Jasmin Graham President & CEO
Jasmin specializes in elasmobranch ecology and evolution. Her past research interests include smalltooth sawfish movement ecology and hammerhead shark phylogeny. She is a member of the American Elasmobranch Society and served on their Student Affairs Committee as the Early Career Representative. She is a member of the IUCN Shark Specialist group and serves on their Communications Team. She worked as an instructor for the Saturday at the Sea program through the Florida State University Office of STEM Teaching Activities. Jasmin has a passion for science education and making science more accessible for everyone. She is the project coordinator for the MarSci-LACE project, which is focused on researching and promoting best practices to recruit, support and retain minority students in marine science. She is excited to help open doors for more underrepresented minority students to join the exciting field of marine science.
Amani Webber-Schultz Chief Financial Officer
Amani studies shark morphology (how/why sharks look the way they do) and biomechanics. She is currently a PhD student at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She graduated from Rutgers University with a B.S. in Marine Science in 2020. She has participated in research in areas ranging from paleoceanography to 3D modeling of animals. Outside of her research, Amani spends time at Field School helping to teach their Introduction to Shark Research Skills courses. She holds science communication close to her heart and loves talking with the public about sharks and their importance in the ocean. Amani co-hosts a podcast called The Sharkpedia Podcast where first authors of shark related papers are invited to talk about their discoveries in a more accessible, less jargony way in the hopes that shark science can be more accessible to nonscientists. She loves meeting new people and is very excited to share her experiences and help others succeed in any way she can.
Carlee Jackson Bohannan Director of Communications
Carlee is a shark and sea turtle scientist with an M.S. in marine biology from Nova Southeastern University. She worked with the NSU shark tagging program tagging sharks along the coast of Broward County, and researched the effects of provisioning tourism on nurse sharks in Belize. Her interests lie in how different human activities and urban development affect sharks and their habitats. Carlee was the recipient of the 2022 Justice in Equity, Diversity & Inclusion award by the Florida Marine Science Educators Association. Previously, Carlee has worked as a Research Associate for the New College of Florida, assisting the Disney Conservation team, as a Marine Turtle Specialist at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, and as an environmental educator in south Florida. Carlee is very passionate about research and field work, striving to contribute to the conservation of sharks and sea turtles. She is eager to expose more minority students to the field of marine science and hopes to inspire more diversity in this field.
Jaida Elcock Director of Public Relations
Jaida Elcock is a PhD student in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program. Her research is on shark movement ecology. She is particularly interested in the movement ecology of migratory elasmobranchs, as this information is still unknown for many species. Jaida received her B.S. in Biology with University Honors from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. She has previously lived in landlocked states but has still been able to gain experience with marine animals through an internship at OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale, Arizona. Though not a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, Jaida was recognized as an Honorable Mention for her research proposal. She has also been recognized as an American Elasmobranch Society Young Professional Recruitment Fund Scholar. Jaida is incredibly excited to help other underrepresented students light a fire within themselves to fuel a passion for marine sciences.
Director of Partnerships and Sponsorships
Paula Carlson is Director of Husbandry at The Dallas World Aquarium, in Dallas, Texas. After graduating from Texas A&M University with a BS in Marine Biology, Paula began her career as a professional aquarist with Sea World of Florida. Her passion led her to pursue a MA degree in Zoo and Aquarium Leadership from George Mason University. Paula is an active member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) serving as Chair of the Marine Fishes Taxon Advisory Group (MFTAG) and as a member of the Animal Population Management Committee (APMC). In addition to her duties at The Dallas World Aquarium, Paula is a member of the IUCN’s Shark Specialist Group where she is Co-Chair of the Aquarium Working Group. Paula sees her career as more of a calling and feels incredibly fortunate to be able to help create awareness for marine science and conservation by fostering collaborations between professional aquarists and other related industries.
Erica Webber Board Member
Chair, Strategic Planning Committee
Erica Webber is the Director of Research Alliances at IBM (NYC) where she accelerates the translation of scientific discovery in artificial intelligence, quantum computing, cybersecurity, and cloud computing into forward-thinking technology applications and services for enterprises. She and her team execute joint development, research consortia, and intellectual property (IP) partnerships between leading companies and IBM Research. Erica has served as Board Chair and other leadership positions on several nonprofit boards. She is currently on the boards of World Trust Educational Services and ReHealth Collaborative, as well as on the advisory board of Workplace Pride. She earned a BA degree in International Relations from Stanford University and an MBA from Georgetown University. She also currently serves as Co-Chair of IBM’s LGBTQ+ Executive Council. Erica is an avid science fiction and fantasy reader, and has performed publicly as a classical music singer.
We also have a high school student board member who is chosen from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties STAR Leadership Training program. The purpose of this program is to not only give the STAR participants experience on a nonprofit board, but to also provide the voice of the youths to MISS as well. This board member serves for 10 weeks at a time throughout the year. To learn more about this program visit: https://theclubsdc.org/opportunities/become-a-leader/star-leadership-training-program.
MISS hired our first executive assistant in 2023. If you have sent us an email, you have likely interacted with her. We are pleased to introduce Tracey Brookes!
Social Media Intern
MISS hired our first social media intern in 2023. Hallie Cowan will be assisting our Director of Communications with creating and developing our social media content.
MISS provides a community and funding opportunities for gender minorities of color who wish to enter the field of shark sciences. We aim to show that there are many gender minorities of color succeeding in and interested in this field.
We fundraise and apply for grants to create paid opportunities to attempt to knock down the financial barrier into shark sciences. We encourage other organizations in our field to do the same.
MISS is a registered US nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation under 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (EIN: 85-2192211).
PO Box 10493
Bradenton, FL 34282
© COPYRIGHT 2022. Minorities in Shark Sciences Inc.