Shellfish Research and Information
Services for the U.S. West Coast


About Us

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Mission and History
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Who We Are
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Leadership
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Strategic Plan
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Work with Us
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SHELLFISH RESEARCH NEEDS

Shellfish Research Photo

West Coast Shellfish Research & Information Needs

PSI maintains and updates information on the needs and priorities of growers, restoration efforts, and resource managers. Learn more...


FEATURED

Featured Photo

The man with a plan

PSI researcher, Andy Surhbier helps shellfish growers adapt to changing ocean conditions.



Who We Are

The Pacific Shellfish Institute staff are experienced researchers with a wide variety of professional and academic backgrounds.



Bobbi Hudson, Research Biologist

Bobbi Hudson, Executive Director
As Executive Director, Bobbi manages research studies and general operations of the Institute. Bobbi joined PSI in 2006 as a Research Biologist, contributing to applied research projects on the interactions of shellfish culture with the natural environment, organic pollutants, and disease and environmental stress. Her leadership role began with a multi-faceted project evaluating the benefits and costs of shellfish in Washington State, and a survey-based study of the economic contributions of the West Coast shellfish industry. In June 2013 Bobbi transitioned to Executive Director, but continues to serve as a scientist for PSI's diverse portfolio of biological, oceanographic and social science research projects.

Bobbi Hudson holds a B.S. and a M.S. in Environmental Science from The Evergreen State College. Her primary research interests include valuation of ecosystem services, social and ecological carrying capacity, and intertidal ecology. Bobbi also specializes in evaluation of sustainable bivalve aquaculture production in near shore environments. Prior to joining PSI, Bobbi served as a fisheries technician with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and performed shellfish and finfish work aboard commercial vessels in Puget Sound and SE Alaska. Bobbi also spent three years as a public information officer for the state of Washington.

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Dan Cheney, PhD, Senior Scientist

Dan Cheney, PhD, Senior Scientist
Dan Cheney specializes in aquaculture production systems, water quality analysis, environmental impact analysis and coastal resource management and inventories. Dan Cheney received a B.S. and Ph.D. in Fisheries from the University of Washington and a M.S. in Zoology from the University of Hawaii. Dan served as PSI's Executive Director from 1995 until late 2009, and remains on staff as a senior scientist. Dan is the principal investigator for several on-going federally and state funded applied research to examine the environmental interactions of shellfish production practices, develop methods to control Vibrio bacteria contamination and reduce the public health risk of raw shellfish, and assess heavy metal concentrations in west coast shellfish and determine human health risks.

Dan is also owner of BioAquatics International LLC (BAI) and supports this company's fisheries and aquaculture; coastal permitting; economic, environmental and biological assessment and natural resources practice. Dan's consulting work involves field and laboratory studies, including diving and video surveys, investigative reviews and analyses, and descriptive reporting for clients in Washington State, and elsewhere in the U.S. and Canada, and the Middle-East. Clients include private industry, public agencies, investment groups, and legal representatives.

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Dr. Steve Booth, Senior Scientist

Steve Booth, PhD, Senior Scientist
Dr. Steve Booth specializes in integrated pest management. Steve received a Ph.D. in Entomology from Oregon State University, a M.S. in Biology from Western Washington University, and a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Iowa. Steve's Ph.D. program and a similar post-doctoral position in British Columbia involved the development and implementation of pest management programs that selectively targeted pests on pears, but allowed for the immigration and development of indigenous arthropod natural enemies. Prior to joining PSI, Steve worked for Washington State University, at the Vancouver Research Unit, examining the potential of microbial agents to suppress insect pests on small fruit. This work included the development of methods to isolate, formulate and produce entomopathogenic fungi.

Steve is currently involved in research to examine physical, chemical, and biological control options for burrowing shrimp on commercial oyster beds in southwest Washington State. This is a unique problem involving application of a pesticide against an indigenous pest in an estuary. Steve is also involved in similar research into potential impacts and control tactics for Japanese eelgrass (Z. japonica), which is listed as a class C noxious weed in Washington and is being actively eradicated in California. Steve is also the primary author on the recently released 'Illustrated Guide to Bivalve Pests in Washington and Oregon.'

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Andy Suhrbier, Senior Biologist

Andy Suhrbier, Senior Biologist
Andy Suhrbier holds a B.S. in Molecular Biology from Texas Lutheran University. Andy is involved in marine benthic and water quality sampling and analysis, mapping of marine habitats, data analysis, and project development and coordination. He is current research includes examinations into the interactions of shellfish culture with the natural environment, shellfish disease and environmental stress studies, and monitoring and adaptation efforts related to ocean acidification.

Andy is experienced with the maintenance, deployment, and retrieval of a Sontek current meter, ISCO water samplers, YSI multiparameter dataloggers, Onset dataloggers and PSI developed dataloggers.

Prior to his work at PSI, Andy conducted creel surveys for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and served as a fishery observer in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska for the National Marine Fisheries Service.

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Aimee Christy, Research Biologist

Aimee Christy, Research Biologist
Aimee Christy holds a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Washington and a M.S. in Environmental Science from The Evergreen State College. Aimee has over 15 years of experience in water quality analysis, wetland and estuarine studies, and invertebrate and algae surveys. Her interests include stormwater management and researching the impacts of land use change on water quality, particularly in shellfish growing areas. She is involved in PSI's research related to oyster mortality, cadmium concentrations in oysters, and harmful algal blooms. She also conducts phytoplankton analysis for species composition and abundance throughout the coast and Puget Sound, and public outreach and education related to pet waste and bacterial contamination.

Prior to her work with PSI, Aimee assisted development of a literature review on the impacts of urbanization on shellfish growing areas in Puget Sound. She also conducted aerial, boat and ground surveys to determine population and catch per unit effort estimates of recreational shellfish throughout Puget Sound for the Shellfish Management Program at Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Prior to that, Aimee was employed by the University of Washington to conduct intertidal invertebrate and algae surveys along the Olympic National Park coastline.

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Katie Houle, Research Biologist

Katie Houle, Research Biologist
Katie Houle holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from McGill University and a M.S. in Biology from Humboldt State University. As part of the PSI team, she conducts field research and data analysis for a variety of ongoing projects. She is currently the PSI project manager for the regional eelgrass/oyster consortium and the larval Dungeness crab light trap monitoring effort. She studies the ecological interactions of shellfish aquaculture with the surrounding environment, quantifying habitat use by estuarine biota on oyster farms and nearby seagrass beds. She is also interested in developing integrative multi-trophic aquaculture systems, currently collaborating on commercial-scale trials to co-culture native sea cucumbers with macroalgal species. In addition to research, she assisted in the development of the Washington State Marine Debris Action Plan and stays up to date with plastic pollution issues in our region. She is passionate about sharing science and enjoys engaging with the community at local events and teaching marine science to K-12 students every spring!

Prior to joining PSI, Katie studied marine invertebrate communities in coastal estuaries and rocky intertidal ecosystems in Northern California with Humboldt State University, CA Sea Grant and UC Davis Bodega Marine Lab. Prior to that she taught K-8 students at South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve in coastal Oregon and The Ecology School on the Southern Maine coast.

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Rachel Hardin, Outreach & Field Technician

Rachel Hardin, Educator & Research Assistant
Rachel Hardin holds a BA/BS in Environmental Science from The Evergreen State College. Her studies and fieldwork focused on estuarine wetland and coastal ecology with a particular interest in marine invertebrates and aqueous chemistry in relation to water quality and species diversity. Rachel joined PSI in 2018 as a part time field technician and in August 2020 moved into a more integrated role working with Aimee Christy as an Environmental Educator. She is currently also working with Katie Houle on the Dungeness light trap monitoring project.

Rachel comes from a diverse background. Directly prior to joining PSI, she worked as a Lab Analyst for the Institute of Food Safety and Defense and a temporary Quality Assurance Lab Technician for a major dairy company testing for pathogenic microorganisms, as well as other regulatory tests. She has also served two internships. One with the Nisqually Reach Nature Center as the Fish and Wildlife Research Intern coordinating forage fish and pigeon guillemot monitoring surveys and assisting with the environmental education programs hosted by NRNC. The other was with the National Parks Service as a Wilderness Ranger Intern at Paradise Wilderness Information Center in Mount Rainier National Park.

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Evie Fagergren

Evie Fagergren, Administrative Assistant
Evie joined PSI in September 2020, where she monitors the contract balances for all of PSI’s various projects, supports administrative tasks, and assists PSI field and lab work. Evie earned a BA in Biology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland with a focus in marine sciences. Evie also studied music and teaches private viola lessons in the Olympia community when it is safe to meet face to face.

When it is low tide, Evie can be found working on her family’s shellfish farm in Totten Inlet harvesting Manila clams, Olympia oysters and Pacific Oysters.