Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Mary C. Fabrizio

Moses D. Nunnally Distinguished Associate Professor of Marine Science

Email : [[mfabrizio]]
Phone : (804) 684-7308
Interests : Fish populations, mortality, habitat, essential fish habitat (EFH), fish movement, distribution, fishing gear, mark-recapture studies.
Office : Fisheries Science Lab 135
Department : Fisheries Science

  • B.S., Summa Cum Laude, Biological Sciences, 1978, Fordham University, New York, NY
  • Ph.D., Biological Oceanography, 1985, Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
Research Interests
  • Recruitment dynamics of Chesapeake Bay fishes (especially striped bass, summer flounder, American eel, and Atlantic croaker)
  • Spatial ecology of estuarine fishes (summer flounder, striped bass)
  • Population dynamics of juvenile fishes
  • Sampling designs for fishery-independent surveys
Current Projects
  • Physiological effects of hypoxia and environmental contaminants on Atlantic croaker in the Chesapeake and coastal bays.  Collaboration with R. W. Brill (NOAA-Fisheries Service) and A. Johnson (University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, Center for the Integrated Study of Coastal Ecosystem Processes and Dynamics in the Mid-Atlantic Region).

  • Individual-based, dynamic-landscape models of marine fishes incorporating ecophysiological constraints.  B. Marcek dissertation research (NOAA-Sea Grant Population and Ecosystem Dynamics Fellowship) and collaboration with R. W. Brill (NOAA-Fisheries Service) and R. Humston (Washington and Lee University).

  • Establishing field-based evidence for the effects of hypoxia on the reproductive capacity of Chesapeake Bay fishes. Collaboration with T. Tuckey (VIMS - Fisheries Science). 
  • The role of variation in condition of individual young-of-the-year fish: implications for recruitment dynamics of striped bass and summer flounder in Chesapeake Bay.  R. Schloesser dissertation research (VA Sea Grant Fellowship).  

  • Invasive blue catfish in Chesapeake Bay tributaries. Multiple projects aimed at estimating abundance (using mark-recapture studies), historical biomass, contaminant concentrations, and trophic interactions. Collaborative work with VDGIF, VCU, MDDNR, and others at VIMS. (R. Hale, R. Latour, and T. Tuckey
Selected Publications
  • Fabrizio, M. C., J. Uphoff, D. Secor, J. Kramer, S. Green, E. Martino, J. Cimino, D. Gauthier, J. Jacobs, M. Topolski, A. Sharov, W. Vogelbein, and K. Culzoni.  In Press.  Ecosystem considerations for management of Chesapeake Bay striped bass.  For: Northeast Atlantic Coast Striped Bass Fisheries Management.  M. Armstrong and P. Perra, eds. 
  • Humphrey, J., M. J. Wilberg, E. D. Houde, and M. C. FabrizioIn Press.  Effects of temperature on young-of-the-year Atlantic Menhaden growth in Chesapeake Bay.  Transactions of the American Fisheries Society.
  • Lapointe, D., Vogelbein, W. K., Fabrizio, M. C., Gauthier, D. T. and Brill, R. W.  2014.  Interactive influence of temperature, hypoxia and mycobacteriosis on adult striped bass (Morone saxatilis). Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 108:113-127
  • Henderson, M. J., M. C. Fabrizio, and J. A. Lucy.  2014.  Movement patterns of summer flounder near an artificial reef: effects of fish size and environmental cues.  Fisheries Research 153:1-8.
  • Henderson, M. J., and M. C. Fabrizio.  2014.  Small-scale vertical movements of summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) relative to diurnal, tidal, and temperature changes.  Marine & Coastal Fisheries 6:108-118.
  • Henderson, M. J., and M. C. Fabrizio.  2014.  Estimation of summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) mortality rates using mark-recapture data from a recreational angler-tagging program.  Fisheries Research 159:1-10.
  • Fabrizio, M.C., J.P. Manderson and J.P. Pessutti. 2014. Home range and seasonal movements of black sea bass during their inshore residency at a mid-Atlantic Bight reef. Fishery Bulletin 112:82-97
  • Henderson, M. J.*, and M.C. Fabrizio. 2013. Detecting noncompliance in the summer flounder recreational fishery using a mark-recapture growth model. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 33:1039-1048.
  • Xu, X.*, M. C. Newman, M.C. Fabrizio, and L. Liang.  2013. An ecologically-framed mercury survey of finfish of the lower Chesapeake Bay. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 64: xxx - xxx [published online 29 May 2013: DOI 10.1007/s00244-013-9917-1].
  • Tuckey, T. D., and M. C. Fabrizio.  2013.  Influence of survey design on fish assemblages:  implications from a study in Chesapeake Bay tributaries.  Transactions of the American Fisheries Society.
  • Sobocinski, K. L., R. J. Orth, M. C. Fabrizio, and R. J. Latour.  2013.  Historical comparison of fish community structure in lower Chesapeake Bay seagrass habitats.  Estuaries and Coasts.  
  • Capossela, K. M., R. W. Brill, M. C. Fabrizio, and P. G. Bushnell.  2012.  Metabolic and cardiorespiratory responses of summer flounder Paralichthys dentatus to hypoxia at two temperatures.  Journal of Fish Biology. 81: 1043-1058.
  • Woodland, R. J., D. H. Secor , M. C. Fabrizio and M. J. Wilberg.  2012.  Comparing the nursery role of inner continental shelf and estuarine habitats for temperate marine fishes.  Estuarine, Coastal, and Shelf Science. 99: 61-73.
  • Williams, B. D., and M. C. Fabrizio. 2011.  Detectability of estuarine fishes in a beach seine survey of tidal tributaries of lower Chesapeake Bay.  Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 140: 1340-1350.
  • Schloesser, R. W., M. C. Fabrizio, R. J. Latour, G. C. Garman, R. Greenlee, M. Groves, J. Gartland. 2011.  Ecological role of blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) in Chesapeake Bay communities and implications for management.  In P. Michaletz and V. Travnichek, eds., Conservation, ecology, and management of worldwide catfish populations and habitats.  American Fisheries Society, symosium 77: 369-382, Bethesda, MD.
  • Fenske, K. H., M. J. Wilberg, D. H. Secor, and M. C. Fabrizio.  2011.  An age- and sex-structured assessment model for American eels (Anguilla rostrata) in the Potomac River, Maryland.  Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 68: 1024-1037. 
  • Hewitt, A., J. Ellis, and M. C. Fabrizio.  2009.  Fisheries of the York River system.  Journal of Coastal Research 57:99-110.
  • Hubert, W. and M. C. Fabrizio.2007. Relative abundance and catch/effort relationships. Chapter 7 in Analysis and Interpretation of Freshwater Fisheries Data. Edited by M. Brown and C. Guy. American Fisheries Society.
  • Fabrizio, M. C. 2004. Experimental design and sampling strategies for mixed-stock analysis. Chapter 23 in Stock Identification Methods. Edited by S. Cadrin, K. Friedland, and J. Waldman. Academic Press.
Current Students
Former Students
Former Post-Docs
  • Dominique Lapointe, 2010-2013. Physiological impacts of hypoxia on healthy and diseased striped bass. Currently at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. 
Student Awards


  • Branson Williams, Hall-Bonner Fellowship 2006-2009


  • Karen Capossela, Oceanside Conservation Corporation Scholarship
  • Justine Woodward, AFS Marine Fisheries Section Travel Award
  • Mark Henderson, Beazley Fellowship, VIMS Foundation
  • Mark Henderson, VIMS Graduate Fellowship, 2007-2010


  • Karen Capossela, Oceanside Conservation Corporation Scholarship
  • Justine Woodward, AFS Estuaries Section Travel Award
  • Mark Henderson, Beazley Fellowship, VIMS Foundation
  • Mark Henderson, Reves Graduate Student International Travel Grant


  • Karen Capossela, Best Student Presentation, AFS Tidewater Chapter Meeting
  • Karen Capossela, AFS Marine Fisheries Section Travel Award
  • Branson Williams, AFS Equal Opportunities Section Travel Award
  • Mark Henderson, NMFS-Sea Grant Population Dynamics Fellowship: 2009-2012
  • Mark Henderson, Beazley Fellowship, VIMS Foundation
  • Mark Henderson, Student Travel Award, International Tagging Symposium
  • Ryan Schloesser, Ziegler Fellowship, VIMS Foundation


  • Ryan Schloesser, AFS Virginia Chapter, Robert D. Ross Graduate Scholarship
  • Ryan Schloesser, Perry Grant
  • Ryan Schloesser, Eastern Shore Laboratory Research Fund
  • Lauren Nys, Eastern Shore Laboratory Research Fund


  • Lauren Nys, Beazley Fellowship, VIMS Foundation
  • Lauren Nys, Oceanside Conservation Co., Inc. Research Scholarship
  • Ryan Schloesser, Virginia Sea Grant Fellowship, 2012-2014
  • Ryan Schloesser, GSA Travel Award; William & Mary Student Activities Conference Fund
  • Lauren Nys, GSA Travel Award; William & Mary Student Activities Conference Fund


  • Ryan Schloesser, presented in the Best Student Paper Symposium, AFS Annual Meeting, Quebec.
  • Lauren Nys, Best Student Presentation, AFS Tidewater Chapter Meeting.
  • Benjamin Marcek, NOAA-Sea Grant Population and Ecosystem Dynamics Fellowship: 2014-2017
Courses Taught/Teaching
  • MSCI 528 / 501 F Marine Fisheries Science (with J. Graves)
  • MSCI 669 Linear & Generalized Linear Models in Ecology
  • MSCI 698 Fisheries Data Management and Analysis (with C. Bonzek)
  • MSCI 698 Linear Modeling for Fish Ecologists
  • MSCI 698 Got Data? Now what? (Applications & Generalized Linear Models - from Data Collection to Publication)
  • O. E. Sette Award for Outstanding Marine Fisheries Biologist, American Fisheries Society, 2014
  • NOAA Bronze Medal Award, 2006
  • Distinguished Service Award, American Fisheries Society 1998
  • Most significant paper published in 1997 in the Transactions of the American Fisheries Society - August 1998 (Waldman et al. 1997)
  • James W. Moffett Award for outstanding scientific paper published in 1997, Great Lakes Science Center - August 1998 (Fabrizio, Adams, and Curtis 1997)
Professional Memberships
  • Board of Directors, Hudson River Foundation
  • American Fisheries Society (AFS)
    • President (2007-2008)
    • President AFS Marine Fisheries Section (2002-2004)
  • American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists - Fellow
  • The Biometric Society
  • Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation
  • Phi Beta Kappa
Other Works of Interest
  • Rose, K. A., M. C. Fabrizio, and B. A. Phelan.  2012. Determining authorship: why is something that seems so simple so difficult?  Scientific Communication for Natural Resource Professionals, Cecil A. Jennings, Thomas E. Lauer, and Bruce Vondracek (Editors) AFS, Bethesda, MD.
  • Simmonds, R., and M. C. Fabrizio. 2006. Fisheries employment in the US Federal Government. Pages 79-96 in D. A. Hewitt,    W. E. Pine III, and A. V. Zale, eds.  The AFS Guide to Fisheries Employment, 2nd edition. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD.