Meet The Team

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Christy Hudak, Research Associate
Christy has been a Research Associate in the Right Whale Ecology Program at the Center for Coastal Studies for over six years. After obtaining her M.S. in marine biology from Nova Southeastern University in Florida, Christy worked at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, heading the Manatee Program at the Tequesta Field Station. From the sunny shores of Florida, Christy brought her experience in marine mammal necropsies, rescues, tracking, aerial surveys, and photo identification to the cool shores of Cape Cod and currently focuses on the food resource of the North Atlantic right whales.

Amy James, Aerial Observer & Flight Coordinator
Amy became fascinated by North Atlantic right whales while working off Jeffrey’s Ledge in 2008 with the Whale Center of New England. Shortly after, she moved to Australia where she spent seven years researching humpbacks and sea turtles. She returned to Massachusetts as a right whale intern at Center for Coastal Studies during the 2011 season, before heading back Down Under to complete her Master’s degree at the University of Queensland followed by work as an aerial observer and fieldwork coordinator. When she moved back to the US in 2016, she rejoined the CCS family to continue with the aerial survey team. In the off season, you can find her working at Chequessett Chocolate, her other passion.

Brigid McKenna, Aerial Observer & Data/Photo Manager
Brigid was born and raised in South Boston, MA, and has connections to the Cape dating back to the Mayflower. After graduating from Boston Latin School, she completed her undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Massachusetts –Amherst with honors. She began researching North Atlantic right whales at CCS as an intern in 2013, and since then has obtained her master’s degree from the University of St Andrews in Scotland and. Between past field seasons in Cape Cod Bay Brigid has been a member of the New England Aquarium’s right whale team conducting research in Bay of Fundy and Gulf of St Lawrence and has worked as a marine mammal observer for NOAA. In her down time she explores the Cape with her dog, Walter, plays bar trivia, and partakes in the occasional karaoke.

Alison Ogilvie, Aerial Observer
Alison Ogilvie grew up on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada and holds a biology degree from the University of Victoria. She spends her summers on the water as a naturalist, and contributes to humpback whale monitoring and research on Northern Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada. Having joined the CCS team as a right whale intern in 2015, this is her first season as an aerial observer. She loves the fast paced plane environment and the new perspective of viewing these incredible animals.

Melissa Yow, Intern
Melissa grew up in East Sandwich fishing for striped bass, working aboard the ferries to Nantucket, and lifeguarding in Osterville, and is happy to now call the Cape her home again.  After a few years of writing equity research in Connecticut, she left the industry to pursue a career in ocean conservation and began volunteering for the CCS Right Whale Ecology Program in the winter of 2016.  There she was introduced to the world of the elusive right whale, right in her backyard, and was hooked at first match.  After working in shellfish aquaculture in Dennis and Chatham through the summer, she interned with the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s Marine Mammal Research and Rescue team and continues to assist the team with cetacean and pinniped rescues, necropsy, and research.  She has returned to the CCS Right Whale team this winter to continue contributing to research on endangered North Atlantic right whales, and assists with vessel observing and zooplankton collection aboard R/V Shearwater.

Tim Famulare, Intern
Tim Famulare, grew up in a small town in southeastern Massachusetts, but spent all his summers in Wellfleet, which is now his home. After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Marine and Freshwater Biology, Tim’s early career included working for the Shoals Marine Laboratory on the Isles of Shoals in Maine, the N.H. Fish & Game Department, and the City of Boston Environment Department. Tim later pursued a law degree and practiced commercial real estate and environmental law for eight years before deciding to return to his original career in marine biology and coastal resource conservation and management. Tim first joined the Center for Coastal Studies team as a volunteer research assistant for CCS’s Marine Fisheries Research program and later as a research technician for the Cape Cod National Seashore benthic habitat mapping project conducted by CCS’s Marine Geology Department. Last summer, Tim was a GIS technician for the Saltmarsh Habitat and Avian Research Program, conduct elevation surveys of salt marsh habitat along the New England and Mid-Atlantic coast using as part of a large-scale Hurricane Sandy tidal marsh resiliency study.

2017 Aerial observers and New England Specialised Aviation Service pilots with Program Director, Stormy Mayo. Left to right, back row: Amy James, Bob Strakele, Brigid McKenna, Joe Chronic, Trevor Laue, Mike Cortese. Front row: Alison Ogilvie, Christy Hudak, and Stormy Mayo.