Savanna grew up on a small farm in central Virginia and discovered her interest in marine ecology during family vacations to small fishing towns along the Chesapeake Bay. After earning her B.S. in Biology from the University of Virginia, Savanna split her time between Gainesville, FL and Little Cayman Island to earn her M.S. in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences through the University of Florida. Her M.S. research focused on seagrass interactions with calcifying algae, but she was also involved in youth education and public outreach on the island. While in Little Cayman, Savanna completed her Divemaster certification and co-organized an island-wide effort to remove invasive lionfish from local coral reefs. She returned to Gainesville to continue into a Ph.D. program at the University of Florida. Savanna Barry did her dissertation work in the beautiful seagrass meadows of the southern Nature Coast where she investigated the morphology, resilience, invertebrate community composition, and carbon storage of seagrass meadows growing under different rates of nutrient input. Dr. Barry began serving the Nature Coast as a Regional Specialized Agent with Sea Grant and UF/IFAS Extension in February 2016 and is stationed full time at the Nature Coast Biological Station.

Projects, Research & Specializations

Dr. Savanna Barry, has been serving the Nature Coast as a Regional Specialized Agent with Florida Sea Grant and UF/IFAS Extension since February 2016. She is stationed full-time at the Nature Coast Biological Station in Cedar Key, FL.

Dr. Barry’s Extension program focuses on a broad set of coastal resource management and protection issues, such as water quality and habitat monitoring, living shorelines and habitat restoration, participatory science and decision-making, sustainable fishing and boating, marine debris cleanup and prevention, and increasing resilience to climate effects. Key programs include collaborating with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on monitoring programs in the Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve, Florida Horseshoe Crab Watch, Florida Friendly Angler and Florida Friendly Fishing Guide, Be Seagrass Safe, addressing propeller scar damage, Operation TRAP, living shorelines/green infrastructure, and assisting municipalities plan for and adapt to increasing climate risks. Savanna works with a dynamic team of biologists and educators to accomplish Extension goals and support informed-decision making in the Nature Coast region.

Get to Know Our Agents

Learn more about Florida Sea Grant’s IFAS Extension Agents, their work, research, and resources for educators and the public.