Lisa Kerr joined GMRI’s science team this fall to conduct research she hopes will support healthy fish populations and sustainable fisheries in the Gulf of Maine.
She brings expertise in an array of scientific techniques to the GMRI team, including a number of methods for gaining insight into fishes’ life history by analyzing their ear bones and vertebrae. Kerr is also experienced with the use of mathematical models to better understand fish populations.
“Once we understand the complex nature of fish populations, we can better envision the methods of assessment and management that support their long-term success,” Kerr said.
She is currently leading a project on the stock structure of Maine alewife populations. These fish spawn in different rivers and then move into the ocean, where little is known about their distribution and the impact that fishing has on individual populations. The project team is using state-of-the-art methods to search for biological markers that set each group apart.
“Protecting population diversity promotes the stability of our fish resources,” Kerr said. “Much like diversifying a financial stock portfolio, it allows us to hedge our bets against potential losses.”
Kerr received her Ph.D. in marine, estuarine and environmental sciences from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. She most recently worked as a research associate at the University of Massachusetts.
In addition to her current research, Kerr is co-editing a new edition of the book, “Stock Identification Methods: Applications in Fishery Science,” which will be released later this year.