- Shellfish ecology and biology
- Sustainable aquaculture
- Conservation genetics
Brent’s research focuses on the interface between aquaculture and the environment. Marine aquaculture, whether focused on population restoration, fishery enhancement, or commercial food production on aquatic farms, requires a clean and healthy environment that is in alignment with many conservation goals. Brent’s research centers on sustainability using the best available science, and to pursue this goal he builds coalitions among environmental NGOs, federal, state, and tribal resource managers, the research community, and shellfish producers. His research has ranged from characterizing genetic differences among wild populations, to investigating genetic diversity in farmed stocks, to developing tools to assess the success of restoration aquaculture. Early in Brent’s career he was a classroom teacher and an interpretive naturalist. Further training in conservation genetics led to his master’s and doctoral degrees in aquatic and fishery sciences from the University of Washington.