NOAA Rewards Two Rosenstiel Students With National Fellowships

Elizabeth Council

MIAMI — August 19, 2011 — Elizabeth Councill and Holly Perryman, two Marine Biology and Fisheries graduate students at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, have been awarded three year Ph.D. fellowships in Population Dynamics by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  Councill and Perryman are two of only eight students recognized nationally with these prestigious scholarships this year.

Both students work in conjunction with NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) based at the UM’s Rosensteil School, which provides a Center of Excellence relevant to understanding the Earth’s oceans and atmosphere.  Councill’s research focuses on mathematical modeling of the dynamics of highly migratory fish, such as Atlantic Tarpon, Bluefin Tuna and Swordfish.

“My research will help us to understand the impact our harvesting strategies have on these fish populations, so that we can maintain these food resources worldwide.  Many of these exploited species are a primary or secondary food source for millions of people, and it's imperative that we maintain responsible management strategies so that those resources are available for this and the next generation,” said Councill.

Holly Perryman

Perryman is focused on developing an ecosystem model of the Gulf of Mexico that will include near-shore and off-shore habitats and how they are connected - a feature that many marine ecosystem models lack.

This research impacts the economic livelihood of the United States, Mexico and Cuba, which are greatly dependent on the Gulf of Mexico. Coastal development, coastal recreation and tourism, merchant shipping, offshore oil and gas production, hard mineral mining, recreational boating, and commercial fisheries, all have a presence in the Gulf, and they are all interconnected.” Said Perryman. “We need to make sure measures are in place to protect threatened and endangered species like the West Indian Manatee, Right Whale, Blue Whale, Sperm Whale, and five species of sea turtles that are also are part of this ecosystem,” says Perryman

“As a result of these awards, there will be four UM fishery students that will soon be supported by national NOAA fellowships,” said Dr. David Die, associate professor and assistant director of CIMAS. “This is a direct result of the competitiveness of our quantitative fisheries academic program and the caliber of the CIMAS-supported research collaborations between the Rosenstiel School and NOAA.”

About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
The University of Miami’s mission is to educate and nurture students, to create knowledge, and to provide service to our community and beyond. Committed to excellence and proud of the diversity of our University family, we strive to develop future leaders of our nation and the world. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit

elizabeth councill •  holly perryman •  marine biology and fisheries •  noaa •  modeling •  gulf of mexico •  coastal •  dynamics •  cimas •  achievement award •