Allen Lab

Lab Members


Biological Scientists

Dan GwinnDan Gwinn, Biological Scientist

I am a quantitative ecologist that is interested mainly in the application of quantitative tools to the field of conservation and natural resources management. Much of my work is centered on different aspects of management such as developing science-based management prescriptions tailored to specific objectives or optimizing monitoring design to measure and inform management responses. I specialize in three main areas: (i) Estimation methods such as likelihood and Bayesian techniques, (ii) stochastic simulation to optimize monitoring design and analysis methods, and (iii) simulation models to develop science-based hypotheses about expected system responses to managment actions. My goal with this work is to reduce uncertainty in the management of natural resources and promote a more transparent and explicitly science-based management process. 


Current Graduate Students


Ryan JiorleRyan Jiorle, M.S. Student

I was born and raised in Phillipsburg, NJ, spending time surfing and snowboarding among many other activities. I received my B.S. in biology and a minor in mathematics from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. During my undergraduate time I helped sample striped bass with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and participated in an REU doing small impoundment management at Auburn University. I joined the Allen (as well as the Ahrens) lab in the summer of 2013, where I am currently studying the representativeness of the MRIP survey and iAngler (a smartphone app) as two different ways of obtaining recreational angling data. I will also be using these data to observe how size structure of discards affects the gag stock assessment for the Gulf of Mexico.


Yasmin QuintanaYasmín Quintana, M.S. Student

I was born and grew up in Guatemala, where I completed my BS in Biology at the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala in 2007. My professional development was on aquatic ecosystems management, especially continental fisheries. Once I was graduated I became part of the board of the National Organization for the Conservation and Environment (ONCA) and started my work as a researcher on fisheries dynamics in freshwater systems, also with the Center of Marine and Aquaculture Studies and the Conservationist Studies Center, both at the University Of San Carlos De Guatemala. Artisanal fisheries are barely studied in Guatemala and I believe that fisheries are a great opportunity for development, so I tried to accomplish my work in an integrated perspective between ecological and social issues. I developed and participated in studies assessing the impact of invasive fish species, the biology of economically important species, and artisanal fisheries dynamics in Lake Izabal, Petén Itza and Atitlan, as well as Río Dulce National Park. I'm a current master student at the School of Natural Resources and Environment, advised by Mike Allen. My research will focus on the fishing mortality assessment from artisanal fishery in the giant cichlid (Petenia splendida) in Lake Petén Itza and Yaxhá, Guatemala.


Zach SidersZach Siders, Ph.D. Student

I grew up visiting national and state parks all across the United States as a military kid, solidifying a pervasive and lasting desire to understand more about the peculiarities abounding throughtou nature. I attended the University of North Carolina Wilmington for my B.Sc. in Biology/B.A. in Chemistry, and continued there to complete a M.Sc. in Biolgy in 2013. Over several projects ranging from lobsters to basking sharks, I honed my focus to quantitative ecology and flew the North Carolina coop to the Univeristy of Florida. For my Ph.D. I am co-advised by Mike Allen and Rob Ahrens in the NOAA NMFS RTR program. I will be studying the patterning of predator-prey dynamics across spatial scales for my dissertation and this has quickly blossomed into an array of projects both field and simulated, freshwater and marine.



Jordan SkaggsJordan Skaggs, M.S. Student

I grew up in Illinois, and began surveying lakes for invasive species with the University of Wisconsin - Trout Lake Research Station. I received a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Missouri State University in 2012. After graduating, I moved to Webster, Florida to work for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission studying the effects of nest angling on Largemouth Bass at the Florida Bass Conservation Center. I also worked for the FWC's long-term monitoring crew in Eustis, Florida sampling freshwater fish communities throughout the state prior to joining the Allen Lab. My research interests involve performing a Virtual Population Analysis and comparing stock assessment methods for Black Crappie in Florida. I also enjoy playing ice hockey and fishing.





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Lab Technicians


Lab Graduates and Current Employer

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