Dr. Sean Powers

Dr. Sean Powers

Marine Sciences


  • Angelia and Steven Stokes Endowed Professor in Environmental Resiliency 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 coastal Alabama (National Fish and Wildlife Foundation via Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources)

  • Monitoring development of fish communities associated with artificial reefs in coastal Alabama (National Fish and Wildlife Foundation via Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources)

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

  • Discard mortality of Greater Amberjack (NOAA MARFIN)

  • Great Red Snapper Count (NOAA Seagrant)


  • Nelson, T. R.,* and S. P. Powers. 2020. Estimates of Red Drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) mortality and movement via acoustic telemetry. Marine and Coastal Fisheries 12 78-97.

  • Drymon, J. M., K. Feldheim, A. M. V. Fournier, E. A. Seubert*, A. Jefferson, A. M. Kroetz, and S. P. Powers. 2019.Tiger sharks eat songbirds: scavenging a windfall of nutrients from the sky. Ecology e02728.

  • Powers, S.P. and K. Anson. 2019. Compression and relaxation of fishing effort in response to changes in length of fishing seasons for red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Fishery Bulletin, 117:1–7.

  • Powers, S. P. , J. M. Drymon, C. L. Hightower, T. Spearman, G. S. Bosarge, and A. Jefferson. 2018. Distribution and age composition of Red Snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) across the inner continental shelf of the north central Gulf of Mexico. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 147:79 1–805. 

  • Powers, S. P., S. Rouhani, M. C. Baker, H. Roman, J.H. Grabowski, S.B. Scyphers, J. M. Willis, and M. W. Hester. 2017. Ecosystem services lost when facilitation between two ecosystem engineers is compromised by oil. Marine Ecology Progress Series 576: 189-202.

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