Dr. Anna Mercer

Chief, Cooperative Research Branch

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Anna Mercer
Anna Mercer with a basket of Jonah crabs.

Anna grew up in Maine, where fishing and seafood are integral parts of the culture and economy. Her passion for understanding and sustaining the region’s living marine resources and the communities that they support led her to a career in fisheries science. Anna developed her scientific expertise at the University of New Hampshire, where she received a B.S. in Marine Biology, and later at the University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography, where she received a Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography.

Throughout her career, Dr. Mercer has worked to develop research projects that address the questions and concerns of fishermen and the scientific community, including at-sea monitoring of resources species and habitats to shore-side processing and marketing of underutilized seafood species. In addition, Anna has experience with bay scallop research and management, ocean productivity research, intertidal and tropical ecology research, coral reef research, invasive species research, and artisanal fishery development. As part of her research programs, Anna has spent hundreds of days on fishing vessels collecting data and learning from the men and women who harvest seafood. She has also been at the forefront of applying collaboratively collected data to the assessment and management of fisheries resources. Recently, Mercer has spearheaded research focused on developing technology and sampling designs that enable fishermen to collect quantitative biological and environmental data in an efficient and effective manner. Throughout, Anna’s career has focused on expanding fishermen’s involvement with scientific data collection and application and she will continue this charge as the Chief of the Cooperative Research Branch at the NEFSC.