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Thursday, Dec 7, 2023

Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute Hires New CSO

Q&A: Dr. Danielle Haulsee Shares Plans To ‘Raise Profile’ of HSWRI

Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute’s new chief science officer is looking forward to “raising the Institute’s profile.

Danielle Haulsee
Chief Science Officer
Hubbs-SeaWorld Resarch Institute

“Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute is internationally renowned for its marine science work within the ocean conservation sector, but deserves broader recognition, especially as it relates to sustainability and climate change impacts,” Dr. Danielle E. Haulsee, Ph.D. said.

Haulsee assumed her new role as HSWRI’s CSO on Dec. 6. She previoulsy seved as a research scientist at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station – the oldest marine lab on the U.S. Pacific Coast and the second oldest in the nation, after Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Hopkins Station is located in Pacific Grove, California and is adjacent to the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Haulsee will oversee all scientific work at HSWRI’s laboratories in San Diego and Carlsbad, and Brevard County in Florida. Her work will include developing and implementing five-year research plans on a rolling basis. Reporting directly to president and CEO Don Kent, she will also interface with HSWRI’s Board of Trustees, scientists, management team members, staff and SeaWorld.

Don Kent
President & CEO
Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute

“Danielle’s dedication to ocean conservation research and marine policy grounded in science, along with her exceptional scientific credentials, ensure she will be a powerful addition to our team,” Kent said. “She will elevate the scope, impact and awareness of our important research work.”

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Haulsee earned her B.S. in environmental studies at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania and her Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Delaware, where she also completed her initial postdoctoral work. She also did postdoctoral work at Hopkins Marine Station before becoming a Research Scientist there.

She recently received the first Hopkins Marine Station Service Award for postdocs, having been judged as exceptionally participatory in HMS community events, supportive in professional development of her peers, proactive in her service and collaborative in her research efforts.

“The Institute’s scientists and trustees feel very fortunate to have Danielle join our team,” added Kent. “Today’s many challenges to our oceans and the growing impacts of human-marine interactions make our work more important than ever, and her leadership will help lift that even further.”

The San Diego Business Journal recently caught up with Dr. Haulsee to find out more about her plans to lead the research at HSWRI.

What do you see as the top research priorities for HSWRI?

For decades, HSWRI has focused on conserving and managing our oceans and its resources. And today, our priorities remain the same: to conduct innovative, collaborative, and impactful research that directly relates to solving the challenges facing our oceans. In addition, I will bring a fresh perspective, fostering new collaborative opportunities and promoting innovative uses of advanced technologies.

Now more than ever, we need world-class scientists dedicated to understanding ways in which humans can more sustainably interact with our marine environment. Our core research programs – sustainable seafood, ocean health, wild populations and animal behavior – do that.

For example, our sustainable seafood program works with recreational fishers and the state of California to find practical solutions to sustainably farm and restock depleted populations of marine finfish. Moving forward, we are considering the whole ecosystem and expanding this work to include macroalgae, seagrasses and invertebrates to maintain thriving and healthy ecosystems.

Through our partnership with SeaWorld, HSWRI has learned about animal behavior, sensory systems and disease in ways that not only would not be possible in the wild, but also allow us to better understand wild populations.

Is there any work from Hopkins Marine Station you can carry over to your new job? What kinds of research/work at Hopkins prepared you for this new position?

At Hopkins Marine Station, I was leading a multi-institutional international research project studying the occurrence and distribution of blue marlin and sailfish in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, and how their occurrence is changing related to changes in ocean patterns like the El Niño/La Niña cycle and changes in commercial and recreational fishing pressures.

At HSWRI, I hope to continue working in this system, as well as tagging additional species of concern in collaboration with recreational and commercial fishers in Southern California, another area of rapid environmental change.

What do you look forward to most about leading HSWRI’s research team?

With our infrastructure, strategic locations, expert scientists and passionate staff, HSWRI has so much potential to make waves of change towards a more sustainable future for our oceans.

Here, I can work with our team on conservation and management questions with real-world applications, informing policy and decision-making at multiple levels, including in our local communities.

Anything you’d like to add?

Southern California is a hub of amazing marine research institutions, and I am proud to be welcomed into the community. I am excited to foster collaborations both here and at our facilities in Florida.


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