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Zach studied Philosophy and Religious Studies as an undergraduate and has a Masters in Environmental Ethics, both from Stanford University. He has worked as a legal research intern for the Natural Resources Defense Council and as a research assistant for Stanford’s Center for Ocean Solutions, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, developing research experience in ocean policy, economics, and social ecological systems. He also managed a fish distributor in Monterey Bay, California - Local Bounty - purchasing, filleting, and selling fish to local markets, and helped develop a triple-bottom line sustainability metric to guide business operations.

For his PhD research, he is forever grateful to NSF’s IGERT as well as co-chairs Eddie Allison and Ray Hilborn for providing the opportunity to pursue his connection with the ocean investigating the ecological and social value of fish as food and its implications for management in a changing world. 


Hannah Bassett



Hannah comes to MARINA with a passionate interest in coastal communities and ecosystems. After earning a BS in Biology from the University of California, San Diego, she worked in marine mammal acoustics at Scripps Institution of Oceanography before transitioning to interdisciplinary small-scale fisheries research through her work with the Small-scale and Artisanal Fisheries Research Network. Hannah's evolving research takes a political ecology approach to small-scale fisheries as human-natural systems. She is broadly interested in the intersection of human and natural health, climate change adaptation and mitigation, social dimensions of marine resource management, and psychology of resource use and decision-making. Hannah is driven to inform our understanding of the potential for win-win situations in inherently complex coastal community systems and her current work focuses on compressed-air dive fisheries in the Philippines and California.

Alison mcnaughton

ph.d. student

Geography, University of Victoria

researchgate | academia

Alison's research focuses on livelihoods and conservation in small-scale fisheries. She is particularly interested in social assessment tools and is currently investigating a new fishery based on an introduced species (Arapaima gigas) in the Bolivian Amazon, and the associated opportunities and challenges facing local indigenous communities. Alison's background includes a B.A. in Geography from the University of Victoria (2000), and a M.A. (Planning) from the University of British Columbia (2004) where she studied organizational learning and integrated watershed management planning in a peri-urban region of São Paulo, Brazil. Since then she has worked primarily in Brazil and Bolivia with coastal and inland small-scale fishers and a variety of local and international partners on projects to improve livelihoods, empowerment and conservation. Alison's research is part of Peces para la Vida (Amazon Fish for Food), and the Community Conservation Research Network.



Master's Student

SMEA, University of washington

Tressa graduated from the University of Texas and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Rwanda and an educator in Texas before joining MARINA. Tressa's thesis will focus on addressing questions of equity in Blue Economy growth strategies in Washington. Tressa is generally interested in how governments at various levels throughout the world balance environmental sustainability and conservation with the needs of local communities.  


zelin chen

Master's Student

SMEA, University of washington

Zelin graduated from Ocean University of China, with a BS in Marine Resource and Environment. In his junior year, he visited the East Coast during his exchange study at the University of Maine, where he focused on marine ecology, oceanography and marine zooplankton. His undergraduate thesis was about stock assessment and quantitative simulation on fish stocks. After graduation, he served as an intern at China Blue Sustainability Institute in Hainan Province working on their fishery improvement program and seafood database development. He is interested in sustainable fisheries, seafood security and the management of small-scale fisheries.  

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Sallie Lau

Master's Student

SMEA, University of washington

Sallie dabbled in Paleobiology in her undergrad and studied how a species of ostracod failed to evolve in the Carboniferous. Being also in the Creative Writing program at her school, she started writing poetry about small-scale fisher people losing their fishing rights upon learning about them. After graduation, Sallie returned to Hong Kong to work as a research assistant for a project looking at biodiversity in a harbor impacted by human activities. During this time, her interest in small-scale fisheries grew as her love for paleontology waned. Now, she is fully committed to exploring how equitable development can be achieved by including responses to the specific needs of marginalized fishers, in particular women, in policy and management strategies.

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Brittany Hoedemaker

Master's Student

SMEA, University of washington

Brittany graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.S. in Environmental Science with a marine biology emphasis. Before joining MARINA, she worked as an Marine Protected Area intern with Heal the Bay, an environmental planner with ICF International, and an inventory planner at Pottery Barn. She is passionate about science communication, particularly around climate science, and is completing the Program on Climate Change Graduate Certificate in Climate Science (GCeCS). She hopes to find ways to make complex scientific ideas more digestible, incentivize the public to participate in innovative sustainability solutions, and empower our communities to think green.


sam farquhar

Master's Student

SMEA, University of washington

Sam earned her bachelors in Marine Biology and International Studies from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. While an undergrad, she researched the growth rates of invasive lionfish and became passionate about environmental education through her role as a dive educator at her local aquarium. She continues to exercise this passion through her work as a Program Leader with the organization, CIEE, where she facilitates high schoolers on international environmental education programs. After earning her degrees, Sam went to Nepal to study how aquaculture can be used as a tool to boost the socioeconomic status of women. This experience fueled her interest in sustainable development and community-based management. While at SMEA, she hopes to continue to develop these interests along with her focuses on IUU fishing, indigenous fishing rights, and health and food security of fishing communities.


Katy Dalton

Master's Student

SMEA, University of washington

Katy earned her bachelors in Organismal Biology and Ecology from Colorado College. She has worked on various research projects around the world, including Lionfish population dynamics in the Caribbean, Tamarix fitness in riparian habitats in Colorado, and fish and benthic surveys in Madagascar. Katy's love of marine ecosystems and an interest in responsible and equitable conservation and management of the oceans brought her to the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs for her masters. When she's not studying, you might find her throwing in the pottery studio, hiking in the Chugach mountains of Alaska, or bird watching around Seattle. 


LIAO, Chun-Pei

Master’s Student

National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung

Pei is passionate about improved management strategies in regards to socio-economic aspects of marine natural resource use. While earning her B.S. in Marine Affairs & Resource Management at NTOU, Pei used stakeholder interviews to explore opportunities for improved fishery management. During her Master’s work, she has studied fishery cooperation strategies between Taiwanese purse seiners and Pacific island countries. Currently, she is focused on local conservation issues and spends much of her time in local fishing communities studying fishermen’s perception of and attitude toward fishery regulations. Pei is also interested in how to bridge the gap between the general public and environmental protection and concern via social media. She has been involved in the Azure Project, which focuses on the marine debris issue in Taiwan and has produced photos, videos, and written content for the group.

During Pei’s visit to SMEA, she is examining the contribution of marine food production to the blue economy in East Asia. Her aim is to understand how fisheries contribute to the blue economy and its growth and how associated costs can be balanced between industry benefits and environmental sustainability. In her free time, Pei enjoys fishing, hiking and cooking.