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
Bethany Smith, M.B.A., Chief Financial Officer

Development & Community Relations

Autumn Batson, Development Officer

Celina Maggi, Director of Development

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


Chad Brewer


Caitlin Celic


Matt Elliott


Agatha Fabry


Duncan Fleming


Anthony Gooch


Maya Hodder


Tim Lawton


Robert Ledesma


Jax Mikkelsen


Karen Miller McClune


Amy Yarbrough Miles


Kristen Page


Jordan Pritzl


David Tabor


Shane Waning

Other Affiliated Scientists


Liz Gagneron (Research Associate)


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


Connie Silbernagel, D.V.M., M.P.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

Bill Shedd  Chairman of the Board, 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.; Chair, Nominating Committee and Immediate Past Chair


Murray Hutchison   Former 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, Development Committee

Board of Trustees

Robert C. Fletcher Past President, Sportfishing Association of California


Paul Fruchbom Co-Founder, KDF Communities


Julee Jenkins, Engineering Operations Manager, Qualcomm


Michael King, Director of Real Estate & Development, King’s Seafood


Jim Lake, Park President, SeaWorld San Diego and Sesame Place San Diego


Laura MacKinnon, Senior Social Impact & Sustainability Specialist, Wells Fargo Bank


Ermelinda Ruiz Moretti Chief Advocate, Chevron Corporation

Dan Pittard, Chairman/CEO, Pittard Partners LLC

Ian K. Stewart, Former Director of Corporate Sustainability,  Sempra Energy

Robert J. Weiner, Owner, Star-Box, Inc

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


Bethany Smith, M.B.A. Chief Financial Officer/Secretary

Get involved

Help Human And Marine Life Thrive Together