Research Team

Tyler ColemanTyler Coleman, PhD

Tyler Steven Coleman is a Postdoctoral Researcher for the Aquatics Team. Tyler integrates
theoretical and applied research using innovative quantitative techniques, while assisting
colleagues and students with fieldwork and statistics. 

Email: [email protected]

Alex MottAlex Mott, PhD

Alex Mott is the Invertebrate Ecology Postdoctoral Researcher working with the Aquatics
Team under Dr. Kyle Piller. His work focuses on monitoring blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus), Rangia clams, and identifying the shrimp species that live in Lake Maurepas.

Email: [email protected]

Wray GabelWray Gabel, MS

Wray Gabel is the GIS/Data Management Technician for the Lake Maurepas Monitoring
Program. Wray is responsible for managing all data generated by all aspects of the
project and also specializes in ArcGIS geospatial software.

Email: [email protected]

Corwyn HallCorwyn Hall, MS

Corwyn Hall is the Lead Field Technician for the Lake Maurepas project. He will work
with graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to collect fish, shrimp, crabs,
and clams, along with other field samples. When not in the field he will maintain
field equipment, help with research projects, and work on his own research.

Email: [email protected]

Nick StevensNick Stevens, MS

Nick Stevens will be assisting Dr. Shaffer and his lab throughout the duration of
this project. He will be helping manage the day to day duties such as cleaning and
maintaining both field and lab equipment as well as prepping equipment and supplies
for field operations. Nick will also be helping Dr. Shaffer with his research in the
Maurepas swamp and on Lake Maurepas by setting up locations for monitoring, visiting
these stations to collect data, and preparing graduate students and equipment for
data collection. He will also be in charge of helping grow and maintain the cypress
and tupelo that will be needed for the yearly restoration plantings.

Email: [email protected]

Ariel EbanksAriel Ebanks, MS

Ariel Ebanks is the Community Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Turtle Cove
Environmental Research Station. Her responsibilities include incorporating the ongoing
research for the Lake Maurepas Monitoring project into STEM outreach events and Turtle
Cove tours, assisting with the development of climate change-related coursework, and
facilitating the needs of faculty and staff utilizing Turtle Cove for their work.

Email: [email protected]

Hadyn HallHadyn Hall, BS

Hadyn Hall is our Project Coordinator, and she will assist in the daily administrative
tasks relating to the Lake Maurepas Monitoring project. She is the website manager,
so please reach out to her for more information.

Email: [email protected]

Hayden RenoHayden Reno

Hayden Reno is the caretaker at Turtle Cove. Hayden plays an integral role on the
team by facilitating access to Lake Maurepas and sharing his knowledge about Lake
Maurepas and the region.

Email: [email protected]


Graduate Students

Camryn BigelowCamryn Bigelow

Camryn is a first year graduate student in the Piller lab. She graduated from Texas
A&M University at Galveston with her B.S. in Marine Biology. She will be working with
eDNA for the Maurepas biomonitoring project as a graduate research assistant. Her
thesis project is currently directed towards examining variation in invertebrate populations
along the salinity gradient and how this information contributes to a greater understanding
of how estuaries work overall.

Email: [email protected]

Emily VanaseljaEmily Vanaselja

Emily is a first year graduate research assistant on the project. Her main role will
be to use environmental DNA (eDNA) to better understand the spatial and temporal variability
in the fish assemblage of Lake Maurepas. This comprehensive monitoring technique will
be used in conjunction with traditional sampling approaches that also will be used
on the project.                 

Email: [email protected]

Anthony JohnsonAnthony Johnson

Anthony Johnson is a Master of Science student and Graduate Research Assistant at
Southeastern Louisiana University. He aims to integrate his background in natural
resource management with his passion for landscape ecology, herpetology, and conservation
biology to support the Lake Maurepas monitoring team. He will be assisting the team
both in the field and in the lab to gain a deeper understanding of the pre-carbon
capture conditions of the lake. While Anthony is involved in collecting biological
data on several taxa within Lake Maurepas, his primary focus is on gathering physiological
data from alligators and catfish.

Email: [email protected]

Maggie McGrealMaggie McGreal

Maggie McGreal is a graduate research assistant who will be involved in monitoring
wildlife in the lake through the collection and handling of physiological data, primarily
focusing on frogs and alligators. She will also be involved in investigating the demographics
of alligators through a large-scale mark-recapture program and will be working in
a collaborative team towards the development of satellite trackers to collect data
on alligator movement and space use patterns.

Email: [email protected]

Mario CampoMario Campo

Mario Campo is a graduate research assistant in Dr. Gary Shaffer’s lab. He assists
with data collection, field work, and greenhouse upkeep. Campo is composing a new
version of the Sustainability map of the Maurepas/Manchac Wetlands. He is also assisting
with the growth of bald cypress and tupelo trees that will be used for mitigation
during this project.

Email: [email protected]

Taylor ParkerTaylor Parker

Taylor Parker is a graduate research assistant studying in Dr. Shaffer’s lab. He assists
with data collection and prepping field monitoring stations in the Maurepas swamp
and on Lake Maurepas. He is a greenhouse technician that is assisting in the management
of bald cypress and water tupelo trees that will be used for mitigation during this
project. His thesis will be measuring recent subsidence rates across the Maurepas

Email: [email protected]

Thilini GunawardhanaThilini Gunawardhana

Thilini is a Graduate Assistant on the Chemistry team. She will assist in the examination
of water and sediment samples from Lake Maurepas weekly and analyze the samples for
their chemical properties. Her primary studies are directed toward the chemical migration
within the lake and the nearby wetlands.


Md. Alinur RahmanMd. Alinur Rahman

Md. Alinur is responsible for water and sediment sampling from Lake Maurepas, analyzing
the chemical properties of these samples, comparing the data with the dredge and non-dredge
sampling locations, and identifying the pollution sources and their distributions. 

Email: [email protected]