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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Amy Teffer

NE CASC Postdoctoral Fellow
Postdoctoral Researcher
UMass Amherst

Research Interests

Amy Teffer is a scientist, mom, artist, and a lot of other things. She is passionate about improving and valuing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in STEM, which inherently produces better science and solutions. In the lab and field, Amy studies how fish and their infectious agents get together to cause real problems for everyone, especially in the context of environmental change and anthropogenic stressors. For any relationship, the environment in which it develops is not static and even subtle shifts can set it off balance. Changes in the conditions a fish (or pathogen) experiences alter how an organism functions, survives, and reproduces. The mechanisms by which animals adapt to environmental change is at the heart of Amy’s work. Temperature is a major player in climate change, with many rivers and oceans warming considerably. This is a real problem for ectothermic fish, since they ARE the temperature of their environment. Entire ecospheres are shifting baselines, and we need to understand how that will impact the ability of animals to adapt and thrive in the short and long term. Amy’s research has examined marine, freshwater, and diadromous species in the context of human disturbances like pollution and habitat fragmentation, climate change impacts like thermal stress, and, when she’s feeling especially ambitious, cumulative stressors effects. Her approach generally pulls across disciplines, using physiological and genomic tools merged with experimentation, telemetry (tracking), and statistical modeling. For her work with NE CASC, Amy will work with stakeholders to develop a framework for favoring climate-resilient strains of managed species and identify potential improvements in fishery outcomes using available strains. Basically, can we feasibly supplement populations in the wild and expect those species to thrive under projected climate conditions? She’s pumped to be here and always happy to chat.

Education

Ph.D.: Biology, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 2018
M.S.: Marine Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA, 2012
B.S.: Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA, 2007

Experience

David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow, UMass Amherst & USGS Conte Anadromous Fish Lab, July 2019 to October 2021
Postdoctoral Researcher, University of British Columbia, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Salmon Foundation, October 2018 to December 2019
Independent Contractor, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, November to December 2018
Independent Contractor, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Biological Station, April to October 2018