Board & Staff


Our team of scientists provides innovative scientific solutions to challenges threatening ocean health and marine life in our rapidly changing world. In addition to our researchers is a team that plays a critical role in helping accomplish our mission:

Corporate Officers

Donald B. Kent, M.S., President & CEO
Pamela K. Yochem, D.V.M., Ph.D., Chief Science Officer & Executive Vice President
Bethany Smith, M.B.A., Chief Financial Officer

Development & Community Relations

Chris Larkin, VP of Development
Frances Burnett, Director of Development
Susan Phillips, Florida Development Manager

Administrative Staff

Julie Carpenter, Human Resources Coordinator
Ed Earp, Facilities and Safety Manager
Dena Leon, Front Office Coordinator
Christine Truman, IT Manager
Laura Vega, Accounting Manager

Senior Research Scientists

Research Scientists

Research Assistants & Support Staff


Erica Fanning


Liz Gagneron


Brittany Griffis


Robert Ledesma


Chase Macherzak


Sabrina Mashburn


Lauren Mazzola


Karen Miller McClune


Reed Newman


Kristen Page


Savannah Vasey


Ian Zander

Other Affiliated Scientists


Sam Rossman, Ph.D. (Research Associate)


Todd Schmitt, D.V.M. (Research Associate)

Board of Trustees

 The HSWRI Board of Trustees represents a collection of visionary leaders who have distinguished careers in a variety of scientific, corporate, and cultural endeavors. Each Board member brings to the Institute a vision for ocean conservation, a dedication to advance the Institute and its mission, and a dedication to community service.

Chairman Emeritus

Milt Shedd (deceased)

Chair Emeritus, Science Committee

Dr. Clark Hubbs (deceased)

Executive Committee

William Shedd President, AFTCO Manufacturing Company, Inc.; Chairman of the Board
Dr. Chris Dold Chief Zoological Officer, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment; Chair, Science Committee
J. David Gardner Principal, Highland Partnership, Inc.; Immediate Past Chair
Marilyn Hannes Park President, SeaWorld & Aquatica, San Diego, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment; Chair, Compensation Committee
Murray Hutchison   Chairman, TEPPCO Partners; Chair, Finance Committee
John Morrell Chairman Emeritus, Higgs, Fletcher, Mack; Chair, Audit Committee
Jerry Sansom   Governmental Affairs Consultant, JHS Legislative Consultants; Chair, Corporate and Government Relations Committee
Laurilee Thompson Owner, Dixie Crossroads; Chair, Nominating Committee

Board of Trustees

Jan Driscoll Partner, Allen Matkins LLP (Retired)
Robert C. Fletcher Past President, Sportfishing Association of California
Paul Fruchbom Co-Founder, KDF Communities
Ermelinda Ruiz Moretti Chief Advocate, Chevron Corporation Louis Zimm Captain (Retired), UCSD/SIO

Trustees Emeritus

Senator Dede Alpert
Art DeFever (deceased)
Char DeMotte
George L. Gildred
Wally Schirra (deceased)


Donald B. Kent, M.S. President & Chief Executive Officer
Pamela K. Yochem, D.V.M., Ph.D. Chief Science Officer / Executive Vice President
Bethany Smith, M.B.A. Chief Financial Officer/Secretary

Get involved

Help Human And Marine Life Thrive Together