Brittany Hall-Scharf, a former fisheries biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fish and Research Institute, has been named the Florida Sea Grant agent with UF/IFAS Extension for Hernando County.
In her new role, the native Floridian will be developing educational programs to address issues related to coastal environmental health, human health and coastal industries. She will also be working on coastal habitat restoration, artificial reefs and sustainable economic development opportunities in her county.
Hall-Scharf said because of her background, she will focus much of her programming on fisheries-related issues, such as the effect of water quality on scallop populations, oysters and seagrasses.
“I have been immersed in the field of marine science for many years, particularly within the estuarine regions of the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay,” she said. “My experience within this field includes both academics and active participation within the scientific community, which enables me to expand beyond basic concepts taught via textbooks and apply those concepts to current fisheries research.”
Hall-Scharf received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Florida State University and her master’s degree in biological oceanography from the University of South Florida. Her master’s thesis explored how diet shifts in spotted seatrout affected its prey preference. She has also served as an adjunct professor of environmental and biological science at the University of Tampa.
“Birttany brings the skills that will allow Florida Sea Grant and IFAS Extension to expand existing programs as well as create new ones that will make lasting contributions to residents in Hernando County,” said Martin Main, associate director of education and extension for Florida Sea Grant.