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Kristen M. Fussell

Kristen M. Fussell, Ph.D. began working for Ohio Sea Grant (OHSG) in 2014 and is the Associate Director. She is responsible for the administration of OHSG’s research portfolio and fellowship programs and has a true passion for research coordination and collaboration to effectively use federal and state dollars to meet the most pressing needs of our coastal communities.


Resulting from her leadership and oversight in administering sound research competitions and cultivating partnerships with Ohio’s state agencies, OHSG’s research portfolio has grown over 10x’s in the last five years under her direction. This is largely due to OHSG managing two multi-year, state-level research initiatives exploring harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie and developing and managing a large wetland monitoring network throughout the state. This enthusiasm for research coordination also led her to successfully secure National Science Foundation funding to develop the Lake Erie and Aquatic Research Network (LEARN), which is a group of field stations, scientific laboratories and diverse researchers within Ohio working together to promote collaborative research, education and networking to address the challenges and opportunities facing Ohio’s freshwater resources.


Kristen also takes great pride in continuing to support, mentor, and develop the next generation of scientists and policy leaders by growing state and federal fellowship programs, research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, and implementing strategies to address workforce diversity and ensure that all feel valued for their individual talents and unique perspectives.


In addition to research and fellowship coordination, she leads annual reporting efforts and plays a leading role in fiscal budgeting for OHSG. Kristen has served on several boards and committees, and most recently has been elected as President of the Ohio Chapter of the American Fisheries Society and Board Member of the Ohio Academy of Sciences. Kristen received her M.S. and Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Toledo and her B.A. in zoology from Ohio Wesleyan University. Her research interests are benthic ecology, invasive species, and food-web dynamics in freshwater systems.

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