Jerald Stephen Ault


(305) 421-4884
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Chair and Professor, Department of Marine Ecosystem and Society - Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

Jerald S. Ault, Ph.D. is Professor and Chair of the Department of Marine Ecosystems and Society at the University of Miami, and Director of the Tarpon & Bonefish Research Center. Dr. Ault is an internationally renowned fisheries scientist in population dynamics, statistics, risk assessment, ecosystem modeling and resource management decision-making under uncertainty.

An avid sport fisherman, Jerry is a Fellow of the American Institute of Fisheries Research Biologists (AIFRB) and the American Fisheries Society (AFS). He was editor of Biology and Management of the World Tarpon and Bonefish Fisheries by CRC Taylor & Francis (2008), and coauthored A Passion for Tarpon by Wild River Press (2010).

A particularly novel aspect of his Fisheries Ecosystem Modeling and Assessment Research group (FEMAR, involves development of large-scale dynamic ocean ecosystem models to assess sustainability risks of coral reef and coastal fishery resources from exploitation and environmental changes. Ault’s fishery systems science approach is the recognized national standard for U.S. coral reef ecosystems in Florida, U.S. Caribbean and tropical Pacific.

Dr. Ault has provided expert testimony to the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources, Florida Governor & Cabinet, Hawaiian Legislature, International Council for Exploration of the Seas, International Union for Conservation of Nature, and International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean. He regularly provides scientific advice to NOAA Fisheries, National Park Service, and regional Fishery Management Councils (Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, Caribbean and Western Pacific). He has been featured on CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Today Show, National Geographic, CNN, CNBC Squawk, Animal Planet, Outdoor Life Channel, Florida Sportsman TV, PBS Waterways, BBC UK, Voice of America TV, AMHQ with Sam Champion & numerous other TV media; and, the Miami Herald, LA Times, London Financial Times, Chicago Tribune, Reuters International, Huffington Post and New York Times. He was named Hero of Conservation by Field & Stream (2006); and, received CCA’s and Tarpon Tomorrow’s Conservation Awards (2008). He has been featured on PBS’s Emmy® award-winning “Changing Seas”, and Silver Kings. He has received the Bob Lewis Memorial Fisheries Conservation (2010), IGFA Conservation (2011), and AIFRB Distinguished Service (2015) Awards for his body of work in marine fisheries conservation and sport fishing.



1977AAS Mathematics and Life Sciences San Diego Mesa College
1979B.S. Fisheries Humboldt State University
1982M.S. Fisheries Humboldt State University
1983 Mathematical Demography University of California San Diego
1988Ph.D. Fishery Management Science & Applied Statistics University of Miami
1992Post Doctoral Fish Population Dynamics University of Maryland College Park
My research centers on theoretical and applied population and community dynamics, risk assessment, ecosystem modeling and statistical assessment and management of marine fishery ecosystems.  A particularly novel aspect involves development of large-scale dynamic ocean ecosystem models to assess sustainability risks of multispecies coral reef and coastal gamefish resources from exploitation and environmental changes.  In support of my analytical approach, I design and conduct fishery-independent field assessment studies on multispecies coral reef fish communities, deepwater snappers, pink shrimp, bonefish, tarpon, billfishes and tunas in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and Caribbean Sea that are focused on the biophysical linkages reflected in ontogenetic migratory behaviors and response to biophysical conditions to better quantify optimal sampling surveys and define underlying empirical mechanisms in population dynamics and spatial grouping.  I am also interested in exploring means of taking structure into account in population and community models of coastal ocean ecosystems both to understand the forces driving recruitment variability and to improve resource prediction and the prospects for sustainability.