Amanda Croteau

Amanda is from northern Florida and received her BA in Marine Biology and Environmental Studies from New College of Florida. During an undergraduate internship Amanda became interested in restoration ecology and the human dimensions of conservation. She moved to Gainesville to begin a Master’s program in Natural Resource Recreation at the University of Florida, focusing on how visitors’ knowledge and beliefs affected their depreciative behaviors in a coastal preserve. Following her MS, Amanda began her Ph.D. in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences at UF. Her dissertation focuses on ecology of a restored coastal preserve (salt marsh, mangrove, and seagrass), colonization and establishment of species assemblages, and assessment of water quality and habitat metrics. Amanda’s primary research interests include coastal ecology, conservation, and habitat restoration.



Vice President

Natalie Simon

Natalie Simon is from New Jersey and received her BS in Marine Sciences from Stockton University. While working at Rutgers’s Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory as a hatchery technician, she found her love for oysters. Not long after, Natalie moved to Gainesville to attend the University of Florida (UF) for a Master’s degree in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences and has since stayed to continue her academic career for a PhD. Her research interests include cryogenics, germplasm preservation, and molluscan aquaculture.


Allison Durland Donahou

Allison Durland Donahou is from Seattle, but ran away to warmer, sunnier weather ten years ago and has never looked back. She received her BA from the University of San Diego in Marine Biology and her MS from Nova Southeastern University in Marine Biology and Coastal Zone Management. While working with Alaskan fishing communities as a research assistant with NMFS, she discovered her interest in the human dimensions of fisheries. For her PhD, Allison is trying to tackle the challenge of managing invasive species, specifically examining the effects climate change will have on non-native fish distributions. When she finds “free” time, Allison loves partaking in water sports with her puppies and husband, as well as exploring what Gainesville restaurants have to offer.

University Laison

Lauren Kircher

Lauren is from western New York and received her BS in Marine Biology from University of New Haven. Lauren participated in several fellowships at University of New Haven and University of Southern California, nurturing her love of research. Following her BS, Lauren started a Ph.D. in Integrative Biology at Florida Atlantic University. Her dissertation focuses on natural and anthropogenic environmental influences on the movement of a tropical sportfish (common snook) in St. Lucie estuary. Lauren’s research interests include fisheries, movement ecology, behavioral ecology, and physiology.

Raising Funds to Support Dominican Fisherfolk

As a result of Hurricane Maria most Dominican fisherfolk lost their homes and gear. Please help us sponsor a fisher! $100 will purchase enough gear to get the Dominican fisherfolk back on the water, be able to restart their business and feed their fellow citizens! Each fisher sponsored will receive a kit of line, hooks, gloves etc. 100% of funds raised will go towards purchasing of these kits and I will use my own personal funds to travel to Dominica and manage distrubution.

Dominican fishers are the most helpful, resilient, giving people I have met. Right now they are acting as first responders post Maria and the least we can do is get them back to fishing!

Roger Rottmann Memorial Scholarship

At the 37th Annual Chapter Business meeting of The Florida Chapter of the American Fisheries Society two students recieved the Roger Rottmann Memorial Scholarship.

Award recipients:

  • PhD: Katie Lawson
  • MS: Natalie Simon

The Roger Rottmann Memorial Scholarship was established in memory of Roger Rottmann, one of the first fisheries biologists ever hired by the State of Florida University System. Roger conducted fisheries and aquaculture research for more than 20 years at the University of Florida, producing numerous scientific journal and educational publications and videos.

This scholarship was established to recognize outstanding students enrolled in Florida universities and colleges. Congratulations to our award recipients! #AFS147

Student Social at Lowry Park Zoo

We had a blast last night at the Lowry Park Zoo for the student social! We saw elephants, zebras, giraffes, and more. Students participated in Fisheries Scientist Bingo games to win #AFS147 swag like t-shirt, tumblers, and buffs!

Send us your pics of your zoo expierence to be featured on our blog by emailing Natalie Simon at

Geoffrey H. Smith Awarded The Florida Chapter Student Subunit Travel Award

Congratulations are in order! PhD candidate Geoffrey H. Smith of the University of Florida was awarded the Florida Chapter Student Subunit Travel Award #AFS147! Today he gave an amazing presentation on the Potential Impacts of Non-Native Pike Killifish on Juvenile Common Snook

Abstract: Pike Killifish is an established non-native fish species in Florida that was first documented in south Florida in 1957 and secondarily in Tampa Bay tributaries in 1994. Decreases in small-bodied fish abundances have been linked to the introduction of Pike Killifish in both of these regions. Increases in the range and abundance of Pike Killifish in the Tampa Bay area and overlap in habitat usage has led to concerns about potential predation on , and competition with, early-juvenile Common Snook (≤100 mm SL). Several lines of evidence point to minimal or no impacts of Pike Killifish on early-juvenile snook in Tampa Bay tributaries. Predation trials indicate that Pike Killifish are capable of consuming juvenile snook up to 48 mm SL, but no snook remains have been found in the diet analysis of Pike Killifish. There is a small degree of diet overlap between these species, and declines in the abundance of some prey groups has been detected in locations where Pike Killifish and snook co-occur. However, diet overlap of early-juvenile snook from locations with and without Pike Killifish co-occurring remains high and there is no indication of reduced condition or growth of early-juvenile snook in the presence of Pike Killifish.

Student Social Details- Lowry Park Zoo

Special Invitation from Florida Chapter of the American Fisheries Society Student Subunit #AFS147

Dear Students, Get ready for a great student only social tonight at the Lowry Park Zoo!!!

Remember to bring the following: 1) Meeting badge, 2) Student ID, 3) Valid Government ID if you plan to consume alcohol, 4) Money for a cash bar

Transportation to the Zoo is provided for free and you must travel via bus to receive your wristband for entry. Each student will also receive one complimentary drink ticket. Badges and ID’s will be checked as you board the bus.

Date: Tuesday, August 22nd Pickup

Time: 515 – 6 pm. Buses will be lined up in front of the Tampa Marriott waterside starting at 515. Buses will leave once they have filled up. Don’t be late!

Pickup Location: In front of the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina (700 South Florida Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33602)

Food and Drink: We will receive a catered meal including one free alcohol drink per student. Complimentary drink tickets will be handed out as you load the bus. A cash bar will be available for those interested in purchasing additional alcoholic drinks. Our meal will consist of all-beef hot dogs, hamburgers, coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans, cookies, brownies, iced tea, and lemonade. Vegetarian burgers and beans will also be available

Activities: We will host a networking game at the zoo to encourage you to connect with other students. This variation of bingo requires you to meet other students who have done various fisheries related activities. Record student details in the appropriate box (name, AFS division) and once you complete a row you can enter your bingo card to win prizes (Tervis tumblers, conference shirts, and other goodies) that will be raffled off at the end of the social

Returning from the Festivities: The student social will wind down at 9 pm, at which point buses will begin to leave. The last bus leaves at 10 pm!!!

Pickup Location: Out front of the Lowry Park Zoo

This event was made possible by the generous donations from the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida, the Florida AFS Student Sub-unit, the North Carolina AFS Student Sub-unit, and Biomark. In total, these sponsors have contributed $4,645 in donations!!!

If you have any questions please feel free to drop me an email: