My name is Amanda Jefferson, and I’m a new extension associate with Mississippi State University and Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant in Biloxi, Mississippi!
I was born and raised in Ellicott City, Maryland, near the port city of Baltimore. I received my bachelor’s degree in marine biology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. In 2015, I relocated to the Gulf Coast to pursue my graduate studies at the University of South Alabama and the Dauphin Island Sea Lab Fisheries Ecology Lab.
My thesis research focused on the distribution, abundance, age and growth of the gray triggerfish population off the coast of Alabama. As a graduate research assistant, I learned many lab and field techniques, and I worked with several inshore and offshore fish species including gray triggerfish, red snapper and tripletail. Most importantly, I became familiar with the commercial and recreational fisheries in our region, as well as the management approaches to, and problems facing, these fisheries.
My first three years on the Gulf Coast have flown by, and I’m excited about joining the team in Biloxi and continuing to live and work on the Gulf Coast. As an extension associate, I will be working closely with Dr. Marcus Drymon, Dr. Eric Sparks and Dr. Ben Posadas on various projects related to marine fisheries, coastal ecology and marine economics.
Some of my responsibilities will include: participating in ongoing marine fisheries research projects; designing and implementing workshops across the Gulf states to inform stakeholders about current red snapper research; assisting with coastal restoration projects using drones and mapping software; planning and facilitating the Master Naturalist classes at the Coastal Research and Extension Center; supporting the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup efforts; and contributing to Extension Outdoors publications and the Gulf Coast Fisherman and Mississippi Marketmaker newsletters. These are just a few of the projects I’ll be working on; there’s much more to come.
I look forward to applying my marine science background and familiarity with Gulf of Mexico fisheries to connect with stakeholders and the public through existing extension programs, and I am excited to develop new avenues for extension as well!
Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.