Horn Point Laboratory

Meet the TEAM

Dr. Louis Plough

Associate Professor

Louis has been a professor at Horn Point since the fall of 2013 after completing his postdoc at Clemson University. Much of his research to date has focused on the population genetics and life history of marine invertebrates and is actively working to apply new genomic technologies to understand the biology of larvae, dispersal processes in the ocean, and adaptation to environmental change.

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.

Alyssa Campbell

Faculty Research Assistant

Alyssa is the hatchery manager at SAIL. She graduated from Stockton University in 2017 and sought to pursue a career in fisheries biology. After working a season at an oyster hatchery, she found a new love for the fish without fins. Alyssa’s background is mainly in commercial-scale algal and larval production. She has worked for shellfish growers in New Jersey and Maryland before joining the SAIL team in the fall 2019.

Laura Wiltsee

Laura is a Masters student at SAIL. She graduated from Rutgers University in 2020 after taking part in research everywhere from fish personality in Mongolia, to ocean acidification monitoring with underwater gliders in the Mid-Atlantic. She has always had a love for bivalves, but took a few years of exploring before returning to her calling. Joining SAIL has allowed her to gain first hand experience working with shellfish aquaculture systems and stakeholders. She is excited to make a difference for the farmers and consumers who depend on these systems.

Brendan Campbell

Brendan is currently a graduate research assistant in the Marine Estuarine Environmental Science (MEES) program working in the Horn Point Laboratory. Taking experiences from his B.S. in biological oceanography at Rutgers University and his commercial experience from several shellfish farms in New Jersey, Brendan takes biophysical and physiological approaches to research shellfish aquaculture production through primarily applied experiments. Current projects involve developing sampling regimes to better understand how the management of shellfish cages influence the physical environment inside the cages and alter shellfish growth and quality.

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.

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.

Intern Program

In the summer of 2021, we hosted our first cohort of summer and fall interns.  This program consists of hands-on training, exposure to the industry, and development of individual research projects. Our goal is to introduce the next generation of innovators to the growing industry.

Summer 2021 - Rose Duane and Kailey Ramsing.
Fall 2021 -Abigail Piegois and Morgan Shapiro