2014 Fall Scholarships


Chairman Ralph Munsie advises the following grad students have received George Burlew Scholarship grants for the 2014 Fall semester. The club is very happy to have the opportunity to assist students who are studying in areas important to our Club members.


Anthony Vastano                  Rutgers University

Anthony is a first year graduate student who’s been working as an undergraduate assistant at Rutgers Marine Filed Station since 2011. His senior thesis focused on the reproductive strategies of the Black Sea bass. His graduate research is focusing on the age and growth of marsh killifish in New Jersey and Louisiana in order to better understand the long term impacts of oil spills on marsh fishes.


Christopher Free              Rutgers University

Christopher is a Ph.D. student who was a previous George Burlew recipient in 2013. His current studies are focused on population dynamics and stock assessment methodologies. His goals are to help improve the current data-poor methods for fisheries management. Overall, he’s interested in developing methods and procedures to provide accurate information that can be used in the sustainable management of sportfish fisheries.


Jessica Valenti                        Rutgers University

Jessica, a local resident from Toms River is a Rutgers Ph.D. candidate with a research focus on assessing the effects of urbanization on fishes and crabs pertaining to Barnegat Bay. A comprehensive monitoring plan has been established to determine the state of fishes and selected crustaceans within the bay. This data set could help provide information for knowledgeable conservation and management decisions with the potential to improve the overall health of the bay and fish populations that reside there.


Meghan Henderson               Stony Brook University

With a Masters from URI, Meghan is currently studying for her Ph.D. at Stony Brook. Her current research aims to assess how fish populations along the Northeast continental shelf respond to changing ocean temperatures. Her objectives include discovering what mechanisms drive stock movements and how quickly these changes occur. Her interests are strongly focused on the effects of climate variability and climate change on fish ecosystems.


Talia Young                               Rutgers University

Talia, a previous George Burlew recipient earned her graduate degree at UPenn after which teaching 4 years of high school AP Biology. She’s currently finishing up her PhD studies at the Rutgers Marine Field Station in Tuckerton. Her current research is focused on collecting data for the analysis of the population boom of the Barnegat Bay Sea Nettles. Identifying and examining the environmental variables that have changed within certain timeframes will provide a better understanding for managing sea nettles in Barnegat Bay.

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