Avery Paxton

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Dr. Avery Paxton is a Research Associate within the Habitat Mapping Team of the Biogeography Branch in NOAAs National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, via a contract with CSS-Inc. Paxton is also a Visiting Scholar in the Silliman lab at Duke University Marine Lab. As a marine ecologist and conservation biologist, Paxton’s research aims to understand relationships between species and their habitats to guide applied conservation and management decisions in the face of global change. She often focuses her research on understanding ecological effects of human-made habitats, ranging from artificial reefs and shipwrecks to offshore renewable energy infrastructure. Paxton’s research utilizes tools ranging from fishery echosounders and remotely-operated vehicles to acoustic telemetry and scuba-diver surveys. She earned her PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied how reef fishes rely on rocky reefs, artificial reefs, and shipwrecks of North Carolina for their homes. She received her BS in Environmental Science from the University of Virginia, where she conducted research on ecologically conserving shipwrecks in North Carolina’s ‘Graveyard of the Atlantic.’ Paxton is particularly passionate about communicating science to the general public, especially through media and education.