Marissa McMahan

Senior Fisheries Scientist

Marissa has spent the past decade researching fisheries in the Gulf of Maine. Much of what drives her scientific curiosity is a deep connection to the fishing traditions and culture that New England is founded upon. Her family has been farming and fishing in midcoast Maine since the 1700s. She grew up working on her father’s lobster boat, which is what ultimately led her to marine science. As a result of her family’s history in commercial fisheries, and her career as a scientist, Marissa strives to bridge the gap between scientists and fishermen and create collaborative partnerships between the two sectors.


Marissa is currently finishing her PhD in Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology at Northeastern University. Her research focuses on community ecology and fisheries biology. In particular, she is interested in the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of climate-induced marine species’ distribution shifts. As a scientist at Manomet, Marissa strives to enhance the sustainability of our native fisheries, while also exploring ways to diversify wild-caught fisheries and aquaculture opportunities. Marissa is also a Switzer Environmental Fellow, and recently received a Switzer Leadership Grant that supports her role as a leader in fisheries science at Manomet.


Prior to beginning her PhD, Marissa received a M.S. in marine biology from the University of Maine. She is also deeply committed to public outreach and community education, and works with community based groups and local classrooms to promote interest and involvement with environmental issues.