Our Team

The ODFW Marine Reserves Program is responsible for the management and scientific monitoring of Oregon’s marine reserves. Our team includes six full-time staff who are based in Newport, Oregon. We also host post-graduate Fellows within our program. We are part of ODFW’s Marine Resources Program.

Our team is committed to the following principles: (1) We are focused on our legislative mandates, (2) we produce robust scientific information, (3) we support a diversity of ways for communities to engage in marine reserves implementation, and (4) we are transparent in our activities and operations.

Meet our Staff and Fellows …


Dr. Lindsay Aylesworth

Program Leader

Lindsay oversees the interdisciplinary work of the marine reserves program and is the focal point for policy work and program administration. She has worked for over 13 years at the interface of science, policy, and marine resource management. Her previous work focused on a variety of marine issues including international policy and trade of marine species, bycatch in Pacific Island fisheries, endangered species research, and coral reef ecology. Prior to taking on the Program Leader position, Lindsay served as the Marine Reserves Ecological Project Leader for 5 years.
She received her doctoral degree from the University of British Columbia, where she studied data-poor marine species in Southeast Asia. She has a Master’s degree in coastal environmental management from Duke University, and served as a Fulbright Scholar in Brazil. Lindsay enjoys walking her dog, teaching spin classes, and fishing in her free time.

Dr. Thomas (Tommy) Swearingen

Human Dimensions Research Project Leader

Tommy officially retired from this position November 1, 2022. He is working part-time until we are able to
recruit for this permanent position in summer of 2023.


Ecological Research Project Leader

Stay tuned for a posting for this position in early 2023.

Stephanie Fields

Ecological Research Assistant Project Leader

Stephanie helps lead the Program’s ecological monitoring and research work. She has a Bachelor’s degree in marine biology from UC Santa Cruz and a Master’s degree in marine resource management from Oregon State University. Her graduate work was focused on investigating the impacts on benthic marine communities from dredged material disposal at the mouth of the Columbia River. Before joining our team, Stephanie was an integral part of several ODFW pilot research projects using stereo video to assess populations of marine invertebrates and rockfishes off the Oregon coast.

Ryan Fields

Ecological Research Assistant

Ryan helps carry out the Program’s ecological monitoring and research work. He received a Master’s degree in marine science at Moss Landing Marine Labs (MLML) where his thesis work focused on changes in life-history traits of Rosy Rockfish over the past four decades. After graduating, he continued working at MLML assisting with a hook-and-line fishing research program as well as the development of a new stereo-video lander tool to survey rockfish in deep-water rocky habitats. Ryan grew up on Kodiak Island Alaska where he spent the summers commercial fishing for salmon with his family. In his spare time, Ryan can be found outside hiking, watercolor painting fish, or working on his house.

Emmah Johannes

Ecological Research Assistant

Emmah joined the ecological research team as an Ecological Research Assistant. Emmah has her bachelors degree in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology from Colorado State University (go rams!). She grew up in Colorado where her love for the outdoors and fish was born. During her time in Oregon, she has worked on a juvenile salmon passage study and on multiple projects with ODFW including chinook spawning ground surveys on the Suislaw National Forest. In her free time you can find her fishing, drinking craft beer, and hiking with her dog Oli.

Kendall Smith

Outreach and Engagement Project Leader

Kendall focuses on science communications within the Marine Reserves program, working to increase connections with communities and stakeholders affected by policy changes and disseminate research findings from the recently completed synthesis report. Kendall has a bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from the University of Oregon, and a master’s degree in Biology from the University of Oregon. Prior to her work with Oregon’s Marine Reserves, Kendall investigated the biological and ecological factors influencing the red abalone population in Oregon, performing genetic analysis, larval behavior synthesis and a management techniques evaluation to complete a conservation and fishery management plan for the historically important recreational fishery. Kendall loves to mountain bike, travel, scuba dive, and cook in her free time.

Mark Freeman

Temp. Marine Reserves Public Affairs Specialist

Mark comes to the program with more than 30 years in print and television journalism covering ocean, coastal, fishing and other environmental issues, first in Coos Bay and the past three decades at the Mail Tribune in Medford. Mark routinely wrote about various inland and ocean fisheries in new articles and weekly outdoors columns. He’s also written extensively on lingcod and other groundfish recovery efforts as well as the commercial fisheries. Mark also produced, wrote and hosted the Oregon Outdoors television show seen weekly on CBS affiliates throughout Oregon. He can’t wait to carry a tide book in his pocket again.


OSU-MSI Science Integration Fellow

We are awaiting the outcome of the marine reserves assessment and are currently not filling this position.