Nelson Ehrhardt, PhD.
Scientific Director of CABA
Professor, Marine Ecosystems and Society
University of Miami
+1 (305) 773-1617

Dr. Nelson Ehrhardt is the Scientific Director of CABA. Dr. Ehrhardt’s 45 year career in fisheries began with completion of a degree in Naval Engineering at the Universidad del Norte in Chile. Shortly thereafter, he completed a Master’s degree at the University of Washington, studying the population dynamics of hakes. While completing at PhD at the University of Washington, Nelson was recruited by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) where he served as a chief stock assessment scientist for international fishery assessments- including billfishes and pelagics. In his tenure with the FAO, he resided in Africa, Yemen, Rome, London, and Mexico City. In 1983, Dr. Ehrhardt began his academic career at the University of Miami. Since then, he has graduated the most PhD students (23) in the history of the school’s Division of Marine Biology and Fisheries. As a professor at the University of Miami, Dr. Ehrhardt has studied complicated population dynamic processes of tropical and subtropical fishes and crustaceans throughout North and South America. Dr. Ehrhardt has notably and successfully linked environmental processes to recruitment and availability of numerous fisheries- including snappers, shrimps, stone crabs, tropical lobsters, and billfishes. In 2007, Dr. Ehrhardt was among the founders of a consortium of billfish resource stakeholders from Central America and Panama that envisioned a unified front to promote the conservation of billfishes. This group would become CABA. Since its inception, Dr. Ehrhardt has been the scientific advisor of CABA and currently mentors two PhD students in billfish science and found the newly formed Billfish Science Laboratory at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

Mark D. Fitchett, PhD.
Research Associate, Marine Ecosystems and Society
University of Miami
+1 (305) 989-8308

Mark Fitchett came to the University of Miami in 2004 from North Carolina. Prior that year, he completed two Bachelor of Science degrees (Zoology and Marine Resources, with honors) from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. In 2007, he completed a Master of Science degree entitled “Seasonal Dynamics of the Sailfish, Istiophorus platypterus, off the Guatemalan Pacific Coast” under the tutelage of Dr. Ehrhardt. Upon completion of the Master’s degree, Mark continued studying under Dr. Ehrhardt, examining oceanographic and ecosystem dynamics on the population dynamics, catchability, and habitat utilization of billfishes in the eastern tropical Pacific. Mark’s Dissertation is entitled: “An ecosystem-based modeling approach to catchability estimation and fishing capacity optimization: the Eastern Pacific sailfish recreational fishery as a case study.” Fitchett’s research interests include statistical methodologies to estimate population dynamics and coupling oceanographic dynamics to explain population and fishery processes. Fitchett is currently utilizing satellite logbook system and tagging in the field in Guatemala and Costa Rica to couple realtime fishery data to oceanographic features. 2010, Mark Fitchett was honored and awarded a prestigious three-year fellowship for marine population dynamics, granted jointly by the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service and the National Sea Grant Office. This fellowship was awarded for his studies in billfish dynamics in Central America.

Bruce G. Pohlot, MPS
PhD Candidate, Marine Biology and Fisheries
University of Miami
+1 (215) 704-2705

Bruce joined the University of Miami in 2010. Prior to enrolling at UM, Bruce completed a Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering at Yale University in New Haven, CT. Following his studies at Yale, Bruce worked in a clinical motion analysis laboratory for two years performing motion capture on children with orthopedic abnormalities and recommending surgical and therapeutic solutions to improve their way of life. In 2010, Bruce enrolled at the University of Miami to complete a Master’s of Professional Science under the fisheries track. In 2011, Pohlot completed the MPS degree and thesis examining the performance of circle hooks in the US Northwest Atlantic longline fishery targeting swordfish. Bruce was recruited to join Dr. Ehrhardt’s Billfish Science Lab in 2011. Bruce’s background in engineering and interest in billfish behavior renders the opportunity to utilize a unique state-of-the-art approach in studying billfish feeding behavior. Pohlot’s Dissertation interests lie in sailfish feeding dynamics, specifically the formation of groups to create baitballs which greatly enhances the efficiency of feeding. Pohlot’s engineering experience provides the ability to analyze sailfish behavior via video analysis as well as using new technologies in satellite tags to elucidate feeding behaviors and motion patterns of individual fish. Bruce is also going to analyze these behaviors in relation to prey patterns and behavior in the presence of habitat compression due to oceanographic and environmental features of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

Julie E. Brown, MPS
PhD Student, Marine Biology and Fisheries
University of Miami
+1 (540) 280-0259

juliebiopicJulie attended James Madison University in Virginia, where she was born and lived until 2009, when she moved to Chicago. After a few years of working in the orthopedic research department at RUSH University, she left the great north to attend school in Miami. During her time at UM, Julie completed her Master’s of Professional Science, and is now attending as a PhD student in Dr. Ehrhardt’s Billfish lab, where she studies the economic impacts of sportfishing in the Eastern Pacific.