Jeffrey (JJ) Blackwatters (he/him) is a PhD Student in the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at Colorado State University, and a Graduate Research Assistant working with Dr. Rebecca Gruby. His research will build upon the Lab’s ongoing investigation of the role of philanthropic initiatives in marine governance systems through a lens of social equity and stakeholder engagement. JJ was born into a multiracial, military family that lived in 6 countries, encouraging him to center diversity and positionality in all of his academic pursuits. After finishing high school in England, he relocated to the US to complete his undergraduate degree at Cornell University, then moved back to Europe and earned his Master’s degree from the National University of Ireland, Galway in Coastal and Marine Environments. His thesis research applied a social-ecological systems framework to examine the socio-economic and policy implications of marine litter in St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands. Upon finishing his MSc in 2018, JJ worked at Ireland’s Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy, focusing on the development of trans-national European policy that acknowledges the complexity of coastal resource management across spatial and temporal scales. Outside of the classroom, JJ enjoys charcoal drawing and painting, hiking, trail-running, and scuba diving, and he is always open to recommendations for water-based adventures in his new landlocked home. Contact:

Elodie Le Cornu is a PhD Student and Graduate Research Assistant in the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at Colorado State University, working with Dr. Rebecca Gruby. Her research will focus on small-scale fishing governance. She is a French native and earned a Bachelor’s degree in three languages (English, Spanish and Chinese) applied to law, policy and economics and a Master’s degree in Ocean and Coastal Engineering and Management from the University of Paul Valery-Montpellier III. Prior to starting a PhD, she worked for five years at the Center for Ocean Solutions at Stanford University where she studied coupled human-natural systems as a way to inform policies and solve issues facing the oceans and coastal communities. In her spare time, Elodie enjoys doing multiple types of art, including painting, photography and videography. She also enjoys traveling and the outdoors (fishing, hiking, sailing, etc.). Contact:

Lab alumni:

Ash Enrici worked with Professor Gruby as a postdoctoral research fellow investigating the role of philanthropic foundations in marine conservation.  Their collaboration on ocean philanthropy continues from Dr. Enrici’s new position as an Assistant Professor at Indiana University’s Lilly School of Philanthropy. She has conducted research in contexts such as Indonesia, Fiji, Palau, and the mid-Atlantic of the United States. Using collaborative methods of knowledge co-production, ethnography, and Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) her work has also included topics of environmental justice, ecosystem-based fisheries management, and payment for ecosystem services. In her free time Ash explores the ocean as a free diver and has been a certified instructor of freediving since 2015. Originally from Chicago, she has a Master’s in Applied Anthropology and a PhD in Geographical Sciences, both from the University of Maryland. Contact:

Leslie Acton is currently an Assistant Professor in the Division of Coastal Sciences at the University of Southern Mississippi. She worked with Dr. Gruby as an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow, to investigate the changing roles of state and non-state actors in large marine protected area (LMPA) governance. Their research focused on the Papahānaumokuākea MarineNational Monument in Hawaii and the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam. In 2017, Leslie earned a PhD in Marine Science and Conservation at Duke University. Her dissertation research examined territorial negotiations over ocean space in Bermuda and the Sargasso Sea.  Leslie holds a Masters in Environmental Management, with a concentration in Coastal Environmental Management, from Duke University, as well as a B.S. in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Leslie is broadly interested in global oceans governance and draws on political ecology and common-pool resource theory to examine how political and social processes related to oceans governance play out across space and scale. Contact:

Keith Carlisle earned his PhD in 2018, working with Professor Gruby on a study of the governance of small-scale fishing in Palau. In connection with this project, Keith conducted qualitative research in the two northernmost states of Palau. He has also performed a bioeconomic analysis of fisheries for the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, and he has published research related to multi-national projects to restore large marine ecosystems. Prior to matriculating at CSU, Keith served as legal counsel for the Koror State Legislature in Palau, and he practiced corporate and compliance law in New York for 15 years. Keith’s research interests include environmental governance, legal pluralism, fishery management, and ecosystem-based management. He is currently working as a Human Dimensions of Wildlife Specialist at the USDA National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins, CO.

Katie Wilson earned her Master of Science in 2018. Her thesis focused on the human dimensions of the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument, a very large marine protected area in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam. Katie earned her B.A. in Anthropology from Idaho State University, where she gained experience as an undergraduate research assistant studying the impacts of proposed oil and gas development in Bristol Bay, Alaska. She has previously worked in international and environmental education, leading students in conservation and restoration projects throughout the US. Upon graduating CSU, Katie went on to be a NOAA Coastal Management Fellow working in the Illinois Coastal Management Program.