Dr. Sean Powers

Dr. Sean Powers


Professor and Chair of Marine Sciences, University of South Alabama
Senior Marine Scientist, Dauphin Island Sea Lab
Ph.D. 1997, Texas A&M University

Emphasis: Fisheries ecology; conservation and restoration of coastal shellfish and finfish 

Research Interests:

My research focuses on the ecology of coastal/estuarine fishes and benthic invertebrates, particularly those that support commercial and recreational fisheries. The ultimate goal of my research program is to provide scientifically sound information to direct conservation and restoration efforts of marine fisheries and the habitats that these species rely upon.

Current Funded Projects:

Ecosystem based fisheries management of reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico (National Marine Fisheries Service: MARFIN)

Reef Fish community dynamics in the Alabama Artificial Reef Permit Zone (Sportsman Restoration Fund, State of Alabama, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources)

Oyster Reef Restoration and Conservation (National Marine Fisheries Service)

Blue crab and shrimp population studies (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)

Effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Nearshore ecosystems (NOAA)


Powers, S.P. and K.E. Boyer, 2014.  Marine Restoration Ecology, Ch. 22. In: M.D. Bertness, J.F. Bruno, B.R. Silliman, and J.J. Stachowicz, Eds., Marine community ecology and conservation, Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA

Powers, S.P., F. J. Hernandez, R. H. Condon, J. M. Drymon, and C. M. Free. 2013. Novel pathways for injury from offshore oil spills: direct, sublethal and indirect effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on pelagic Sargassum communities. PLOS One, 8(9): e74802.

Powers, S. P., F. J. Fodrie, S. B. Scyphers, J. M. Drymon, R. L. Shipp, and G. W. Stunz. 2013. Basin-wide decreases in the size of coastal sharks documented by generations of fishermen.  Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science 5: 93-102.

Kim, C. K, K. Park, and S. P. Powers. 2013. Establishing a restoration strategy for eastern oysters via a coupled biophysical transport model. Restoration Ecology 21: 353-362.

Ajemian, M. and S. P. Powers 2012. Habitat specific feeding patterns in cownose rays (Rhinoptera bonasus) of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 95 (1): 79–97.

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Current Graduate Students Research Assistants
Edward Kim - MS Crystal Hightower, MS
Merritt McCall - MS  Deepa Shrestha, MS
  Dylan Kiene, BS
Pearce Cooper - PhD Justin McDonald, BS
  Trey Spearman, MS