Horn Point Laboratory

Meet the TEAM

Dr. Louis Plough

Associate Professor

Louis is a shellfish geneticist with interests and expertise in oyster aquaculture and breeding, population genetics of marine animals, and developing novel genomic tools for conservation of fish and shellfish. 

Dr. Greg Silsbe

Assistant Research Professor

Greg is an algal physiologist with expertise in environmental remote sensing, optics, and autonomous measurements of algal growth. His role in the SAIL lab is to design and implement off the shelf and cost effective methods to grow algae to meet aquaculture demands.

Dr. Matt Gray

Assistant Professor

Dr. Matthew Gray is an Assistant Professor at Horn Point Laboratory since 2017. He has been conducting bivalve research for more than a decade with a specific focus on ecophysiology. He has applied these skills to investigate a variety of subjects including bivalve restoration, ecosystem services, and aquaculture. Since arriving in Maryland in 2017, Dr. Gray has been involved in several aquaculture projects that include evaluating hatchery production performance, developing novel culture technology and exploring the environmental benefits of off-bottom aquaculture in the State.

Imani Black

graduate researh assistant

Having family roots on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Imani always wanted to have a career in restoration and conservation of the Bay.  After graduating from Old Dominion University with a Marine Biology degree, she started the Oyster Aquaculture Training (OAT) program at Virginia Institute of Marine Science, getting her first introduction into the shellfish aquaculture industry. Due to her interest in sustainability of aquaculture and her love for her work in this area, in 2020, she founded and presided over a nonprofit organization, Minorities In Aquaculture (MIA).  After 5 years in the aquaculture industry, Imani is pursuing a masters to explore the aquaculture industry within academia.  As a member of the Marine-Estuarine Environmental Science (MEES) program in Dr. Matt Gray's lab, her goal is to advance her knowledge to combine minorities in aquaculture and aquaculture research.

Chelsea Fowler


 Chelsea is a PhD student in the Plough lab. Chelsea has an undergraduate degree in marine science from The University of Tampa and a Master's degree in marine estuarine and environmental science from UMCES. Through her career endeavors, Chelsea has worked in many aspects of environmental research, management, and education, all over the world. Her current project in the Chesapeake Bay region is focused on investigating the potential for stress priming of oyster seed to increase their stress tolerance in aquaculture settings.

Alan Williams

graduate research assistant

Alan Williams is currently a Masters Student at SAIL. As a Mechanical Engineering Undergrad at the University of Arizona, Alan was able to take his first step into a Marine Science career through the U of A's minor and clubs, such as the Marine Awareness and Conservation Society. During this time he also took part in the Maryland Sea Grant REU for the summer of 2019, where Alan assisted Drs Dong Liang and Chris Rowe on their diamondback terrapin research project. After graduating, Alan now finds himself as part of the MEES program working with Dr. Matt Gray and crew to further improve quality, efficiency, and sustainability of oyster aquaculture in the Chesapeake Bay by specifically researching the effects of sediment plumes on oyster farm crops.