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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Contact 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.



Leadership

The Pacific Shellfish Institute's Board of Directors is made up of researchers, shellfish growers, educators and government agency specialists.

Our vision is for healthy coastal ecosystems and productive and sustainable shellfish populations



President

Betsy Peabody
Puget Sound Restoration Fund

Vice President

Bill Dewey
Taylor Shellfish, Inc.

Treasurer

Duane Fagergren
Clam Cove Oyster Co.

Secretary

Elizabeth Tobin, Ph.D
Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe

Chris Eardley
Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

Gerardo Chin-Leo, Ph.D
The Evergreen State College

Dani Toepelt
Washington Department of Health

Jonathan Davis, Ph.D
Pacific Hybreed, Baywater Inc.

Ralph Elston, Ph.D
Aquatechnics

Russell Callender, Ph.D
Washington Sea Grant, University of Washington

Chris Langdon, Ph.D
Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center

David Nisbet
Nisbet Oyster Company

Joe Schumacker
Quinault Indian Nation, Department of Natural Resources

Tyler Johns
Squaxin Island Tribe



Betsy Peabody - President

Betsy Peabody- President

Betsy has served on the PSI Board of Directors since 2006. She is the Executive Director and founder of the Puget Sound Resortoration Fund, and was previously employed by the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority. She is a graduate of Stanford University, with a bachelor of arts, and a former member of the Bainbridge Island Harbor Commission and the Puget Sound Alliance Board of Directors. She has a longstanding interest in mollusks, as well as biogenic habitats in general and the services they provide in the marine ecosystem. Betsy grows oysters and clams in a shellfish garden on Bainbridge Island, where she lives, and she looks forward to eating, celebrating and restoring locally grown shellfish for many years to come. Ms. Peabody grew up in New Mexico, Colorado and Australia – where she first learned to swim and snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef.

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Bill Dewey - Vice President

Bill Dewey- Vice President

Bill has served on the PSI Board of Directors since 1995 and formerly served as the board president. Bill brings over a quarter century of shellfish public policy and farming experience to PSI. He is currently the Manager of Public Affairs for the Taylor Shellfish Company and he is the owner and manager of Chuckanut Shellfish. He is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Fisheries, but he also completed a portion of his undergraduate study at the University of New Hampshire. Bill is originally from Massachusetts but currently splits his time between the communities of Shelton and Bow, Washington. He is extremely active in the community, serving on the Puget Sound Partnership Ecosystem Recovery Board, the NOAA Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, the Western Regional Aquaculture Center Industry Advisory Council and the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association Government Relations Committee. Bill also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Aquaculture Association and the Skagit Conservation Education Alliance, and is Chairman of the Mason County Planning Advisory Commission. He is an avid skier and backpacker and is passionate about clam farming. In addition to his interest in shellfish public policy, Bill is interested in the environmental effects of shellfish culture and human health issues associated with shellfish.

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Duane Fagergren – Treasurer

Duane Fagergren- Treasurer

Duane is a life-long resident of Totten Inlet, near the town of Shelton, Washington, where he also operates a small shellfish farm: Calm Cove Oyster Company. He has served on the PSI Board of Directors since 2003. In 2014 Mr. Fagergren retired from the Puget Sound Partnership as Liaison for the Hood Canal and South Sound action areas. Previous employers include the Puget Sound Action Team, HDR Fish Pro, ITT Rayonier Research Division and Domsea Farms. He received a bachelor of fishery science from the University of Washington School of Fisheries, and maintains a research interest in ecosystem health, biodiversity and food web dynamics in Puget Sound. Duane is passionate about fly fishing, nature photography, rowing and kayaking. In addition to PSI, Mr. Fagergren serves on the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group Board and the Northwest Straits Commission Board.

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Kelly Toy – Secretary

Elizabeth Tobin, Ph.D- Secretary

Bio coming soon!

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Chris Eardley

Chris Eardley

Chris joined the PSI Board of Directors in 2018. Chris works on a range of shellfish management challenges as Puget Sound Shellfish Policy Coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Prior to joining WDFW, he worked in shellfish management for the Skokomish Tribe from 2013-2017, especially enjoying work in intertidal harvest management. Originally from Boston where he grew up lobstering, Chris headed to Oregon State University for his M.S. in marine resource management after collecting a B.S. in the same field from the University of Rhode Island. His professional interests relate to aquaculture science and policy, native species and habitat restoration, and marine-based recreation. He has enjoyed living abroad and free time is spent chasing waves and mountains, and travelling.

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Gerardo Chin-Leo, Ph.D

Gerardo Chin-Leo, Ph.D

Gerardo has served on the PSI Board of Directors since 2005. His desire to develop research opportunities for students to address current resource management and environmental protection issues directly supports PSI's mission. Gerardo is a member of the faculty at The Evergreen State College, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate students, primarily in the area of marine science. His research interests include marine microbiology, the ecology of phytoplankton with a focus on Harmful Algal Blooms, and the ecology of bacteria as they relate to marine foodwebs and in anoxic environments. Gerardo obtained his doctorate in biological oceanography at the University of Delaware, where he also completed a master of science in marine studies. He also holds a bachelor of arts in biology from Reed College. Gerardo lives in Olympia, where he is an avid biker and hiker, but he is originally from Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico.

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Toepelt

Dani Toepelt

Dani works on a wide range of shellfish issues for the Washington State Department of Health Shellfish Program. She started at DOH in 2018 as a shellfish inspector and was promoted to Licensing and Certification Section Manager in March 2020. In addition to working for the Shellfish Program, Dani has worked in food safety for Lewis County and Tacoma-Pierce County. She graduated from Washington State University with her B.S. in Biology and is a Registered Sanitarian with the Washington State Board of Registered Sanitarians. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her family.

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Jonathan Davis, Ph.D

Jonathan Davis, Ph.D

Jonathan (Joth) has been actively involved in shellfish research and culture activities for the last 30 years on both coasts of the U.S. and internationally. He has served on the PSI Board of Directors since 1995. Joth is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Hybreed, focusing on broodstock genetics and sustainable culture methods. He is also owner and operator of Baywater Inc., a small family clam and oyster farm on Hood Canal where he spends weekends and off-time communing with shellfish. He received his bachelor of arts from Colby College, a master's in environmental studies from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in fisheries science from the University of Washington – where he is an Affiliate Assistant Professor in the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. Joth is active in environmental affairs and research, and works closely with PSI on a number of research projects focused on environmental effects of shellfish culture. He also works closely with University of Washington researchers on similar issues and assists restoration ecology projects for native oysters and pinto abalone with the Puget Sound Restoration Fund. He is a member of the Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee and is active locally in environmental issues affecting Bainbridge Island, where he lives.

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Ralph Elston, Ph.D

Ralph Elston, Ph.D

Ralph is the owner and Chief Scientist of AquaTechnics, an environmental consulting company specializing in shellfish and fish health management and assessment. Ralph has serv ed on the PSI Board of Directors since 2006. He received his Ph.D. in veterinary medicine from Cornell University, and both a master of ecology and a bachelor of fisheries biology from the University of California at Davis. Currently, Ralph's research interests revolve around animal health management in both aquaculture and natural aquatic environments. He is an Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington, and a member of numerous shellfish related organizations and committees. He is also a valued review editor for The Journal of Shellfish Research, Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, and The Journal of Fish Diseases. Prior to establishing AquaTechnics, Ralph worked at Battelle Marine Sciences Laboratory. He currently lives in Sequim, Washington.

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Russell

Russell Callender, Ph.D

Russell Callender is a coastal and marine scientist with expertise in state and national level policy issues. He is primarily an interdisciplinary ecologist with professional experience spanning issues that include deep sea paleoecology, benthic ecology, estuarine ecology, chemoautotrophic community ecology, contaminant monitoring, harmful algal bloom ecology, and coral reef ecology.Russell is currently the Director of Washington Sea Grant, located at the University of Washington in Seattle. Russell has previously worked for over 20 years in NOAA serving in two major Line Offices. His career took him from staff-level technical support to executive leadership as Director of NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and the Assistant Administrator of the National Ocean Service. He has also worked for the Oceanographer of the Navy and Virginia Sea Grant. Russell received a Ph.D. in geology at Texas A&M University in 1992. Prior to that, he received master’s and bachelor’s degrees in geology from Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas. He enjoys the outdoors and is an avid SCUBA diver, hiker, gardener, and plays drums in a rock and roll band.

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Chris Langdon, Ph.D

Chris Langdon, Ph.D

Chris is a professor for Oregon State University in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and the Hatfield Marine Science Center. He has served on the PSI Board of Directors since 2003 and brings a vast knowledge and interest in shellfish nutrition, genetics and breeding, polyculture and microencapsulation. Chris received his Ph.D. in marine science from University of Wales, where he also completed a master's degree in marine science. Prior to that, he received a bachelor of ecological science from the University of Edinbrough, also in the United Kingdom. Chris is originally from Britain but currently lives in Newport, Oregon.

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David Nisbet

David Nisbet

David has served on PSI's Board of Directors since 1995 and brings to the board the rich history of shellfish culturing and business in Willapa Bay. Dave is the President of Nisbet Oyster Company and Goosepoint Oyster Incorporated, and previously worked for Stony Point Oyster Company and Bay Center Mariculture. David is originally from Portland, Oregon and attended the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology at Oregon State University. He currently lives in Bay Center, Washington. David is passionate about fishing, skiing and photography and his research interests include shellfish culture and phytoplankton succession. He is currently the Director of Northwest Farm Credit Services and serves on the Oregon State University boards for Industry Advisory and the Seafood Consumer Center Community Seafood Initiative.

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Joe Schumacker

Joe Schumacker

Joe is a marine scientist with the Quinault Indian Nation, Department of Natural Resource. Joe also serves on the Board of the Grays Harbor County Marine Resources Committee. Joe has managed many of the tribe's fisheries including salmon, groundfish and shellfish. Joe works with all of the Washington coastal tribes on marine science issues including; benthic habitat characterization, harmful algal blooms and toxin analysis, improving fisheries assessments off the Washington coast, improving management of coastal crab fisheries and assessments of intertidal coastal habitat. Joe was appointed by the Secretary of Commerce to represent U.S. Tribes on the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee in 2009 and still holds that position.

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Tyler Johns

Tyler Johns

Tyler is the Operations Manager of the Squaxin Island Tribe's shellfish farm, Island Enterprises located in Shelton, Totten Inlet. Tyler joined the PSI Board of Directors in 2018.

 

 

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