Where Are They Now with Bryan Keller

Keller pictured next to sawfish. Image courtesy of Tristan Guttirdge.

Florida Sea Grant-funded students engage in different research areas, all around the globe, and Bryan Keller can attest to the accomplishment.

Keller was an Aylesworth and Guy Harvey scholar, as well as a 2020 Knauss Fellow, which landed him his current position in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Office of International Affairs, Trade, and Commerce.

As a Foreign Affairs Specialist, part of his role is to work with other countries to sustainably manage natural resources found in international waters.

“International waters are beyond any national jurisdiction,” he said. “There are various mechanisms in place that allow us to work with other countries to ensure those natural resources, like tunas, for example, are harvested in a sustainable manner.”

Keller received his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He attended Coastal Carolina University for his master’s, where his research focused on the social behavior of juvenile lemon sharks. Keller graduated with a Ph.D. from Florida State University in 2020; his research focused on the migrations of bonnethead sharks.

There's so much about nature we don't know and that’s what makes the research exciting.

When discussing some of his research on animal behavior, Keller noted “The takeaway from those kinds of projects is expanding scientific insight and finding out nature’s secrets. There’s so much about nature we don’t know and that’s what makes the research exciting.”

Keller also works with Saving the Blue, a nonprofit focused on recovering and restoring threatened marine species. He travels to the Bahamas every year to conduct research on silky sharks, smalltooth sawfish, and great hammerheads.

Keller is currently stationed at NOAA’s headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.