The Oregon Seal Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife  
 »ODFW Home    » Fish Division   » Marine Resources   » Marine fisheries research
About Us Fishing Hunting Viewing License/Regs Conservation Living With Wildlife Education
Commercial and recreational marine fisheries

Marine Fisheries Research

Our team conducts fishery-related research to support both federal and state stock assessment processes of Oregon's fish and invertebrate species. We are an interdisciplinary team experienced in fisheries practices, marine biology, ecology, and data collection and analysis. Specifically, our team:

  • Conducts scientific research on marine species, habitats, and changing ocean conditions.
  • Samples and monitors species to assess populations.
  • Collaborates with a variety of partners, including research institutions, agencies, ocean users, and conservation groups on research projects.

Examples of recent research projects include development fisheries-independent population survey techniques and describing the life history characteristics (e.g., age, growth, and reproduction), physiology, ecology, and behavior of commercially important species. We also conduct studies on how fishing gear modifications can reduce bycatch and habitat impacts, while maintaining target catch. 

Research team members

Dr. Leif Rasmuson (Marine Fishery Research Project Leader)

Leif joined the ODFW’s MRP in 2017 after spending 2 years as a postdoctoral scientist jointly appointed to the University of Miami and the NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Leif has developed stock assessments of both invertebrate and finfish populations, designed multi-national fisheries oceanographic surveys and been a United States representative to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas. He is most passionate about linking oceanography with ecology to understand how populations are structured. Leif received his Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, University of Oregon in 2015. His research used a combination of computational modeling and at sea observations of Dungeness crab larvae to better understand how behavior and oceanography structures Dungeness crab populations.

Dr. Leif Rasmuson

A. Camille Ayrea (Marine Fishery Research Assistant)

After earning her bachelor's in marine science (biology track) from Eckerd College in 2014, Camille traveled to Alaska where she worked a season with sockeye salmon and wanted to continue her career working with fish of the Pacific Ocean. She then spent 4 years as a West Coast Groundfish observer based out of Astoria Oregon until she transitioned to seasonal jobs with ODFW as a recreational sampler with the Ocean Recreational Boat Survey program and as a commercial tuna/salmon troll sampler. She later joined ODFW's commercial finfish sampling team as the port biologist assistant in Brookings, with a majority of the work sampling the live fishery in Port Orford. In 2021 she had the opportunity to volunteer/work with the Marine Fisheries Research Team on their black rockfish survey and is excited to now be a part of the crew. She hopes to add her coastwide experience and love of identifying species to the research ahead.

Matt Blume (Marine Fishery Research Assistant Project Leader)

After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University in 2005, Matt started work with ODFW’s Marine Fisheries Research Project as a research assistant in 2006. Past and present duties have consisted of acoustic telemetry, barotrauma studies, PIT tagging and recovery, trawl work with gear modifications, and sport fishing gear studies. Matt currently functions as part of a field-based team designed to conduct applied fishery-related research in Oregon's nearshore ocean and biological sampling of groundfish in direct connection with management and stock assessment needs. A fundamental and enjoyable part of his duties are spent collaborating with coastal stakeholders, utilizing the commercial and sport fishing fleets' knowledge to innovate, design, and test newly developed technologies in the marine environment. Techniques include utilizing underwater camera systems, paired with a vessel based platforms for the collection of acoustic fishery data using a scientific echo sounder.

Kelly Lawrence (Marine Fishery Research Assistant)

After receiving her bachelors of science from the University of Northern Colorado, Kelly worked for the National Park Service conducting riparian monitoring in the beautiful National Parks of Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. She relocated to the Pacific Northwest to pursue a Masters Certificate in Fisheries Management from Oregon State University where she collaborated with ODFW’s Marine Reserves Program to create a method for quantifying biogenic habitat from underwater video footage. Kelly continued her research in benthic habitat as a Research Apprentice at Friday Harbor Laboratories where she investigated the impact of dam removal on algal communities occupying the submarine delta. Kelly started with ODFW in 2013 and enjoys working with the Marine Fishery Research Project to develop our knowledge of the life-history and population dynamics of finfish and invertebrate species, as well as to develop fishery-independent population assessment techniques.
Kelly Lawrence

Mark Terwilliger (Age Reading Specialist)

Mark earned his Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from Millersville University and his Master’s degree in Marine Science (Fisheries) from The College of William and Mary. After a brief stint working on fisheries-independent sampling projects for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, he headed west to Oregon State University. There, he was a Senior Faculty Research Assistant in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife investigating ecology of larval and juvenile catostomids from southern Oregon, but also worked on projects investigating life history, distribution, and abundance of other Oregon native freshwater fishes. He joined ODFW in 2019 as the Marine Resource Program’s Age Reading Specialist, and ages recreationally and commercially caught nearshore bottomfishes for stock assessment purposes. His research interests include conspecific variability in life history parameters as well as sublethal environmental effects on fish growth.

Mark Terwilliger

About Us | Fishing | Crabbing & Clamming | Big Game Hunting | Game Bird Hunting | Wildlife Viewing | License / Regs | Conservation | Living with Wildlife | Education | Workday Login

ODFW Home | Driving Directions | Employee Directory | Social Media | | File Formats | Employee Webmail | ODFW License Agents

4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE   ::   Salem, OR 97302   ::    Main Phone (503) 947-6000 or (800) 720-ODFW [6339]

Do you have a question or comment for ODFW? Contact ODFW's Public Service Representative at:
Share your opinion or comments on a Fish and Wildlife Commission issue at:
Do you need this information in an alternative format or language? Contact 503-947-6042 or click here.

   © ODFW. All rights reserved. This page was last updated: 08/16/2023 9:41 AM