About our team

Dr. Helen Bailey, Director of Chesapeake DolphinWatch

Photo by Cheryl Nemazie

Dr. Bailey is an Associate Research Professor at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory and performs research on the spatial and movement ecology of marine mammals and sea turtles. 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.

Jamie Testa, Project Coordinator of Chesapeake DolphinWatch

Jamie is a part-time research assistant at CBL. 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. Jamie has been living and working around Chesapeake Bay since 2005. She began her work with marine mammals in 2009, when she served as the Marine Mammal & Sea Turtle Stranding Coordinator for Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Lauren Rodriguez, Graduate Research Assistant

Lauren first came to CBL 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.

Kirsten Silva, Research Assistant

Kirsten began as a volunteer at CBL 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. Kirsten became a research assistant in 2019 and continues to contribute to the team through various projects. 

Amber Fandel, Research Assistant

Amber has been a dolphin researcher at CBL 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.


Jessica Wingfield and Leila Fouda surveyed the Chesapeake Bay for bottlenose dolphins from the air on April 27 with help from SouthWings pilot Ron Baker.

Fred Jett

Towjam Marine


HDR Inc.

Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project, Georgetown University: The Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project was initiated in 2015 and is dedicated to understanding bottlenose dolphin abundance, distribution, behavior, and health in the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. We ask questions such as why do dolphins come into the Potomac and Chesapeake, which mid-Atlantic populations do they belong to, and do the same animals return year after year. By answering questions like these, we aim to aid in the protection and conservation of bottlenose dolphins in the Chesapeake Bay area and along the mid-Atlantic coast.

Chesapeake Bay Trust