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BTT Staff

Jim McDuffie, Executive Director

Jim McDuffie

President

A 25-year veteran of non-profit management, Jim McDuffie previously served in a variety of leadership roles for The Nature Conservancy’s programs in Florida, North Carolina and Maryland/DC. His tenure with the organization also included fellowships in Palau, where he consulted with the Palau International Coral Reef Center in Koror, and in Australia, where he collaborated with multiple conservation partners across the Asia-Pacific region on strategies for building financially viable organizations. A native of North Carolina, Jim grew up in the longleaf pine forests of the Sandhills, where from an early age he enjoyed hunting, fishing and other outdoor pursuits. He added fly-fishing to those passions 16 years ago, beginning with trips to Montana, Colorado and the Southern Appalachian streams of his home state. Jim received the BA and MA degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  

Dr. Aaron Adams, Director of Science and Conservation

Dr. Aaron Adams

Director of Science and Conservation • Senior Scientist, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

Aaron is the Director of Science and Conservation for Bonefish & Tarpon Trust and a Senior Scientist at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute of Florida Atlantic University. He received a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s College in Maryland, a Master’s degree from the College of William and Mary, and a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and also holds a Coast Guard Captain’s License. He has lived, worked, and fished on both coasts of the US, as well as throughout the Caribbean, where he has been conducting fish research for more than 25 years. His pursuit of effective fisheries and habitat conservation are rooted in his years growing up near Chesapeake Bay, where he witnessed the decline of the Bay’s habitats and fisheries.

His scientific focus has been on conducting applied research with conservation implications (from coral reef to recreational species), with a particular interest in fish habitat ecology. As Director of Science and Conservation, Aaron is responsible for formulating and implementing BTT’s science and conservation plan.

In addition to his duties at BTT, Aaron is also an avid angler, and spends considerable effort translating fish science into fishermen’s terms – including authoring three books and contributing to numerous other books.

Nick Roberts

Director of Marketing & Communications • Editor, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust Journal

Nick was born in Palo Alto, California, but grew up in North Carolina, where he earned a BA in English from Duke University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Before joining the BTT staff in the summer of 2016, Nick spent six years working as a fly-fishing guide and freelance writer in Asheville, NC. He has had the opportunity to fish in some unforgettable places, including Belize, Patagonia, Italy, and the Argentina-Paraguay border. His writings about his fly-fishing travels have appeared in a number of publications, including Fly Rod & Reel, The Drake, Fly Fish America, and Eastern Fly-Fishing.

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Mark Rehbein, Director of Development

Mark Rehbein

Director of Development

Mark caught his first bonefish when he was nine years old, and has been pursuing all types of finned, feathered, and furred species ever since. He is a graduate from Elon University with degrees in Strategic Communications and Video Production.  After college, he spent a year working for an outfitter in Alaska before following his dream of a cross country road trip fishing from Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula to Key West. Since then, he returned home to the DC area working as a Legislative Assistant at Capitol Hill Consulting Group, a lobbying firm on Capitol Hill.  Mark is thankful to have gotten an early start in fishing through his parents, and hopes to preserve the world’s most exciting game fish for his future children.

As the Director of Development, Mark is in charge of all BTT's fundraising events.  He manages the various aspects of events including committees, event details, program and auctions, and makes sure that everyone gets the most out of any BTT function.  He also assists on the many different initiatives at BTT. If you have any questions regarding any events feel free to email Mark.

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Pat Bowman

Director of Operations & Administration

Pat joined the BTT team in December, 2017. She has served as Lead Systems Analyst at Martin Lockheed, Executive Director of Rose Center and Council of the Arts,  Director of Professional Alliances, and Director of Marketing for The Andersen Firm.

Pat grew up fishing in Tennessee and the Florida Keys and pursues her passion as often as possible. She received her BA from Maryville College, Tennessee.

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Dr. Ross Boucek

Florida Keys Initiative Manager

Ross is a second generation South Floridian. He grew up fishing for tarpon and snook out of Everglades City. Ross earned his Masters and Doctoral degrees at Florida International University, studying how weather events, such as hurricanes, droughts, and extreme cold events, impact sportfishes in Florida Bay and Everglades National Park. After his schooling, he worked for Florida Fish and Wild Conservation Commission, researching fish movements and migrations, and applying that information to conservation actions.

Based in Marathon, Ross spends most of his time in the Keys, either conducting BTT science, or working with anglers, and management agencies to turn BTT science into meaningful management and regulatory changes that improve our Keys fishery.  

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JoEllen Wilson, Juvenile Tarpon Habitat Program Manager

JoEllen Wilson

Juvenile Tarpon Habitat Program Manager

JoEllen was born with an obsession for all things saltwater related - especially fishing.  She made her boating debut at 5-days-old and had a rod in her hand by the time she could walk.  JoEllen grew up fishing Charlotte Harbor with her family which soon influenced family vacations to Australia, Belize, Costa Rica and an annual Keys trip - with the intermittent snowboard trip out west.  Her fascination for fishing and guidance from her father ultimately led to a career in marine science. JoEllen held a position with Florida's management agency (FWC) and spent time in the field volunteering with FWC and Mote Marine Laboratory.  After receiving her Bachelor's Degree from Florida Gulf Coast University, JoEllen was hired as BTT's first membership administrator and research assistant.  She completed her Master's Degree in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences at University of Florida (Go Gators!) where her research focused on Juvenile Tarpon Habitat Use.  A self-proclaimed "aquaholic", JoEllen spends her free time fishing Charlotte Harbor with her husband and their two dogs.

As BTT's Juvenile Tarpon Habitat Program Manager, JoEllen is in charge of all things juvenile tarpon related.  This includes juvenile tarpon habitat research projects from South Carolina to the Florida Keys, mapping of juvenile tarpon habitat and education to the public through presentations.

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Justin Lewis, Bahamas Initiative Manager

Justin Lewis

Bahamas Initiative Manager

Justin is a Bahamian native from Freeport, Grand Bahama. Being raised on the island around the water, his passion for fishing and the ocean started from a very young age. He first started fly fishing off the beach near his family home for whatever could swim. From there, he evolved into a passionate flats angler and conservationist, with a particular fondness for bonefish. Justin attended St. Francis Xavier University on the East coast of Canada where he received a BA in Aquatic Resources with Public Policy and Social Research. During his undergraduate studies, he took part in a variety of conservation efforts including the Bahamas bonefish tagging program and juvenile bonefish research. After he completed his undergraduate degree, Justin went the University of York in England where he completed an MSc in Marine Environmental Management.

With BTT conservation efforts expanding throughout the Islands of the Bahamas, it was apparent that someone was needed in the Bahamas full time. Justin is now the Bahamas Initiative Coordinator, and is in charge of leading conservation efforts, such as tagging and habitat restoration. He will also be charged with maintaining and forging new relationships with the many lodges and guides around the islands that depend on the health of the bonefish fishery for their livelihood.

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Scott Lones, Finance and Operations Manager

Scott Lones

Finance and Operations Manager

Scott is a Miami native whose family owned and operated Pinewood Acres School for 60 years in Kendall, FL. He graduated from the University of Miami and supports his “Canes”. His family retired the Pinewood Acres School in 2013, which gave Scott the opportunity and flexibility to do what he loves, spend time in the outdoors! Scott is an avid fisherman and hunter who started fishing at the age of 4 pursuing everything that swims. He and his father traveled frequently to the Caribbean and the Keys chasing bonefish, tarpon and permit on fly. Self admittedly catching snook on artificials in the Ten Thousand Islands area is his favorite pastime. Scott is excited to be a team member in helping to preserve the future of our fisheries.

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Henry Buck

Membership & Marketing Manager

Henry grew up fishing in Cape Cod and Central Idaho with his dad and older brother. Once he got the taste of bonefish on the end of his fly rod, fishing and life changed forever. After graduating from Hobart College with a BA in American Studies, Henry spent the next five years working for The Wall Street Journal in the sales and advertising departments.

Additionally, Henry has enjoyed spending time serving on the board of an environmentally focused non-profit, the Horizon Foundation, alongside family members for the past 6 years. Conservation and fishing have always gone hand in hand with him, and he hopes to help BTT continue to grow as a recognized leader in the habitat protection and angling communities.

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Cory Deal

Development & Events Coordinator

Cory was born and raised on the east coast of Florida and has been obsessed with everything water related since birth. She's had her boaters license since her eleventh birthday and has spent every day possible either on the water or in it. She is an advanced open water scuba diver as well as an avid free diver.

Cory spent most of her young life stalking bonefish on Bahamian flats and loves nothing more than sight fishing for tailing bonefish. She even caught a few BTT tagged bonefish prior to joining the team!

Cory graduated from the University of Florida, where she earned a degree in Education and Communication. As the Development & Events Coordinator, she manages all aspects of planning BTT fundraising events. She also serves as the point person for coordinating event committees, speakers, attendees, and outside vendors. Please contact Cory with any questions regarding events.

 

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Alex Anne Matthews

Marketing & Communications Intern

A fourth-generation fly angler, Alex Anne had no choice but to love the outdoors. Alex Anne grew up in Clayton, situated amid the trout-filled streams and Appalachian foothills of North Georgia. She first held a fly rod at the age of five and grew to love the saltier side of the sport during annual visits to her grandparents' home in Key Largo. At fourteen, she tied her first flies and started a local fly tying business Sunrise Flies at the age of seventeen. She credits the patience and time of her father that led her to a lifelong pursuit of healthy habitats and fisheries for generations to come. 

Alex Anne received a BA in Environmental Studies from Sewanee: The University of the South and is currently earning her MS in Environmental Science & Policy from the Johns Hopkins University. Before joining the BTT staff as an intern in the summer of 2017, Alex Anne spent twelve years working with children and adults with developmental disabilities in an outdoor setting, both in Georgia and Wyoming. A science writer by trade, her freelance work can be seen in a number of forthcoming publications, including Dun Magazine and Eastern Fly-Fishing.

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