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Lisa Kerr, Ph.D.

Lisa is a fisheries ecologist broadly interested in understanding the structure and dynamics of fish populations, with the goal of enhancing our ability to sustainably manage fisheries and ecosystems as a whole. She is particularly motivated to understand the role complex population structure and connectivity play in the productivity and stability of local and regional populations.

Lisa employs a diverse skill set to address critical ecological questions that are also directly applicable to fisheries management. Her expertise includes structural analysis of fish hard parts (e.g. otoliths, vertebrae) and the application of the chemical methods (stable isotope, radioisotope, and trace element analysis) to these structures. She also uses mathematical modeling as a tool to understand how biocomplexity within fish stocks (e.g., spatial structure, connectivity, life cycle diversity) impacts their response to natural climatic oscillations, climate change, fishing, and management measures. Other skills used to address questions about stock structure, movement patterns, and basic life history of fish include bioenergetics modeling, fish tagging, statistics, and larval cohort analysis.

Primary Research Interests

  • Stock identification and understanding mechanisms of population structuring
  • Role of complex population structure and connectivity play in the productivity, stability, resilience, and sustainability of local and regional fish populations
  • Influence of climate, harvest, and fisheries management actions on species distributions, interactions, and dynamics
  • General studies of fish population biology (age and growth, energetics, recruitment, and mortality) in relation to abiotic and biotic factors


  • Ph.D., Marine, Estuarine and Environmental Sciences, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
  • M.S., Marine Science, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, California State University
  • B.S., Biology, Tufts University 

Service to Science & Community

  • Member, Working Group on the Northwest Atlantic Regional Sea (ICES, 2010-present)
  • Convener, Workshop on the Implications of Stock Structure (ICES, 2011)
  • Member, Arctic and North Western Advice Drafting Group (ICES, 2011)
  • Participant, Workshop on Stock Structure of Atlantic cod in the Gulf of Maine Region (NOAA, 2012)