Kaitlyn Clark


I am bi and I am a fisheries ecologist.//


Hi! I am a graduate student at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and a Virginia Sea Grant Graduate Research Fellow. I began conducting research in marine science in collaboration with fishing communities during my undergraduate education at College of the Atlantic in Maine. My senior thesis was focused on documenting the traditional ecological knowledge and social dynamics in the marine worm fishery, a small but vital intertidal fishery in coastal Maine. Currently, I’m studying aspects of Atlantic sea scallop reproduction and recruitment for my graduate research. Broadly, my interests include fisheries ecology, reproductive biology, and the management of marine molluscs. In even plainer terms, I find marine molluscs absolutely fascinating, and I enjoy working with fishers to answer questions that will be useful in managing their fisheries.

I am also bi and in a loving relationship with an amazing partner, and I would be lying if I said being queer hasn’t made some situations awkward while out to sea on research surveys. Before every research cruise, I still find myself frantically considering whether I will feel safe being out with the commercial fishing crew or worrying that one of my scientific crewmates will let the information slip before I feel comfortable. Thankfully, I am able to safely be out to the vast majority of my colleagues and most of the field situations I encounter. I aim to be an example for other young queer scientists and provide a little hope that it is possible to be out and fully yourself in science. I am so impressed by the increasing visibility of queer scientists, and I am excited to be part of that progress!