Brittany Bartlett


Growing up on the Jersey Shore, U.S.A., I have always appreciated and loved the marine environment – nothing beats a day on the water! I had always known that I wanted to work in some aspect of environmental conservation, but a trip with my grandfather to see the Florida manatee as a child, coupled with an internship during my undergrad in which I worked with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions, really “sealed” (get it!?) the deal for me to choose a career path in marine conservation.
Therefore, following an undergraduate degree in environmental studies and political science, I continued with my education and received a master’s degree in marine affairs and policy, during which I had the opportunity to hold two internships focused on shark and sea turtle conservation management. As you can see from my academic path, I have always been really interested in translating cool “in-water” work into effective policy.
Following my graduate work, I took a position with the U.S. Navy as a marine resources specialist for eight years – working very much at the intersection of science and policy, translating biological and ecological data into effective management measures. I now return to the world of academia, hoping to apply this experience to develop effective marine policy in the world of fisheries.

Research Interests

My interests lie at the intersection of science and policy, working to translate the natural and social sciences into conservation management mechanisms that will benefit the environment and the people who depend on it.

Additionally, I greatly advocate for capacity building and environmental education for our youth. A few years ago, I recently co-founded a small non-profit, The Next Swell. Through this non-profit organization, I hope to cultivate future generations of marine conservationists and scientists through education and opportunity. Fostering and inspiring the next generation of marine conservation scientists is critical to protecting our environment.

Current Research

Overfishing is the greatest threat to sharks and their relatives, resulting in a decline of up to one-third of all species. This is exacerbated by what is known as IUU fishing – a conflated term defined by three distinct components of fishing activity – illegal, unreported, and unregulated. IUU fishing is a compilation of global threats that vary by definition and meaning across space, time, geographics, and fisheries, resulting in diverse drivers, impacts, and management requirements. It has negative implications for biodiversity, the marine ecosystem, the economy, and society.

One sector of society particularly susceptible to illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing practices and vulnerable to its implications is small-scale fisheries, whose unique and complex socio-economic dimensions are often overlooked in top-down management approaches, resulting in continued fisheries decline and inequity. Therefore, understanding and conceptualizing IUU fishing on a specific granular, species-specific, spatiotemporal scale is necessary to ensure policy relevancy due to the diversity of small-scale fisheries and the increased vulnerability of shark populations. My research will aim to use an interdisciplinary approach that includes and enables the equitable incorporation of community stakeholders in small-scale fisheries to reduce illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing practices and encourage the adoption of effective shark conservation mechanisms.

Brief CV


2011 – 2013 MS, Marine Affairs & Policy, Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, & Earth Science, University of Miami

2007 – 2011 BA, Dual Degree in Environmental Studies & Political Science, Lehigh University

Professional Experience

2020 – Present Co-Founder/President, The Next Swell

2015 – 2023 Marine Resources Specialist, United States Department of the Navy

2013 – 2015 Scientist II, CB&I

2012 – 2013 Intern, Shark Research and Conservation Program, University of Miami

2012 Intern, Turtle Island Restoration Network