Fisheries Conservation
Principal Investigator


Does the work we do sound interesting to you?  

Training the scientists of the future is an important part of SERC’s mission. There are three ways in which you can be involved in the Fisheries Conservation Lab: internships, fellowships and volunteering/citizen science. Check out our projects page to see what sort of work we're involved in right now.  If you are a motived individual and are excited about what we're doing and want to be a part of it, visit the links below to find out how to get engaged.

We seek creative, hardworking interns interested in pursuing careers either Fisheries Conservation or in Science Communication. Internships are a great way for undergraduates, recent graduate and Masters students to get their hands deep into science (and the Chesapeake Bay!).  We have 3-5 paid interns every summer and occasionally an intern in the spring or fall.  As a science intern, you'll gain a wide variety of field and lab experience while also working on a specific independent project that relates to one of the projects our lab is currently involved in.  As a communications intern, you’ll engage in science storytelling through videos, blog posts, web, and social media, while also assisting with field and laboratory research. Expect to work hard but have fun while spending time working in the field and lab, managing data, analyzing data, and presentation your independent work to SERC’s research community.

Visit SERC's Internships page for more information and to apply for a SERC internship and our Fellow and Intern Projects page to examples of current and past projects.

You can also work with our lab through the Chesapeake Research Consortium C-StREAM internships or the Chesapeake Conservation Corps. Contact PI Matt Ogburn for more information about these opportunities.


Postdoctoral, Predoctoral, and Graduate Fellowships provide excellent opportunities for engaging in Smithsonian science, developing new skills, and growing your professional network. We have diverse research interests in Fisheries Conservation and long-term studies of nearshore ecosystems, focusing especially on coastal and estuarine species. We apply field and lab experiments, field surveys, animal tracking technologies, multibeam sonar (DIDSON) and underwater video, genetic and biogeochemical analyses, and other methods to basic and applied questions in ecology, conservation, and fisheries and aquaculture. We strongly encourage prospective Fellows to contact us well before the application deadline in order to develop collaborative project proposals. Projects linked to our current research, that take advantage of SERC’s long-term data sets, or that engage other labs at SERC or other Smithsonian research and conservation programs (e.g. Conservation Commons) are particularly encouraged. We are particularly interested in identifying postdoctoral fellowship applicants with interests in:

  • Research that builds from or integrates SERC long-term datasets of fish and invertebrate community structure to explore trophic ecology, environmental variability, climate change, etc.
  • Application of animal telemetry to answer ecological or fisheries management questions (Movement of Life Initiative)
  • Oyster restoration, fisheries, and aquaculture
  • Anadromous fish (especially river herring and shad) spawning runs and population dynamics
  • Blue crab ecology and fisheries

Visit SERC’s Fellowships page and MarineGEO page for more information about opportunities. Contact Dr. Matt Ogburn to learn more about how to apply to work with the Fisheries Conservation Lab.

Apply now:

SERC Fellowship Deadline: November 1, 2020

MarineGEO RFP Deadline: TBA

Many of our projects have opportunities for volunteer participation, with a particular focus on engaging Citizen Scientists to assist with sample collection in the field, sample processing in the lab and data analysis. Our volunteers range from high school students (including STEM interns) to retirees. We especially seek volunteers who can commit to a fairly regular weekly schedule and can work a ½ day or full day per visit.

Contact SERC’s Volunteer and Citizen Science Program to learn more about current opportunities.