Marissa received a Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology from Northeastern University in 2017, and a M.Sc. in Marine Biology from the University of Maine in 2011. She has studied marine ecology and fisheries in the Gulf of Maine for over a decade. Much of her life has also revolved around working as a commercial fisher.
It is incredibly important to Marissa that her research addresses real-world problems and is applied to help create solutions to those problems. Her research focuses on strengthening and diversifying fisheries opportunities in the Gulf of Maine, in an effort to preserve fishing cultures and traditions, while also promoting a healthy and resilient marine ecosystem.
Much of what drives Marissa’s scientific curiosity is a deep connection to the fishing traditions and culture that New England is founded upon. Her family has been farming and fishing in midcoast Maine since the 1700s. She grew up working on her father’s lobster boat, which is what ultimately led her to marine science. As a result of her family’s history in commercial fisheries, and her career as a scientist, she strives to bridge the gap between scientists and fishermen and create productive collaborative partnerships.