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Early Career Research Fellow - Matthew Ajemian

Implementing Organization

Florida Atlantic University


DWH Project Funding


Known Leveraged Funding


Funding Organization

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine – Gulf Research Program (NASEM - GRP)

Funding Program

NASEM Gulf Research Program Fellowships


Project Category


Project Actions

Education and Outreach

Targeted Resources

Human and/or Institutional Capacity

Project Description

Dr. Matt Ajemian is a fisheries ecologist who joined Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in 2016 as an Assistant Research Professor. Dr. Ajemian earned his Ph.D. in Marine Sciences at University of South Alabama and Dauphin Island Sea Lab in 2011. He then was a postdoctoral researcher with the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Dr. Ajemian's major research goals include generating ecological data sets to support the conservation of fisheries and vulnerable species, ranging from shellfish to sharks and rays. His field of study spans both applied and fundamental research topics, which include characterizing fish habitat use and movement patterns, understanding impacts of fish predation in benthic communities, and quantifying/mitigating interactions between fish and anthropogenic activities (fisheries, habitat modifications). Ajemian’s current projects include understanding uptake of harmful algal toxins in sharks, bonefish spawning behavior and recruitment, interactions between rays and shellfish culture, and goliath grouper behavioral ecology. This work spans a continuum of ecosystems, ranging from inshore lagoons to offshore artificial and natural reefs across Florida and the Bahamas, including the Gulf of Mexico. Matt has published over 40 articles to date in the peer-reviewed literature, and his research has been featured across a variety of media outlets and as Discovery’s "Shark Week," Nat Geo Wild, CNN, BBC Radio, and Discovery Canada.


Karena Mothershed
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