Department Head, Professor of Fisheries


(541) 737-9039


I am Department Head and Professor of marine fisheries ecology at Oregon State University. I devote most of my research to some of the oldest and slowest-growing animals in the sea: sea turtles, sharks, sturgeon, and U.S. west coast rockfish (scientifically known as Sebastes, which means “magnificent”), though I also dabble in the ecology of fast growing forage fishes. I primarily use computer models and simulations to help us understand how populations respond to fishing and environmental change, guiding research and management policy towards their recovery. I am particularly interested in finding ways to protect marine species and habitats while supporting local fisheries. My work with biologists and management agencies takes me all over the globe, and I often work with my husband, Scott, on fisheries research and teaching. Recently, I was Chair of the Ecosystem Management Subcommittee for the Science and Statistical Committee of the Pacific Fishery Management Council and I regularly serve on advisory teams for marine conservation projects, including a National Research Council review of sea turtle assessment methods and the Lenfest Forage Fish Task Force. In all my work, I strive to bridge quantitative ecology and practical solutions to marine resource issues. I also have a passion for education at all levels and have been teaching people about marine biology since I volunteered at the Seattle Aquarium at age 12. As Department Head of one of the largest academic departments on campus, I am striving to keep our programs the best in the country, including our extensive online curriculum.

heppell CV DH mid 2022