Speakers Bureau

Although COVID-19 restrictions currently prohibit our speakers from visiting your venue, they are still available for online presentations! Fill out the form below to schedule a virtual speaker. Please sign up for e-Tidings to be notified of reopening updates and be sure to check out our virtual events as well!

The Speakers Bureau at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science sends our scientists on the road! Faculty, staff, and students at VIMS are available to speak to your community organization, school, club, business, or other venue. The topics offered are as diverse as VIMS' research (see list below). Presentations about VIMS in general are also available for those wishing to learn more about VIMS’ mission and the important work we conduct.

To request a speaker, please fill out our online request formOnce we receive your form, we will contact you to schedule your presentation.

Requests must be made at least 60 days in advance.

Online Request Form

Please note:

  • Not every speaker/topic is available for all audience types. Some speakers/topics are only available for adults and/or middle school students and older. The audience that each speaker/topic is available for is listed in the descriptions below.
  • We typically require a minimum of 30 attendees for a speaking engagement. Please provide a realistic estimate of the number of people you expect to attend the presentation on the request form.
  • Our speakers are able to travel up to 1 hour from the VIMS campus in Gloucester Point for a speaking engagement. If your location is more than an hour’s drive from our campus, we may not be able to accommodate your request.
  • A typical presentation is 30 minutes to one hour in length. 
  • Most presentations will require the requesting organization to provide a projector and screen, computer (with ability to play video and sound and connect to the internet), and a microphone/sound system for the presenter.
Current Speakers & Topics

(list current as of May, 2021)

For more details, view the Speakers Bureau List (pdf) by topic and by speaker.

Name Audiences Topics
Sally Brooks Adults VIMS overview 
Ryan Carnegie Adults, Middle/High Schoolers Oysters; marine diseases and parasites; ecology; biology
Jennifer Dreyer Adults, Middle/High Schoolers, K-5th Graders Antarctica; hydrothermal vents; naming new species/taxonomy; Deep Sea Biology; invertebrates
Mary Fabrizio Adults Invasive blue catfish; Fishes of Chesapeake Bay (trawl survey information); hypoxia effects on fishes
Debra Gauthier Adults, Middle/High Schoolers, K-5th Graders Multispecies fisheries research; fish ageing; fish diets; predator prey interactions; NEAMAP; ChesMMAP
Courtney Harris Adults, K-5th Graders Numerical models for oceanography; coastal physical processes; physical and geological "geography"of Chesapeake Bay
Kirk Havens Adults, Middle/High Schoolers, K-5th Graders Chesapeake Bay; marine debris ("ghost" crab pots); wetlands; using thermal imaging to monitor animals in the wild; adaptive management of natural resources; environmental indicators
David Johnson Adults, Middle/High Schoolers, K-5th Graders Salt marshes; salt marsh ecology; invertebrate ecology
Lisa Kellogg Adults, Middle/High Schoolers, K-5th Graders VIMS: Science for the Bay, Impact for the World (and Your Plate); oyster reefs; oyster reef restoration
Molly Mitchell All Ages

Climate Change

Jess Small Adults, K-5th Graders

Oysters: biology, reproduction, process from hatchery to plate;

VIMS' role in the VA oyster industry

Richard Snyder Adults, Middle/High Schoolers (Eastern Shore) Persistent organic pollutants, oil spill, Bay scallop restoration, The Role of Science in Society
Candice Vinson All Ages VIMS overview; marine science basics for kids


The Speakers Bureau is made possible by the generous support of:


1st Advantage Federal Credit Union

Marine Sonic Technology LTD/Atlas North America LLC