Scientists Rebecca Peters, left, and Jesica Waller, right, have joined the Maine Department of Marine Resources. Peters will take over leading the inshore trawl survey following the retirement of Sally Sherman. Waller will work on lobster research. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE DMR

New scientists join DMR research team

BOOTHBAY HARBOR — The Maine Department of Marine Resources has hired two new scientists to meet existing and new research priorities.

Jesica Waller of Newcastle will be responsible for conducting biological studies on American lobster that will benefit the department’s understanding of the resource and contribute to future stock assessments. She also will support a new collaborative lobster research initiative to help the department respond and adapt to the changing Gulf of Maine ecosystem.

Waller received a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire in 2013 and a master’s in marine biology from the University of Maine in 2016.

While pursuing her graduate degree, Waller also served as an intern at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, as a fellow for the University of Maine Canadian-American Center and as a teaching assistant at the University of Maine’s Darling Center.

After graduating, Waller served as a research technician at the Bigelow Laboratory, where she designed and performed laboratory and field experiments for federally funded projects and contributed to peer-reviewed publications and grant proposals.

“This is a vital new position that will enhance existing monitoring work, and allow the department to focus on emerging research priorities,” said Carl Wilson, DMR Science Bureau director. “Jesica brings the academic and professional background necessary for the growth of our lobster research program.”

Rebecca Peters, from Silver Springs, Md., will coordinate the Maine, New Hampshire inshore trawl survey, filling a vacancy left by last summer’s retirement of longtime project coordinator Sally Sherman.

The inshore trawl survey, conducted in spring and fall, evaluates marine resources inside the coastal waters of Maine and New Hampshire. Groundfish, lobsters, recreational finfish species and noncommercial species of ecological interest are assessed.

Peters received a bachelor’s degree from Old Dominion University in 2012 and a master’s in marine estuarine and environmental science from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in 2016.

Upon graduating, Peters was awarded the Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship in 2017 where she worked in NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology to support the habitat science program and NOAA’s Ecosystem Science and Management Working Group.

“Rebecca brings relevant, valuable experience to the in-shore trawl survey,” said Wilson. “The trawl survey provides critically important data for issues such as fish stock recovery, fisheries management, Essential Fish Habitat designations and adaptation to the changing ecosystem.”


Stephen Rappaport

Stephen Rappaport

Waterfront Editor at The Ellsworth American
Stephen Rappaport has lived in Maine for nearly 30 years. A lifelong sailor, he spends as much time as possible messing about in boats. [email protected]

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