, section Safety Officer

Kevin Kolmos

Kevin manages and maintains all aspects of the Marine Resource Division's Histology Laboratories. He focuses on reproductive biology within the Reef Fish Survey, serves as chief scientist on research cruises, and participates in regional stock assessments. Kevin is also a certified Scientific and Rescue Diver and assists with Dive Ops at MRD. His interests include marine ecology, MPA research, fisheries biology, and environmental resource management. Outside of work he enjoys surfing and fishing. He joined the Reef Fish Survey in 2007.

Degrees: B.S. Marine Biology (UNCW); M.S. Environmental Studies (University of Charleston)

Office: 843-953-9100


Wiley Sinkus, Life History Biologist

Wiley Sinkus

Wiley’s work as a life history fishery biologist involves collecting, processing, and interpreting samples from the Reef Fish Survey. His work spans both the histology and age growth labs. His research interests include marine fish ecology, toxicology, and fisheries management. Along with his work for RFS, Wiley is a member of the SC DNR Dive Team, working on a variety of projects involving scuba diving. Wiley has been a DNR employee since 2014. He recently returned to the SCDNR after taking a year long trip traveling the world.

Degrees: B.S. Biology (Wofford College), M.S. Marine Biology (University of Charleston)

Office: 843-953-9019


Kevin Spanik, Diet Studies Biologist, section Safety Officer

Kevin Spanik

Kevin is the lead biologist for our diet studies laboratory, overseeing the collection and processing of diet samples collected by the Reef Fish Survey. He also assists with age, growth, and various other life history studies. His research interests include natural resources management, fisheries ecology, taxonomy, and population dynamics. In addition to the South Atlantic, Kevin has research experience in the Mid- Atlantic, Chesapeake Bay, and Alaska. He joined the survey in 2014.

Degrees: B.S. Biology (Christopher Newport University); M.S. Marine Biology (University of Charleston; in progress)

Office: 843-953-9857


Pearse Webster, Logistics and Trawl Survey Manager

Pearse Webster

Pearse is the chief scientist for field work conducted by the Coastal Trawl Survey. He handles permits, accounting, gear, cruise logistics, taxonomy, and histology. His interests include fabrication of custom gear and application of technology to sampling issues. He joined the survey and started trawling offshore in 1988, but started at MRRI in 1987 monitoring ingress of penaeid shrimp postlarvae.

Degree: B.S. Biology (College of Charleston)

Office: 843-953-9222


D. Byron White, Logistics Manager

D. Byron White

Byron has 34 years of experience in fisheries biology research (30 years with the Reef Fish Survey). In addition to the Atlantic, he has worked in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. He oversees logistics for the Reef Fish Survey, and his research interests include age, growth and reproductive biology of reef fish as well as deep-sea fishes. He has been with the survey since 1988.

Degree: B.S. Zoology (North Carolina State University)

Office: 843-953-9064


C. Michelle Willis, Database Manager, Life History Biologist

C. Michelle Willis

Michelle is part of the Reef Fish Survey's data management team, focusing primarily on database development and archival data/metadata management. She assists with life history studies through age determination of priority species, and participates in offshore research cruises. Michelle's interests include the design and implementation of data management strategies, database design and programming, and methods for effective mergers of large data sets. She has been with the survey since 2010.

Degrees: B.S. Marine Biology (College of Charleston); M.S. Organizational Data Management (Charleston Southern University)

Office: 843-953-9054


David Wyanski, Histology Lead Biologist

David Wyanski

David oversees the reproductive biology aspect of Reef Fish Survey studies of reef fish life history, serves as a chief scientist on research cruises, and participates in regional stock assessments. His other research interests include the taxonomy, movements, and feeding ecology of marine fishes. He has been with the survey since 1989.

Degrees: B.A. Zoology (University of Maine), M.A. Marine Science (Virginia Institute of Marine Science)

Office: 843-953-9065


Amy Zimney, Database Manager

Amy assists with field research, data management, statistical analysis, and the dissemination of project results for the Coastal Trawl Survey. Her research interests include marine ecology and trophic dynamics. In addition to the South Atlantic, Amy has research experience in Hawaii, Alaska, and the Pacific Northwest. She has been with the survey since 2015.

Degrees: B.S. Wildlife Ecology (Washington State University); M.S. Marine Mammal Science (University of St Andrews, Scotland)

Office: 843-953-9582