Sarah Lester


Sarah Lester is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at Florida State University.  She is trained as a marine ecologist and has an interdisciplinary research program addressing questions related to coastal and marine natural resource management, marine conservation science, and ecosystem sustainability.

   Jennifer McHenry


Jennifer is a first year PhD student in the Department of Geography at FSU. Jennifer is broadly interested in complex interactions, feedbacks, and dependencies between human and coastal marine systems. Her dissertation seeks to understand the spatial dynamics of ecosystem service delivery in seagrass meadows along the Florida Gulf coast.  Prior to starting this fall, Jennifer earned a B.Sc. in marine sciences in 2010 and a double M.Sc. in marine biology and marine policy in 2014 from the University of Maine. She also worked as a fisheries biologist at NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center and then as a research technician and lab manager in labs of Dr. Sarah Lester and Dr. Andrew Rassweiler.

   Elizabeth "Bess" Ruff


Bess is a PhD student starting fall 2017 in the Department of Geography, supervised by Sarah Lester. Bess uses GIS and participatory mapping techniques to inform and design comprehensive marine management strategies that address both conservation objectives and human activities. She has conducted survey work for a variety of marine spatial planning projects in the Caribbean and, prior to FSU, provided research support as a graduate fellow for the Sustainable Fisheries Group. Bess graduated from Washington & Lee University with a B.A. in economics and earned a master’s degree from the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California Santa Barbara, where she specialized in conservation planning as well as coastal and marine resource management.