Robert Thomas Leaf, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor - Department of Coastal Sciences
228.872.4296 fax: 228.872.4204
Gulf Coast Research Laboratory
703 East Beach Drive
Ocean Springs, MS 39564
- 2010 - Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg, VA
PhD in Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Dissertation: The Evolutionary Effects of Fishing: Implications for Stock Management and Rebuilding
- 2005 - San Jose State University - Moss Landing Marine Laboratories Moss Landing, CA
Master of Science in Marine Sciences
Thesis: Population Biology of Red Abalone, Haliotis rufescens, in Northern California
- 1997 - University of California at Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, CA
Bachelor of Arts in Biology
Senior Project: A Key to the Intertidal Fishes of Monterey Bay
Papers in Refereed Journals
- Grammer, P. O., Mickle, P.F., Peterson, M.S., Havrylkoff, J., Slack, W.T. and R.T. Leaf. 2014. Activity patterns of Gulf Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi) in the staging area of the Pascagoula River during fall outmigration. Ecology of Freshwater Fish. 1-9.
- S. Clardy, N. Brown-Peterson, M. Peterson, R. Leaf. 2014. Age, growth and reproduction of the southern kingfish, Menticirrhus americanus: Multivariate comparison to the life-history patterns in other sciaenids. Fishery Bulletin.
- Leaf, R.T. and K.D. Friedland. 2014. Fall bloom phenology and magnitude influence haddock recruitment on Georges Bank. ICES Journal of Marine Science, doi: 10.1093/icesjms/fsu076.
- A.A. Andrews, R.T. Leaf, L. Rogers-Bennett, M. Neuman, H. Hawk, G.M. Cailliet. 2013. Bomb radiocarbon dating of the endangered white abalone (Haliotis sorenseni): investigations of age, growth and lifespan. Marine and Freshwater Research 64(11), 1029-1039.
- Friedland, K.D., Stock, C., Drinkwater K.F., Link, J.S., Leaf, R.T., Shank, B.V., Rose, J., Pilskaln, C.H., and Fogarty, M. 2012. Pathways Between Primary Production and Fisheries Yields of Large Marine Ecosystems. PLoS ONE 7(1), e28945.
- Leaf, R.T., Y. Jiao, B. Murphy, J. Kramer, and K. Sorensen. 2011. Life-history and husbandry characteristics of Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes). Copeia 4:559-565.
- Hennningsen, A.D and R.T. Leaf. 2010 Observations on the captive biology of the southern stingray, Dasyatis americana. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 139:783-791.
- Leaf, R.T., A.H. Andrews, G.M. Cailliet, and T.A. Brown. 2008. Bomb radiocarbon support for an age-at-length relationship for red abalone, Haliotis rufescens Swainson, in Northern California. Journal of Shellfish Research 27:1177-1182.
- Leaf, R.T., L. Rogers-Bennett, and Y. Jiao. 2008. Exploring the use of a size-based egg-per-recruit model for the Red Abalone fishery in California. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 28:1638-1647.
- Leaf, R.T., L. Rogers-Bennett, and P. Haaker. 2007, Spatial, temporal, and size-specific variation in mortality estimates of red abalone, Haliotis rufescens, from mark-recapture data in California. Fisheries Research 83: 341-350.
- Rogers-Bennett, L. and R.T. Leaf. 2006. Elasticity analysis of size-based red and white abalone matrix models: Management and conservation. Ecological Applications 16: 213-224.
- Rogers-Bennett, L. and R.T. Leaf. 2005. Measuring Abalone and Sea Urchins. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 86: 278-281.
- Leaf, R.T. and B. Murphy. 2009. Age and growth of Hawaiian Islands reef fish: a case study using Excel “Solver” for non-linear curve fitting. Published online at: The National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science Case Collection, University of Buffalo. Web link: www.sciencecases.org
- 2011 - “RSAT”, an R package with tools for the extraction and conversion of NASA ocean color satellite data to data types that are readily usable in the R computing environment.
- 2014 - “aspic.plot”, a suite of functions to plot .rdat files derived from NOAA Fisheries Toolbox program "ASPIC"
Platform and Poster Presentations
Tenn-Miss. Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, Counce, MS
National Shellfisheries Association Annual Meeting, Jacksonville, FL
National Meeting of the American Fisheries Society, Little Rock, AR
Mississippi Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, McComb, MS
Gulf Coast Fisheries Research Institute, Galveston, TX
ICES/PICES Young Scientist Meeting, Palma, Spain
Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Coastal Sciences, Ocean Springs, MS
Ecological Applications Group, NOAA Research Retreat, Newport, RI Fisheries and the Environment Annual Meeting, Portland, OR
- 2010 - Hudson River Foundation, New York, NY
American Fisheries Society Student Colloquium, Blacksburg, VA
American Fisheries Society Meeting, Nashville, TN
International Symposium on Fish Otolith Research and Application, Monterey, CA
International Radiocarbon Conference, Big Island, HI
Virginia Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, Lexington, VA
American Fisheries Society Student Colloquium, Fall Creek Falls, TN
National Stock Assessment Workshop, Port Townsend, WA
NMFS/SeaGrant Annual Fellows Meeting, Honolulu, HI
Virginia Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, Blacksburg, VA
NMFS/SeaGrant Annual Fellows Meeting, Miami, FL
Benthic Ecology Meeting, Atlanta, GA
- 2006 - National Shellfisheries Association Annual Meeting, Monterey, CA
NMFS Southeast Fisheries Science Center, Beaufort, NC
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, Blacksburg, VA
Western Society of Naturalists, Monterey, CA
- 2004 - Western Society of Naturalists, Rohnert Park, CA
- 2003 - California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations Symposium, Asilomar, CA
- Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Fisheries Research, Coral Reefs, Proceedings of the Southeastern Association of Fisheries and Wildlife Managers, North American Journal of Fisheries Management, Ecological Applications, Chinese Journal of Oceanography
Grant Reviewer Activity
- 2014 - Virginia Sea Grant Graduate Fellowship
- 2012 - Assistant Professor, Gulf Coast Research Lab, University of Southern Mississippi, Ocean Springs, MI.
- 2011 - Post-doctoral Researcher, NOAA Northeast Fishery Science Center, Narragansett, RI
- 2010 - Research Assistant, Natural Resources Group, City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation, New York, NY
- 2010 - Curriculum Developer, Revolution Prep, New York, NY
Duties: Developed Online Biology SAT preparation lectures, coursework, and exams.
- 2005 - Environmental Consultant, Garcia and Associates, San Anselmo, CA
Duties: Performed endangered species (amphibians and reptiles) monitoring for a large construction project. Maintained detailed records of the diversity and abundance of taxa encountered.
Member technical advisory committee for Audubon’s “Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries
Panelist Gulf Council “Special Red Drum Working Group”
- 2013 - Participant Black Sea Bass Ageing workshop
- 2012 to 2013 - Analyst GOM Blue Crab Stock Assessment
- 2012 to 2013 - Analyst GOM Gulf Menhaden Stock Assessment
Professional memberships and affiliations
- American Fisheries Society
- National Shellfisheries Association
- American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
- American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists
Awards, Grants and Scholarships
- 2009 - Robert D. Ross Graduate Scholarship, Virginia Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, A.B. Massey Award for Outstanding Graduate Student in the Virginia Tech Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences.
- 2008 - Virginia Tech Graduate Research and Development Project Grant, $300
- 2007 - Virginia Tech Graduate Research and Development Project Grant, $300
National Shellfisheries Association Travel Grant, $300
NMFS/Sea Grant Graduate Fellowship in Population Dynamics (awarded to Yan Jiao and Michael Prager), $98,000
- 2004 - Myers Oceanographic Trust Grant, $1800
American Museum of Natural History Grant, $800
J.T. Harvey Scholarship, $500
2002 PADI Project Aware Grant, $1500
Instructor graduate-level class Marine Fisheries Assessment
Instructor graduate-level class Biometry for the Coastal Sciences
Instructor Special topics in Individual-Based Simulation Modeling
- 2013 - Instructor graduate-level class Biometry for the Coastal Sciences
SAT Preparation, Kaplan, Inc., Instructor
Sea Education Association, Guest Lecturer
Marine Stock Assessment, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Guest Lecturer
Fisheries Techniques and Marine Ecology, Virginia Tech, Guest Lecturer
Marine Stock Assessment, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Guest Lecturer
Conservation Biology, Virginia Tech, Guest lecturer
Marine Ecology, Virginia Tech, Guest Lecturer
- 2006 - Wildlife Population Dynamics and Estimation, Virginia Tech, Teaching Assistant
- 2005 - SAT, math, and science, Ivy West San Francisco Bay, Tutor
- 2003 - Subtidal Ecology (Graduate), Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Teaching Assistant
- 2002 - Marine Ecology, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Teaching Assistant
Undergraduate and High School Student Mentor Activity
- 2014 - Jesse Marks, Undergraduate, Math, Central Methodist University
Jesse was an NSF REU working on simulation modeling.
- 2012 - Keith Bruni, Undergraduate Biology, University of Rhode Island
I am helping Keith analyze data on Southern Stingray biology.
- 2009 - Eric Tobin, Undergraduate, Wildlife Sciences, Virginia Tech
Eric presented a talk (Virginia American Fisheries Society, 2009) and is a co-author of the manuscript in preparation: “Population abundance of northern snakehead…”
Karl Sorensen, High School Student, Salem High School, Virginia
I mentored Karl for participation in the “Discovery Channel National Science Fair”. Karl presented both a poster (AFS Student Colloquium, 2008) and a talk (AFS Student Colloquium, 2009) and he is a co-author of the published work: “Life-history and husbandry characteristics of Japanese medaka.”
Jeff Kramer, Undergraduate, Biology, Virginia Tech
Jeff presented a poster (AFS Student Colloquium, 2008) and is a co-author of the published work: “Life-history and husbandry characteristics of Japanese medaka”
Volunteer and Community Service
- 2008 - Panelist, Graduate Honor Society at Virginia Tech
- 2007 - Communications Chair, Virginia Tech Chapter of the American Fisheries Society
- 2006 - Vice-president, Virginia Tech Chapter of the American Fisheries Society
Communication coordinator, Fisheries and Wildlife Graduate Student Association
Graduate mentor, Fisheries and Wildlife Graduate Student Association
- 2004 - Judge, High School Science Fair, York School, Monterey, CA
Docent, Moss Landing Marine Lab
- 2003 - Judge, High School Science Fair, York School, Monterey, CA
- 2002 - Graduate student representative, Moss Landing Marine Lab Diving Control Board
Mentions in the Popular Press
2010 - “The Concrete Jungle” by R. Sullivan. Published Sept. 2 in New York Magazine