Meet The Team
LOOKING FOR A WAY TO SUPPORT OUR RIGHT WHALE RESEARCH? CLICK HERE TO VIEW OUR AMAZON WISH LIST!
Charles ‘Stormy’ Mayo, PhD, Program Director
Stormy is a Senior Scientist and Chair of the Department of Ecology at the Center for Coastal Studies, and is one of the three founders of the Center for Coastal Studies. His technical work ranges from complex computer modeling of foraging movements of whales to the development of new techniques for documenting whale behavior and zooplankton distribution. Stormy is also known for his efforts to reduce whale mortality caused by entanglement in fishing gear through the development of new management techniques and methods to rescue entangled whales at sea. He serves on several federally empanelled conservation teams including the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team. Stormy holds a Ph.D. degree from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences.
Christy Hudak, Research Associate
Christy has been a Research Associate in the Right Whale Ecology Program at the Center for Coastal Studies for over nine 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 and microplastics.
Amy James, Aerial Observer & Flight Coordinator
Amy became fascinated by North Atlantic right whales while working off Jeffreys 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.
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. 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.
Sharon Hsu, Aerial Observer
Sharon is a brand new East Coast transplant from California. After Sharon received her B.S. in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution from UC San Diego, she spent six years working in community-based conservation in Oceania and Costa Rica, where she was a project coordinator for a sea turtle conservation group. Sharon moved back to California to finish her Master’s degree while also working as a marine mammal observer and field researcher.
Natasha Telschow, Intern
Natasha has been enthralled by large whales for as long as she can remember, and is working towards a career in large whale research. While completing her undergraduate degree at Principia College, Illinois, she conducted research on various marine species including leatherback sea turtles. After graduating with honors in Biology, she worked as the lab coordinator for her alma mater’s Chemistry Department and spent summers working as a naturalist on a Massachusetts whale watch boat.
Qiyamah Williams, Intern
Qiyah first fell in love with the frigid ocean as a child in Finland. After moving and spending most of her life near the sunny beaches of Sarasota, Florida, she decided to pursue a path in ocean conservation. She received her B.S. in Marine Science from the University of Hawaii at Hilo where she focused on coral reefs and their invertebrate neighbors. In the fall, she’ll be starting a Master’s program at Northeastern University.