About our team

Jamie Testa, Project Coordinator of Chesapeake DolphinWatch

Jamie Testa is a Faculty Research Assistant at UMCES' Chesapeake Biological Laboratory. She began working on Chesapeake DolphinWatch in 2017. She now serves as the project coordinator for Chesapeake DolphinWatch, as well as Wave of Plastic, a plastic pollution curriculum designed by and for middle school teachers in Calvert County and St. Mary's County, Maryland. Testa is also an analyst on the TailWinds project analyzing data from the real-time whale buoy off of Ocean City, Maryland. She has been living and working around Chesapeake Bay since 2005 and recently became a certified Maryland Master Naturalist. She began her work with marine mammals in 2009, when she served as the Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Coordinator for Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Lauren Rodriguez, Graduate Research Assistant

Lauren Rodriguez first came to the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory as a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) fellow to work on the Chesapeake DolphinWatch project during the summer of 2019. After graduating from Michigan State University, where she had continued working remotely on this project, she was accepted into the UMCES program to continue researching the distribution of bottlenose dolphins in the Bay.

Helen Bailey, Founder of Chesapeake DolphinWatch

Photo by Cheryl Nemazie

Helen Bailey, a prominent researcher studying the spatial and movement ecology of marine mammals and sea turtles, is  the founder and External Advisor to Chesapeake DolphinWatch. She is also interested in the impact of pollution on the environment and marine species. She began the Chesapeake DolphinWatch project in 2017 to understand the distribution and movements of bottlenose dolphins in the Chesapeake Bay.

Kirsten Silva, Research Assistant

Kirsten Silva began as a volunteer at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory after she moved here from Minnesota in 2017. In 2018 she began working on projects analyzing dolphin sounds from audio recordings from offshore Ocean City, Maryland and Chesapeake Bay. She became a research assistant in 2019 and continues to contribute to the team through various projects. 

Amber Fandel, Research Assistant

Amber Fandel has been a dolphin researcher at UMCES since 2017. She uses sound (acoustic) information to understand where dolphins are, which dolphins are in the area, and what they are doing when they're here. She's also interested in environmental policy.  

Alumni Research Assistants

Thank you to Leila Fouda, Aran Garrod, Jessica Wingfield, and Bill Fletcher.