Fellowship for doctoral students in marine ecosystem and population dynamics

The National Sea Grant Office and the National Marine Fisheries Service support a PhD graduate fellowship program in population and ecosystem dynamics. The intent of the program is to award fellowships to students interested in careers related to population and ecosystem dynamics with applications to living marine resources. Candidate projects will focus on at least one of the following:

  • Population dynamics of living marine resources
  • Stock assessment methodologies
  • Marine ecosystem modeling
  • Integrated ecosystem assessments
  • Ecosystem-based management of marine ecosystems.

Learn more about the NMFS-Sea Grant Fellowship Program on the National Sea Grant Office Webpage and how to apply through Oregon Sea Grant Below.


The fellowship can provide support for up to three years to graduate students working toward a PhD in a related field of study. Each fellow will be required to work closely with an expert (mentor) from NMFS who may provide data for the fellow's thesis, serve on the fellow's committee, and/or host an annual summer internship at the participating NMFS facility. Mentors will be from participating NMFS Science Centers or offices.

Prospective fellows must be U.S. citizens and be admitted to a PhD degree program in population dynamics, ecosystem dynamics, or a related field at an institution of higher education in the U.S. or its territories at the time of application, or submit a signed letter from the institution indicating provisional acceptance to a PhD degree program conditional on obtaining financial support such as this fellowship.

The NMFS-Sea Grant Fellowship Program in Population and Ecosystem Dynamics anticipates funding at least four new Ph.D. fellowships in 2023 to students who are interested in careers related to marine ecosystem and population dynamics, with a focus on modeling and managing systems of living marine resources. The emphasis will be on the development and implementation of quantitative methods for evaluating marine ecosystems for assessing the status of fish, invertebrate, and other targeted species stocks and for assessing the status of marine mammals, seabirds, and other protected species.

For additional details, please review the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) Number NOAA-OAR-SG-2023-2007709 (pdf)


Oregon Sea Grant uses eSeaGrant for fellowship application submissions. To access eSeaGrant, send an email to [email protected] declaring your interest in applying. Please include the name of the fellowship you wish to apply for in the subject line. An eSeaGrant account will then be created for you. All components of your application, including letters of recommendation, will be submitted through eSeaGrant. Stating your interest does not obligate you to apply. We are here to provide assistance as needed; however, please do not wait until the last minute to apply.


January 25, 2023- Oregon applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their application package with Sarah Kolesar prior to submitting their applications.

NMFS Population Dynamics Fellows

Victoria Quennessen (2020-2023)

Assignment: Victoria Quennessen is a National Marine Fisheries Service - Sea Grant Population Dynamics Fellow in Oregon State University’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. 

Education: Victoria earned a BS in marine biology and computational mathematics at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2017. She earned her MS in fisheries science in 2020 and is currently working on her PhD with Dr. Will White at Oregon State University. 

Professional and Research Interests: Victoria is interested in developing and applying quantitative ecology tools to solve problems in marine resource management and conservation. Her MS thesis used computational simulations of an age structured, spatially explicit model to investigate the influence of incorporating information from short-term changes in population dynamics on marine fisheries management, specifically in and around new marine reserves. Her PhD will use ecological-evolutionary modeling to explore the degree of adaptation necessary for green sea turtles to survive the extreme sex ratios caused by rising nesting beach temperatures. Model parameters will be informed by a subpopulation of green turtles located off the coast of Brazil, but results will be applicable for other populations, such as those in the Virgin Islands and Hawaii. Before joining the White lab, Victoria served as an environmental educator at the Westport River Watershed Alliance through the Massachusetts Commonwealth Corps program. Alongside her research, Victoria strives to leverage her passion for educational outreach to increase the accessibility of STEM fields for girls and underrepresented communities.


Claire Rosemond (2019-2022)

Assignment: Claire Rosemond is a National Marine Fisheries Service - Sea Grant Population Dynamics Fellow in Oregon State University’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. 

Education: Claire completed her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is currently working on her PhD with Dr. Scott Heppell.

Professional and Research Interests: Claire is interested in how climate change impacts long-term variability in the reproductive biology of commercially and recreationally important marine fish species. Her current research focuses on the influence of oceanographic conditions on Black Rockfish (Sebastes melanops) reproductive capacity in the northeast Pacific. Her research will pair biological data and environmental data to understand population-level response to environmental change and will incorporate that relationship in stock assessment models used to inform fisheries management. Claire is also working on a project in the Caribbean to estimate spatial movement and population vital rates of Red Hind (Epinephelus guttatus). Before joining the Heppell Lab, Claire worked as a fisheries biologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Lab in Beaufort, North Carolina, and she studied offshore fish communities on artificial reefs as a technician at University of North Carolina Institute of Marine Sciences.