Lonnie Gonsalves earned his doctorate in environmental molecular biology at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore through the NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center (LMRCSC). For his dissertation, he investigated the nutritional status and immune function of the Chesapeake Bay striped bass, a NOAA Fisheries-managed species. Through LMRCSC, he conducted research that fed directly into NOAA’s informational needs. He also developed a scientific skillset that prepared him to join NOAA Fisheries as a research ecologist.
After completing his PhD, Lonnie became a Research Ecologist with NOAA Fisheries at the Oxford Cooperative Laboratory. He was able to apply his research skills to other organisms critical to the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem (called ‘sentinel species’). His research focuses on using molecular-based techniques to measure fish health, ecosystem level processes and ecosystem services. Dr. Gonsalves is also the President of the American Fisheries Society Equal Opportunity Division. He also recently completed a detail assignment representing the National Ocean Service in the Office of the NOAA Administrator.
Dr. Gonsalves says the EPP/MSI Program enabled him to interact and network with NOAA scientists as a graduate student. He also was able to build in-demand skills through his collaborative dissertation research. As a graduate student, he presented his research twice at the NOAA/EPP Education and Science Forum and often participated in student workshops.