|Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences|
Oliver "Towns" Burgess
I was born in Florence, South Carolina. I have also lived in Midlothian, Virginia (just south of Richmond) and several places in Oregon and California. I received my Bachelor of Science from the University of South Carolina in Marine Science with an emphasis in Ichthyology, Genetics and Animal Behavior. My career in fisheries has allowed me to travel all over the United States and learn many research techniques. As an undergraduate at the University of South Carolina, I participated as a research assistant on several projects with two laboratories. In one laboratory I used Mitochondrial and Nuclear DNA to evaluate conservation efforts for fisheries targeting skates and numerous shark species. I was also an assistant in an animal behavior laboratory collecting moth specimens to determine their community structure and foraging behavior. Since graduating, I have worked with two federal agencies within the Department of Interior as a Fishery Biologist. The first was with the U.S. Geological Survey in Klamath Falls, Oregon. We monitored the spawning distribution and larval drift of a federally endangered sucker species and determined their differential habitat use. These projects involved extensive larval sampling, PIT tagging, radio telemetry tagging and telemetry tracking. We tracked adult spawning suckers by aircraft and by boats using LoTek receivers. I also worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Red Bluff, California. We used rotary screw traps to collect juvenile Chinook salmon (including the endangered Winter Run), steelhead trout and other fish species to assist in the evaluation of the Red Bluff Research Pumping Plant and Diversion Dam on the Sacramento River. I have also worked in cooperation with the National Park Service, SC Department of Natural Resources, and Native American Tribal Organizations from the west coast. Currently I am working for Dr. Bill Pine on several projects. I am focusing a lot of my efforts toward a project investigating spawning, movement, and habitat utilization patterns in the River Styx and the Apalachicola River, Florida.
In my free time I like fishing, SCUBA diving and spearfishing, backpacking and hiking, and dog training.