Meet Our Board
Amani Webber-Schultz Chief Financial Officer (Chair)
Amani studies shark functional morphology and swimming kinematics with a particular interest in how shark scales interact with the surrounding water. She is currently a PhD candidate at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She received her Bachelors of Science in Marine Sciences from Rutgers University in 2020. In 2023, she received both the Department of Defense Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation Scholarship and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship to support her research. Amani also assists with teaching the Introduction to Shark Research Skills course at Field School Miami. She loves science communication and introducing people to the amazing world of shark sciences. At MISS, Amani manages all the financials and maintains the website.
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 of basking sharks. In 2022, Jaida was awarded a Nancy Foster Fellowship to support her PhD research. 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. Jaida is an avid science communicator across social media platforms and enjoys spreading her love of marine sciences to all who will listen. Jaida is incredibly excited to help other underrepresented students light a fire within themselves to fuel a passion for marine sciences. At MISS, Jaida assists with social media content creation and event planning.
Paula Carlson 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. She then received an 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 a calling and feels incredibly fortunate to be able to help create awareness for marine science and conservation.
Erica Webber 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.