Jensen Lab
Lab Members  

Lab members

Olaf Jensen

I’m originally from Callicoon, NY – a small town on the Upper Delaware River. I went to Cornell U. for a BA in Biology & Society and then to the U. of Maryland Chesapeake Biological Lab for an MS in Marine Science. I did my Ph.D. research at the U. of Wisconsin Center for Limnology, followed by a postdoc (Smith Fellowship) at U. of Washington. My research interests are a mix of fisheries science and aquatic (marine & freshwater) ecology. In my free time I enjoy fishing (big surprise!), sailing, hiking, and most other outdoor pursuits.


Lab Managers

afJennifer Pincin

I am originally from Manitoba, Canada, but I went to high school in Georgia, after which I went to Auburn University to study marine biology for my BS  While there I worked in a fisheries lab, which led me to get my Master's degree in Fisheries Science at the University of Maryland's Chesapeake Biological Lab.  However, I have tried to expose myself to as many methods and modes of research and analysis as possible.  I have experience in lipid extraction, gas chromatography and stable isotope analysis, stock assessment modeling, bomb calorimetry, and aging fish with both otoliths and scales.  In my free time I love playing German-style board games and exploring any new place I can get to, whether close to home or far away.

AnthonyAnthony Vastano

I was born and raised in central New Jersey and got both my BS (2012) and MS (2016) from Rutgers. My graduate work involved studying age and growth in the Gulf Killifish, Fundulus grandis. I work on a variety of projects as part of the Jensen lab, particularly the annual shad and river herring tagging project. I feel science can be understood by the general public if explained well, and hope to pursue a career doing just this. My interest in the natural world was sparked by the aquarium hobby, and I continue to be an avid reef aquarist. I also enjoy exploring, photography, and taking ridiculously long road trips.



Postdoctoral Researchers

Kiva Oken

I grew up in Portland, Oregon where the mountains and ocean of the verdant Pacific Northwest quickly attracted me to the natural world. I went on to attend Carleton College in Minnesota where I graduated in 2010 with a BA in math and a minor in environmental studies. I completed my PhD at the University of Washington in the Quantitative Ecology & Resource Management (QERM) program in 2016. My research strives to combine novel statistical methods with mechanistic mathematical models to analyze complex data sets, answer ecological questions, and use that new insight to improve our management of natural resources. I am also easily distracted by other ecologists' data analysis quandaries. At Rutgers, my work focuses on using trophic biomarkers to infer diets of aquatic species, particularly related to food webs in Louisiana salt marshes and quantifying how they have responded to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. When not writing beautiful R code, I enjoy sharing good food and self-propelled recreation: bicycling, climbing, backpacking, paddling, etc.


Graduate Students

Abigail GoldenAbigail Golden

As a Ph.D. student in the Jensen lab, I use quantitative and qualitative methods to study fisheries as dynamic social-ecological systems. My work ranges from a remote trout fishery in northern Mongolia to New Jersey's recreational groundfish fisheries. As an undergraduate at Columbia University I studied an artisanal coral reef fishery in Fiji, and after earning my B.A. I took a detour into transportation safety research at the Worldwide Ferry Safety Association. In my spare time I like contra dancing, books, and exploring new places. Abigail's Website



Ashley TrudeauAshley Trudeau

I’ve been lucky to grow up in lots of places, but I claim North Carolina as my adopted home-state. I completed my undergraduate education in biology at UNC-Chapel Hill. During my subsequent years teaching middle and high school science, my interests became increasingly focused on aquatic ecology and fisheries management. After deciding that I wanted to pursue a career in research, I completed my Master’s in fish biology, fishery science, and aquaculture at Humboldt University of Berlin. As a PhD student at Rutgers I’m studying the flow of information and the movement of roving anglers within the lake-rich landscape of northern Wisconsin. I’m interested in examining recreational fisheries as social-ecological systems and particularly in the intersection of recreational and subsistence fisheries. In my free time I enjoy reading science fiction, climbing tall things, and practicing martial arts.


Carolyn IwickiCarolyn Iwicki

I mostly grew up just outside of Washington, DC in Springfield, Virginia — shout out to my fellow military brats! — before moving down to Newport News, Virginia to earn my BS (2015) in environmental biology from Christopher Newport University. After earning my first degree, I moved just up the road to Williamsburg, Virginia and the College of William & Mary, where I earned my MPP (Master's of Public Policy; 2017). I am now a PhD student in the Graduate Program in Ecology and Evolution and a fellow in Rutger's Coastal Climate Risk and Resilience (C2R2) traineeship program. I have always been interested in the intersection of fisheries science and public policy, and now plan on studying the socio-ecological dynamics of recreational fisheries in the face of climate change. Outside of the lab, I enjoy riding and training horses, fishing the waters around Cape May, NJ, and making delicious baked goods.



Mattea BerglundMattea Berglund

I grew up in northern California, where camping, rafting, and tidepooling inspired my interest in the natural world. I graduated from Brown University with a BS in Biology in 2017. I am passionate about aquatic ecology, conservation, and effective science communication. As a research technician in the Jensen lab, I primarily work on a ventless trap survey of New Jersey’s artificial reefs. When I am not offshore, I enjoy swing dancing, traveling, and a wide range of outdoor activities.




Stephanie Melaravastano

I was born and raised in Elizabeth New Jersey, where I discovered my love for almost all sciences. I am currently majoring in marine biology. As a lab technician in the Jensen lab, I help with fatty acid analyses in order to understand food webs, and I also assist with the American Shad and Herring migration project. During my time at Rutgers, I hope to work on a variety of research projects, both marine based and otherwise. After graduation I plan to pursue a graduate degree in Fisheries, but also expect to go back to school to study botany or wildlife ecology. In my free time I enjoy reading fiction and watching all kinds of movies.




Christopher Free (Ph.D. Graduate Program in Oceanography Spring 2018)Chris_Free

Currently a post-doc working with the Sustainable Fisheries Group.







Doug Zemeckis (postdoc 2016-2017)

Currently a County Agent III for the Rutgers University New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station







Michael McCann (postdoc 2015-2016)

Currently at The Nature Conservancy in New York.








Talia Young (Ph.D. Ecology and Evolution Graduate Program Spring 2016)Talia

Currently a postdoc at Princeton University.









Orion Weldon

Currently at TerraPurezza Regenerative Agriculture Institute and Farm in Spicewood, Texas.







Jim Vasslides (Ph.D. Ecology and Evolution Graduate Program Fall 2015)Vasslides_pic

Currently at the Barnegat Bay Partnership in New Jersey.








Andrew Lahr (BS 2015)vastano

Currently a Fisheries Technician with the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.








Alise Strauch (BS 2015)vastano

Currently at BMW of North America








Evan Kwityn (BS Marine Biology 2014)vastano

Currently an environmental statistician at Princeton Hydro








Mikaela Provost (MS Graduate Program in Oceanography Fall 2013)MProvost

Currently pursuing a Ph.D. at UC Davis








Philipp Neubauer (postdoc 2011-2013)af

Currently at Dragonfly Science in Wellington, New Zealand












Photo credits Olaf Jensen, Brant Allen, Jeremy Monroe | Site design Freshwaters Illustrated