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Janet Nye
Katie Valentine
/ Categories: Profile, Women in Research

Janet Nye

Janet Nye is an associate professor at Stony Brook University in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, where she focuses on fisheries ecology. She is a co-PI (Principal Investigator) on two projects supported by the NOAA Research Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) Program; one is an all-female team. 

What drew you to this career or field?

I was always interested in animals and always drawn to marine animals and the ocean. I’ve wanted to be a marine biologist since middle school. 

What projects/research are you working on now?

My research focuses on how climate variability/climate change affects fish, fisheries and fish ecosystems. I’m a part of two projects funded by MAPP. One project is looking at river herring bycatch. The other focuses on incorporating environmental variables into stock assessments to make recommendations about catch limits. 

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I enjoy working with interesting, smart people and working with students. I also enjoy having a high amount of freedom to study what I want within the scope of my work.

Is there someone who you look to as a role model, someone who has inspired or encouraged you?

I believe you should have lots of role models. I like to have role models that are good at things that I want to be better at. I seek out those people and try to learn those particular skills from them. [In particular] Dr. Tom Miller, who served as my Ph.D. advisor, is a smart and awesome human being. I look for people to not only be smart but also to be good people. 

Janet Nye's all-woman team.
Janet Nye's all-woman team at Stony Brook University. From left to right: Hyemi Kim, Janet Nye and Lesley Thorne.

Knowing what you know now, what would you tell yourself when you were 12 years old? Or what advice would you give to a woman just starting out in her career?

I’d tell my 12-year-old self to keep going and to take more math. 

The advice I’d give to a woman just starting out in her career is don’t compare yourself to anyone else; the grass is always greener. [I’d tell women to] listen to what they want, do what makes them happy, and follow their own path. Things that didn’t go the way I wanted them to made me stronger. My advice is to remain determined and stubborn and go for what you really want.

Is there anything else you would like to share? Perhaps your thoughts on #womeninscience, #womenofNOAA or #womeninSTEM?

In marine science, [I’ve noticed] things are getting better; the ratio of males to females among younger scientists is about 50/50. [The scientific community] is getting more diverse in terms of gender to the point where I’ve been in meetings with mostly or all women. Women in upcoming generations are more aware of the biases they face. Along with knowing [they face biases], they need to know that there are changes still occurring and they shouldn’t get frustrated.

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