Meet our Staff

To contact Shoals Marine Laboratory in general, please send an email to or call (603) 862-5346.

Shoals Marine Laboratory Staff

University Partners


The Shoals Marine Laboratory (SML) leadership team is dedicated to fulfilling our mission, strengthening our tradition of academic excellence, and enhancing our programs and services. The SML Executive Committee, along with the SML Executive Director, make up the core of leadership. Valuable input, advice, and support come from the SML Academic Advisory Committee.

Jobs & Research Positions

Sara Morris

headshot of Sara Morris

Executive Director
Shoals Marine Laboratory


What is the SEC? 

The leadership of SML includes an Executive Committee. The SEC is comprised of 7 people plus a special topical advisor. Three members are from Cornell and three from UNH, plus SML’s Executive Director. Members typically serve a period of three years, though as we reform this committee, we are staggering the service periods randomly among the members. We hope you can join the Committee for a period of 3 years. This appointment can be renewed.


The committee will focus on three things: 

1. Operate effectively and efficiency with the support of our UNH and Cornell 

2. Find solutions to operational and program challenges 

3. Identify opportunities for growth, engagement, and overall mission


Committee members include:

Dr. Diane Foster, chair
Director, School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering, University of New Hampshire

Kenneth La Valley

Dr. Kim Babbitt
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, University of New Hampshire

Esther Angert
Senior Associate Dean, Office of the Senior Associate Deans, Cornell University 

Sahara Byrne
Senior Associate Dean, Office of the Senior Associate Deans, Cornell University

Amy R. McCune
Professor Emerita, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University


Jack Kingsbury

Dr. John M. Kingsbury, 1966-1979
Cornell University

J.B. Heiser

Dr. John B. Heiser, 1979-1994
Cornell University

Patty McGill

Dr. Patricia McGill, 1994-1995
Dallas Zoo

Brian Rivest

Dr. Brian Rivest, 1995-1997
State University of New York Cortland

Jim Morin

Dr. James Morin, 1997-2005
Cornell University

Willy Bemis

Dr. William E. Bemis, 2005-2013
Cornell University

Jon Pennock

Dr. Jonathan R. Pennock, 2013-2014 (Interim)
NOAA National Sea Grant



Dr. Jennifer Seavey

Dr. Jennifer Seavey, 2014-2023


(left to right) Willy Bemis, Patty McGill, Brian Rivest, Jack Kingsbury, J.B. Heiser and Jim Morin on Appledore Island.