Our project is a culmination of work produced through the research of two graduate students and one undergraduate student and with the assistance and guidance of two advisors and a research scientist at Duke University Marine Lab (DUML). 


Lisa Campbell, PhD (Advisor)

Lisa M. Campbell is the Rachel Carson Professor of Marine Affairs and Policy in the Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University. Lisa studies oceans governance at a variety of scales (international, national, local) in relation to diverse issues (marine spatial planning, protected species, fisheries, MPAs, tourism, etc.) and is particularly interested in how science and non-state actors inform governance processes and outcomes.  She has participated in and led a number of multidisciplinary research projects and experiments with methodological innovations to better understand processes of environmental governance.  She earned her PhD in Geography from Cambridge University (UK), her MA in Environmental Studies from the University of Toronto, and her BA&Sc from McMaster University. She lives in Beaufort, NC, where oceans and their governance can be experienced firsthand. For more, see her Duke web page.


Grant Murray, PhD (Advisor)

As a marine social scientist, Grant’s lab’s principal objective is to continue to lead and participate in theoretically-informed, problem-oriented and community-relevant research projects that effectively mobilize knowledge in several focal areas, including: 1) the relationships between protected areas and adjacent communities; 2) seafood production systems; and 3) the relationships between local ecological knowledge, science, and social-ecological change.  In his work he draws on theoretical insights specific to these three areas, but also cross-cutting theory and concepts drawn from sociology, anthropology and geography including political ecology, local/traditional ecological knowledge, and well a bundle of allied concepts that help frame our thinking about social impacts and dynamics, including values, well-being, and poverty.  You can learn more about Grant’s work by visiting his website:


Alexie Rudman, CEM 

Alexie studied International Development and Spanish Language & Literature at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, before pursuing studies in Coastal Environmental Management at DUML. Motivated by social and environmental justice, her interests lie in community-based environmental management, resource management and livelihood adaptation among subsistence-based coastal communities affected by climate change, human rights issues surrounding climate-driven migration, and seaweed cultivation. Her Master’s Project entails trying to understand patterns and behaviors around subsistence fishing in Carteret County, North Carolina, as centered on major infrastructure like piers and bridges. She is particularly focused on examining how the social, economic, and cultural contributions generated by subsistence fishing behaviors differ along racial dimensions.


Cassandra Nieman, CEM

Cassandra studied Applied Biology and Spanish at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, before pursuing a graduate degree in Coastal Environmental Management at Duke University. She is interested in examining interactions between coastal communities and their environment with a specific focus on marine debris pollution and recreational fishing for food. Cassandra would like to explore anthropogenic stressors and their biological and social implications, particularly in the form of plastic pollution and its effect on marine life and seafood. In order to achieve a balance of natural and social science, she aims to engage community members in science and the research that affects them. Her Master’s Project explores the role that subsistence fishing assumes in supporting livelihoods, economies, social ties, and culture in Carteret County, North Carolina, with a focus on which locations may produce more toxic fish due to the quality of water and the human behavior surrounding the area.


Maggie Chory, CEM

Maggie studied Environmental Science and Public Policy at Harvard College before coming to Duke to pursue her Master’s in Coastal Environmental Management. She is interested in how ocean and coastal management policies affect coastal communities, with a particular interest in fishing regulations, protected areas, and climate change mitigation measures. With the Fishing for Food project, she is excited to research the attitudes of Carteret County subsistence fishers towards both the environments in which they fish, as well as the North Carolina Fisheries Commission policies that regulate their behavior. In her free time, she is an avid reader, hiker and swimmer.


Elizabeth Nowlin, Undergraduate

Elizabeth, a native of eastern North Carolina, is a Duke undergraduate student majoring in environmental science and policy with a marine science and conservation leadership certificate and a biology minor. Her studies focus on the current and historical interactions between humans, wildlife, and the environment. As part of her senior honors thesis to Graduate with Distinction, she is partnering with the Fishing for Food team to explore racial relations regarding fishing off of local infrastructure in Carteret County. Elizabeth intends to pursue a higher degree of education after undergrad. She hopes to incorporate her passion for teaching and community engagement in her future profession. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys playing ultimate frisbee.


Luke Fairbanks, PhD

Luke Fairbanks is a human geographer and environmental social scientist based in Beaufort, North Carolina, where he is a Research Scientist at DUML. His research explores human-environment interactions, focusing on ocean and coastal spaces, resources, governance, and policies. His primary work explores the broad range of values and attitudes people associate with seafood production in North Carolina. His other research explores the human dimensions of large marine protected areas, critical perspectives on marine spatial planning in the United States, and the development of US marine aquaculture policy. Luke has an AB from Bowdoin College, and earned his PhD in Marine Science and Conservation from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Luke is originally from central Massachusetts, and when he’s not thinking about the ocean, he’s happy to talk Boston sports. For more on Luke’s work, check out or send him an email: