Graduate Students

Jacob Krause

Jacob Krause

Jacob Krause

Jacob’s primary research interests are focused on addressing aquatic ecological questions that can be applied to fisheries and resource management. He is specifically interested in fish trophic interactions, growth and recruitment, movement patterns, mortality, and their use as biological health indicators. He uses multiple approaches in my research, ranging from simulations and hierarchical modeling to hands on field work in the form of telemetry and fish tagging. Jacob’s research involves collaboration with state and federal agencies, fellow academic researchers, along with commercial and recreational fisherman. Learn more about his work at his site.


Samantha Binion-Rock

Samantha Binion-Rock

Samantha Binion-Rock

Sam is a PhD candidate in Dr. Jeff Buckel’s lab in the department of Applied Ecology. For her doctoral research, she is conducting a multi-species food habits study in Pamlico Sound, NC. Her research interests include predator-prey relationships, ecosystem modeling, and developing new methods for analyzing food habits data. Learn more about Samantha at her site.

Contact Sam at smbinion@ncsu.edu.


Brendan Runde

Brendan Runde

Brendan’s main interests lie in marine resource conservation and the biology of charismatic ichthyofauna. His thesis project is entitled “Estimating Discard Mortality in Gray Triggerfish Using Surface and Bottom Tagging.” The target species (Gray Triggerfish) is important in the commercial and recreational fisheries of North Carolina and the U.S. south Atlantic as a whole. Triggerfish, like other reef fish that can inhabit depths of >100 ft, often suffer pressure-related trauma (called barotrauma) when they are brought to the surface by fishermen. Because of catch limits, quotas, and closure of seasons, triggerfish are frequently released after capture. Brendan is interested in evaluating the survival rate of those fish that are released after suffering from barotrauma.


Steven Lombardo

Steven Lombardo

Steven Lombardo

Blueback herring (Alosa aestavalis) and alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), collectively known as river herring, once comprised one of the largest stocks in North America ranging almost the entire Atlantic coast of North America. However, in the late 1970’s the stock collapsed prompting stringent regulations that culminated in regional moratoriums. Despite moratoriums, river herring populations have not shown promising signs of rebound and have since been listed as a Species of Concern by NOAA Fisheries in 2006. Focus has shifted from commercial fishing to the availability of suitable spawning habitat and conditions as the catalyst for declining river herring stocks.

The goal of Steven’s project is to elucidate the mechanisms responsible for temporal fluctuations in utilized spawning habitat, effectively evaluating the impact of land and species management practices on river herring spawning success. He is also interested in studying the phenology of the river herring spawning migration. Visit Steve’s page here.


Other Personnel

Paul Rudershasen, Research Associate

Paul Rudershausen

CMAST Ph.D. student Paul Rudershausen provides educational outreach to a young scientist.

Paul is the lead on several projects in the group. Currently, he is comparing circle and j hook performance in the dolphinfish, yellowfin tuna, and wahoo fishery; estimating discard mortality in reef fishes using tag returns; and using hydroacoustics and traditional fish sampling gear to test alternative strategies to index adult snapper-grouper species.

Paul can be contacted at 252.222.6342 or pjruders@ncsu.edu


Jeffrey Merrell, Research Technician