Speaker and Panelist Bios

ACUNA, SHAWN:  Shawn is a Senior Resource Specialist for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. He received his Ph. D at UC Davis in Ecotoxicology. After working at the Aquatic Health Program at UC Davis on cyanobacteria and other stressor impacts on species in the Delta such as splittail and delta smelt he joined MWD to work on their mission to promote a sustainable ecosystem and a reliable water supply.  

BAXTER, RANDY:  For over 27 years, Randall Baxter has worked for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), first on the San Francisco Bay Study, a long-term fish and invertebrate monitoring project, then leading the Splittail Investigations Project and more recently as a supervisor for several long-term monitoring projects.  He has contributed as a member of the IEP Management Team, the Pelagic Organism Decline Management Team and most recently the Management Analysis and Synthesis Team (MAST).  He provides research-based knowledge to Department for the management Delta Smelt, Longfin Smelt and other estuarine species of concern.

BENNETT, WILLIAM: Dr. William A. (Bill) Bennett is an Associate Research Ecologist in the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, and Bodega Marine Laboratory. He received B.S. and Master's degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and Ph.D. from UC Davis. Bill has worked for over 20 years on the fishes in the San Francisco Estuary and marine environments in northern California, and an authority on the endangered delta smelt and striped bass populations. Bill has worked extensively with the Delta Science Program, Interagency Ecological Program, and is a coauthor of "Comparing Futures for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta". 

BROWN, LARRY:  Dr. Larry Brown is a Research Biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, California Water Science Center.  Dr. Brown has over 35 years experience working in California aquatic systems. He has published over 80 scientific articles and reports on California fishes, benthic macroinvertebrates and benthic algae.  Dr. Brown is currently involved in studies of the California stream systems as well as ongoing work in the San Francisco Estuary, including the effects of climate change on selected fish species.

CANNON, TOM:  Tom Cannon studied entrainment of estuarine fishes in the Hudson River from 1972 to 1977 after graduating from the University of Michigan with degrees in Fisheries and Biostatistics.  He then moved on to the Bay-Delta where he has focused on the fish population effects of entrainment with shorts stints away studying hydropower effects in Alaska, Lower Columbia River, and Lower Missouri River.  In recent decades he has worked on the CVPIA and CALFED programs, and studied the populations, habitats, and life history requirements of Delta Smelt and Chinook Salmon in the Central Valley and Bay-Delta Estuary.  He continues contributing in retirement focusing on treatments  that would help recover smelt, trout, and salmon in California.

CASTLEBERRY, DAN:  Dan Castleberry is the Assistant Regional Director for Fish and Aquatic Conservation in the Pacific Southwest Region of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. His responsibilities include overseeing the Service’s fish and water related efforts in California’s Central Valley and Bay-Delta system as well as the Service’s fisheries operations throughout California and Nevada.  Dan has extensive experience working on fish and water issues, including over thirty years of experience working on fish, water and ecosystem restoration in the San Francisco-San Joaquin Bay-Delta system.

CONNON, RICHARD E:  School of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Cell Biology, University of California Davis.  Dr. Connon's research interest is in the mechanisms behind organisms' tolerance and adaptations to changing environments. His research focus is on the assessment of mechanistic - cellular/tissue responses to chemical insult, and resulting effects at higher levels of biological organization, such as behavior and reproduction. His interest extends to water quality, both in terms of human consumption and environmental health, with an emphasis on agricultural and urban contaminants; primarily pesticides and pharmaceuticals in the aquatic environment.

CONRAD, LOUISE:  Louise Conrad is a Program Manager for applied research and data synthesis for the Department of Water Resources. Louise received a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology and Management and a Ph.D in Animal Behavior from UC Davis. Her favorite jobs have been conducting fish and frog surveys in high alpine lakes, managing a Coho Salmon captive broodstock program in the Russian River watershed, and electrofishing for Largemouth Bass in the Delta. At DWR, Louise recently led an inter-agency data analysis effort to understand effects of the drought on the Delta ecosystem.

FANGUE, NANN: Dr. Nann Fangue completed a BSc in Marine Biology (1999), an MSc in Biology (2002), and a PhD in Zoology (2007) at the University of British Columbia.  She held an NSF postdoctoral fellowship before joining the faculty of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology at UC Davis in 2009.  She is currently an Associate Professor of ecological physiology. Studies in the Fangue Fish Conservation Physiology laboratory are largely focused on California native fish species.  We apply classic and contemporary physiological tools to understand the habitat requirements of native species.  We couple molecular, biochemical, and whole-organism measure of performance to elucidate connections between environment, physiology, and ecosystem function.  The Fangue lab is composed of a large and diverse research team (postdoctoral scholars, graduate and undergraduate students, and technical staff) with expertise in field collection, rearing, and physiological and behavioral studies of fishes. 

FEYRER, FREDERICK:  Fred Feyrer is a Research Fish Biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, California Water Science Center. He has studied fishes in the San Francisco Bay-Delta system for over 20 years.  His research focuses on applied ecology, ranging from life history studies of threatened and endangered species to the role of climate on species and communities.  Fred received his B.S. from the University of California, Davis and his M.S. from Sacramento State University.  He is originally from southern California and enjoys fishing and spending time with his family.

FINGER, MANDI: Dr. Amanda (Mandi) Finger is the Associate Director of the Genomic Variation Lab in the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis. She has researched the population genetics of Delta Smelt since 2011, and Longfin Smelt since 2014. Dr. Finger’s current smelt projects include directing the genetic management of the refuge population of Delta Smelt at the FCCL, collecting genomic data on historic Delta Smelt from the 1990’s to present day, examining population genetic structure of Longfin smelt from Alaska to California, and developing environmental DNA protocols for detecting Delta Smelt in the San Francisco Estuary. 

GRIMALDO, LENNY:  Lenny Grimaldo is a senior fisheries biologist with ICF International. A former employee of CDWR and USBR, Lenny has spent nearly twenty years conducting research on native fishes in the upper SF Estuary. Lenny is currently serving as the lead investigator for Delta Smelt entrainment studies under the Collaborative Science and Adaptive Management Program. During the past couple years he has led successful efforts to develop tagging technologies for Delta Smelt and is currently leading a number of early life history studies of Longfin Smelt in shallow waters of the upper San Francisco Estuary. Lenny received his PhD in Ecology from UCD and a M.S. from SFSU’s Romberg Tiburon Center.   

HAMILTON, SCOTT:  Scott Hamilton has been involved with delta smelt and resource allocation issues in the Delta since 2008. He is currently a co-chair of the delta smelt scoping team within CSAMP (the Collaborative Science and Adaptive Management Program). He is the lead scientist for the Center for California Water Resources Policy and Management – an organization interested in promoting more effective water management in California.  Recent research efforts have focused on the use of publicly available data to better understand how native fish use the estuary.  Scott has his PhD in resource economics from Oregon State University.

HARTMAN, ROSEMARY:  Rosemary Hartman is an environmental scientist who has worked for CDFW for two years. She is responsible for monitoring primary and secondary production in tidal wetland restoration sites, focusing on the relationship between invertebrate communities and fish. She received her doctorate in ecology from UC Davis in 2014.

MOYLE, PETER:  Peter Moyle has been working on the ecology and conservation California's freshwater and estuarine fishes since 1969, culminating in Inland Fishes of California (2002, UC Press). He has co-authored numerous papers on the ecology, status and trends of California’s native and alien fishes. Ongoing research focuses on climate change, reconciliation ecology, and fishes of the Delta and Suisun Marsh. He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Wildlife Fish and Conservation Biology and associate director of the Center for Watershed Sciences, UC Davis.

ROSENFIELD, JON: Over the past 7 ½ years, while serving as Conservation Biologist for the The Bay Institute, Jon Rosenfield has worked to bring scientific information and science-based decision-making processes to the planning and regulatory processes that affect the San Francisco Bay’s estuary and the Central Valley Rivers that feed it.  He has published several papers on the behavior, ecology, and systematics of fishes, particularly imperiled species. Most recently, he co-authored a paper on longfin smelt population dynamics with the US Fish and Wildlife Services’ Matt Nobriga (lead author).

SCHREIRER, BRIAN:  Brian Schreier has a master’s degree from UC Davis, and he currently is a Senior Environmental Scientist with the California Department of Water Resources.  He is the principle investigator for the Yolo Bypass Fish Monitoring Program, and he has conducted numerous studies on predation of larval and adult Delta Smelt in the North Delta.

SOMMER, TED:  Ted Sommer received his PhD from University of California at Davis, where he studied under noted fisheries biologist Dr. Peter Moyle.  Dr. Sommer is currently Lead Scientist for the California Department of Water Resources.  For the past 25 years his work has focused on native fishes, with studies on Delta Smelt, salmon biology, floodplain ecology, food webs, and hydrology.  Dr. Sommer has published more than 50 research articles in peer-reviewed scientific publications.   

TEH, SWEE:  Swee is the Director of the Aquatic Health Program in the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC-Davis. He has been researching aquatic health, including the effects and interactions of physicochemical and contaminant (toxicant, carcinogen, and endocrine disruptor) stressors on aquatic organisms and ecosystems for >20 years. He is also the director of the Aquatic Toxicology Laboratory; a State Certified Laboratory engaged in monitoring and assessing ambient water quality and aquatic ecosystem health.

VAN NIEUWENHUYSE, ERWIN:  Dr. Van Nieuwenhuyse (van-new-wen-hice) is an aquatic scientist with the Bureau of Reclamation’s Bay-Delta Office in Sacramento.  He’s worked in the Delta since 1998.  He is a member of the Smelt Working Group and Delta Smelt Scoping Team (part of the Collaborative Adaptive Management initiative) and helps manage the Interagency Ecological Program.   His research focuses primarily on nutrients and phytoplankton dynamics, particularly in the Sacramento Deepwater Ship Channel and the Cache Slough Complex, but he’s also actively promoting research on salmonid and smelt spot pattern recognition, SmeltCam and other innovative fish monitoring technologies.  His alter ego, Declan McAlyster, is a songwriter who performs locally, most recently at the Sacramento Poetry Center Art Gallery earlier this month.

WILCOX, CARL:  Policy Advisor to the Director for the Delta, California Department of Fish and Wildlife.    Responsible for water planning and policy formulation related to the Delta.  Previously Bay-Delta Region Regional Manager (2011-2012) and Chief of the Water Branch (2005-2011).  Lead the Departments participation in the review and permitting of the California Water Fix/BDCP; drought planning and fisheries management related to State and federal water project operations; Collaborative Science and Adaptive Management Process; and Interagency Ecological Program. Also a participant in policy development related to other water management and fishery conservation efforts in the Central Valley as they affect the Delta.