The Virginia Institute of Marine Science has named Dr. Mark Luckenbach as its new Associate Dean for Research and Advisory Services, effective June 1st. Luckenbach replaces Dr. Roger Mann, who is returning to his faculty position after nearly 10 years of administrative service to VIMS and the Commonwealth.
VIMS Dean and Director John Wells says, “I’m extremely pleased to announce that Mark has accepted the ADRAS position. He brings considerable administrative experience from his 20-plus years as Director of VIMS’ Eastern Shore Lab, as well as expertise in marine research and service on numerous scientific and advisory boards at the state, regional, and national levels. I’m confident that Mark will lead the research and advisory programs at VIMS with great pride, skill, and wisdom.”
As Associate Dean, Luckenbach will serve as the principal administrative officer for VIMS’ research and advisory service activities, which are mandated in more than 30 different sections of the Code of Virginia. Scientific guidance from VIMS allows informed decision-making related to the Commonwealth’s living marine resources—including blue crabs, oysters, and finfish—and to management of its surface waters, sand dunes, tidal and non-tidal wetlands, and state-owned bottomlands. More broadly, Luckenbach will represent VIMS in a scientific and advisory capacity to regional and federal agencies.
Luckenbach will also work side-by-side with the Associate Dean of Academic Studies Linda Schaffner to ensure close coordination with programs in William & Mary’s School of Marine Science at VIMS, and to engage faculty and students to participate in the Institute’s advisory mission. Luckenbach has extensive experience in education, including development and teaching of field courses in coastal Virginia and in north Wales.
Luckenbach joined the VIMS faculty in 1985 and has directed the Institute’s Eastern Shore Laboratory in Wachapreague since 1992. A marine ecologist, his research has focused on the population dynamics and restoration of oysters, clams, bay scallops, and other bottom-dwelling organisms, with related interests in shellfish aquaculture and its effect on the environment. He has also studied many aspects of land-use and water quality on the Eastern Shore, research that has helped to inform state and local governments on best-management practices. While much of his work has focused on Chesapeake Bay and Virginia’s coastal bays, Luckenbach has also conducted extensive research on oyster populations in China and Japan.
Luckenbach serves on numerous state, regional, and national advisory boards, including the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee to the Chesapeake Bay Program and a panel convened by the American Association for the Advancement of Science to review the results of research on the impacts of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill. He received a B.S. degree in Zoology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Ph.D. in Biology from the University of South Carolina.
In announcing Luckenbach’s selection, Wells noted that he would be remiss in not taking the opportunity to thank Mann for his near 10 years of dedicated service as director of research and advisory services. “Roger has performed commendably as a member of the VIMS administration,” says Wells, “and we wish him well in his return to Fisheries Science.” Mann joined the VIMS faculty in 1985.