JoEllen grew up fishing Charlotte Harbor with her family which soon influenced her to pursue 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 in 2009. 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. JoEllen spends her free time fishing Charlotte Harbor with her husband and their children, Massey Marlin and Landon Snook.
As BTT’s Juvenile Tarpon Habitat Program Manager, JoEllen oversees juvenile tarpon habitat research projects from South Carolina to the Florida Keys, mapping of juvenile tarpon habitat and education to the public through presentations. The main focus of this program is to create a framework that integrates habitat into marine fisheries management plans.