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Two recent additions to the NERRSDr. Robert Dunn (left), research coordinator at North Inlet-Winyah Bay Reserve; and Dr. Sylvia Yang (right), research coordinator at Padilla Bay Reserve.

Please join NERRA in welcoming two new NERRds to the family: Dr. Robert Dunn, the newly-appointed research coordinator at South Carolina’s North Inlet-Winyah Bay Reserve and Dr. Sylvia Yang, research coordinator at Padilla Bay Reserve in Washington.


Robert is an ecologist who studies species interactions, population dynamics, and the effects of fisheries on coastal ecosystems. Hee comes to the Reserve from the West coast, where he completed a PhD (UC Davis) and postdoc (San Diego State University) on Caribbean coral reefs, kelp forests, and California’s spiny lobster fishery. He also has a Master’s degree from North Carolina State University where his research focused on oyster reef ecology and restoration.

“I’m excited to be joining the NERRS because of our focus on combining research, education, and stewardship of coastal ecosystems,” says Robert,  whose first experience with NERRd life goes back to 2007 when he was a summer intern at the North Carolina Reserve. “The diversity of habitats at North Inlet-Winyah Bay is an amazing place for a marine ecologistI feel like the research possibilities are endless! I’m looking forward to contributing to the NERRS-wide effort to improve coastal ecosystem management through applied science.”


Sylvia is a seagrass ecologist who has worked in the estuaries of Washington for 14 years. Most recently she worked at Western Washington University as a marine scientist at the Shannon Point Marine Center and director of the SEA Discovery Center. 

Wherever she has been, Padilla Bay has been a consistent part of Sylvia’s work. She holds a PhD in Biology from the University of Washington and was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California (Davis, CA) studying saltmarsh ecology. To the Padilla Bay Reserve she  brings her enthusiasm for integrating authentic scientific investigation into educational settings and engaging community members in environmental science.


Please join NERRA and the crews at our Padilla Bay in welcoming Sylvia and Robert to the NERRS family.

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ReservesNorth Inlet-Winyah Bay, South CarolinaWelcome, Robert & Sylvia