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Sea Grant and APNEP Name New Joint Fellow

image: Albemarle Sound.
Cambria Miller will study blue catfish in the Albemarle Sound (above). Credit: NC State Photos.

For immediate release

Contact: John Fear,

Cambria Miller, a master’s student in biology at East Carolina University, is the recipient of the 2024 joint fellowship from North Carolina Sea Grant and the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership (APNEP). Miller will investigate the spread of blue catfish and its impacts in the Albemarle Sound.

“Cambria Miller’s research is poised to provide seminal knowledge on the impact of blue catfish on our native species,” says John Fear, deputy director of North Carolina Sea Grant and the North Carolina Water Resources Research Institute.  

“I am grateful and honored to receive this funding,” says Miller (below).

The joint fellowship, now in its eighth year, supports graduate students from institutions based in North Carolina who conduct applied research within the North Carolina portion of the APNEP region. That region covers most of the Albemarle-Pamlico watershed, including the Neuse, Tar-Pamlico, Pasquotank, Chowan, lower Roanoke river basins, as well as parts of the White Oak river basin.

Tim Ellis, APNEP’s quantitative ecologist, says Miller’s research strongly aligns with APNEP’s commitment to protecting and restoring a healthy estuarine system.

“APNEP is a strong partner in the development and implementation of North Carolina’s Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Plan,” Ellis says. “Blue catfish is a high-priority species under that plan because of the negative impacts it can have on ecosystem integrity.”

Blue catfish numbers are rapidly increasing in the Albemarle Sound estuary, Ellis explains, “but little is known about their interactions with native species and habitats, or what role they may have in deteriorating water quality.” 

James Morley, a biologist at ECU, will serve as Miller’s faculty advisor for her research.

Read more about this and other Sea Grant fellowships and funding opportunities.

Learn more about the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership.