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Steven Saul

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Asst Professor
Faculty, POLY Campus, Mailcode 2780
Biography: 

Steve Saul started his career at Arizona State University in 2016, as one of the few marine ecologists to end up in the desert!  He completed his undergraduate work at the University of Richmond in environmental science and music. He then received his doctorate in marine biology and fisheries, and his master’s degree in marine affairs and policy from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science. After graduate school, Saul worked as a research fisheries assessment biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service in Miami, where he conducted stock assessments on commercially important reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico and provided management advice to regional management bodies. Saul then worked as a senior research scientist for Nova Southeastern University, where he was a Khalid bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation Fellow. During this time, he contributed to the Global Reef Expedition by using remotely sensed and ground-truthed data to develop depth elevation and habitat maps of coral reefs for resource managers in Small Island Developing States. Saul's research interests include using quantitative tools and a systems-based approach to support natural resource management.

Education: 
  • Ph.D. Marine Biology and Fisheries, University of Miami, Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science 2012
  • M.A. Marine Affairs and Policy, University of Miami, Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science 2006
  • B.S. Environmental Studies and Music, University of Richmond, Virginia 2004
Research Interests: 

Steve is a quantitative marine ecologist who applies a systems-based approach to natural resource management using tools such as statistical models, agent-based models, remote sensing, mapping, geographical information systems, and spatial statistics.  A system’s-based approach to ecology looks at ecosystems as one complex system composed of many interacting parts, including an explicit representation of the human dimension.  As these parts interact with one another, patterns and properties emerge, which can be used to help inform policy development and decision-making.  Steve’s work is highly interdisciplinary, mostly applied, and involves engaging with stakeholder groups.  

Publications: 

Saul, S., E. Brooks, and D. Die. 2020. How fisher behavior affects stock assessment: insights from an agent-based modeling approach. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 77(11): 1749-1757

Strongin, K., C. Linardich, B. Polidoro, S. Saul, G. Ralph, and K. Carpenter. 2020. Translating globally threatened species information into regional guidance for the Gulf of Mexico. Global Ecology and Conservation 23: e01010.

Burgess, M.G., M. Drexler, R.L. Axtell, R.M. Bailey, J.R. Watson, A. Ananthanaryanan, R. Cabral, E. Carrella, M. Clemence, C. Costello, C. Dorsett, S.D. Gaines, E.S. Klein, P. Koralus G. Leonard, S.A. Levin, L.R. Little, J. Lynham, J. Koed Madsen, A. Merkl, B. Owashi, S.L. Scott, S. Saul, I.E. van Putten, and S. Wilcox. 2020. Opportunities for agent-based modeling in human dimensions of fisheries. Fish and Fisheries 21: 570-587. 

Carrella, E., S. Saul, M.G. Burgess, R.B. Cabrall, M. Drexler, K. Marshall, R.M. Bailey, C. Dorsett, and J.K. Madsen. 2020. Simple adaptive rules describe fishing behavior better than perfect rationality in the U.S. West Coast groundfish fishery. Ecological Economics 169: 106449.

Purkis, S., A.C.R. Gleason, C.R. Purkis, A.C. Dempsey, P. Renaud, M. Faisal, S. Saul, and J.M. Kerr. 2019. High-resolution habitat and bathymetry maps for 65,000 km2 of Earth’s remotest coral reefs – the Living Oceans Foundation Global Reef Expedition. Coral Reefs 38(3): 467-488. 

Saul, S. and C. Capielo. 2019. Catch and release: the effectiveness of an educational class on anglers caught with fishing citations.  Fisheries 44(2): 59-72

Bailey, R., E. Carrella, R.L. Axtell, M.G. Burgess, R.B. Cabral, M. Drexler, C. Dorsett, J.K. Madsen, A. Merkl, and S. Saul. 2018. A computational approach to managing coupled human-environmental systems: the POSEIDON model of ocean fisheries. Sustainability Science, 14: 259-275. 

Saul, S. and S. J. Pittman.  2017. Human ecology at sea: modeling and mapping human-seascape interactions. In: Seascape Ecology: Taking Landscape Ecology Into the Sea.  West Sussex, United Kingdom:  Wiley and Sons.

Saul, S. and D. Die.  2016.  Modeling the decision making behavior of fishers in the reef fish fishery on the West Coast of Florida.  Human Dimensions of Wildlife 21(6): 567-586. 

Saul, S. and S. Purkis.  2015.  Semi-automated object-based classification of coral reef habitat using discrete choice models.  Remote Sensing 7:  15894-15916. 

Saul, S., D. Die., J.F. Walter III, D.F. Naar, and B.T. Donahue.  2013.  Modeling the spatial distribution of commercially important reef fish on the West Florida Shelf.  Fisheries Research 143:  12-20. 

Saul, S., D. Die, E.N. Brooks, and K. Burns.  2012.  An individual-based model of ontogenetic migration in reef fish using a biased random walk.  Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 141:  1439-1452. 

Research Activity: 
  • Avoiding Surprises: Understanding the Impact of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.  This project is developing a spatially explicit, bioeconomic agent-based model of the Gulf of Mexico to study the effect of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the fishing communities and fish populations.
  • Understanding the linkages between the structure and spatial distribution of coral reefs, their fish populations, and the fishing communities they support in Small Island Developing States.
  • Finding new ways to spatially determine the distribution of fish abundance using field sampling data together with habitat information.
  • Developing generalized agent-based models to improve fisheries management across fishery architypes.
  • Researching methodologies to improve the automation of satellite imagery processing and mapping for coral reefs.   
Spring 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
ABS 370Ecology
ABS 394Special Topics
ABS 500Research Methods
ABS 592Research
ABS 593Applied Project
ABS 599Thesis
Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
ABS 370Ecology
ABS 494Special Topics
ABS 592Research
ABS 598Special Topics
ABS 599Thesis
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
ABS 370Ecology
ABS 500Research Methods
ABS 592Research
ABS 593Applied Project
ABS 599Thesis
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
ABS 370Ecology
ABS 592Research
ABS 599Thesis
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
ABS 370Ecology
ABS 592Research
ABS 593Applied Project
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
ABS 370Ecology
ABS 500Research Methods
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
ABS 370Ecology
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ABS 370Ecology
ABS 494Special Topics
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ABS 370Ecology
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ABS 370Ecology