Your Hosts


Aaron Bunch

Clemson University
  • Current PhD Student advised by Dr. Troy Farmer, Dept. of Forestry and Environmental Conservation, Clemson University
  • MS in Fisheries and Aquatic Science, University of Florida (2008)
  • BS in Fisheries and Wildlife Science, North Carolina State University (2006)
  • Interests:  Family man, angler, hunter, hiker, camper, foodie, hobby farmer (former), photographer, sports fan, dog lover
There is an undeniable gap in diversity within the fisheries profession.  I have lived it for 15 years having rarely worked directly with a student or biologist of color.  Diversity and inclusion are critical components of education and employment, which ultimately leads to better workplace environments, higher profitability, and most importantly, happier people.  There are clear social, political, ethical, and moral benefits.  My goal is to be part of the solution which is to create equitable access and inclusive research circles for communities historically underrepresented in natural resources.  It’s time to break down barriers and biases while working towards improving diversity throughout the fisheries profession.  

Deon Kerr

Clemson University
  • Future MS Student advised by Dr. Troy Farmer, Dept. of Forestry and Environmental Conservation, Clemson University
  • BS in Aquatic Biology, Bowling Green State University (2020)
  • Interests:  Euro-style carp angling, things that go vroom, car racing

Please come prepared with an open mind ready to think critically. Humans struggle between what is right and wrong. Our personal morals and ethics are shaped by cultural norms and the ones that surround us including our family, friends, classmates, and colleagues. Our podcast would like to critique your philosophy by challenging some of your personal beliefs regarding right and wrong. We want you to ask yourself this “Is the way I am viewing this situation or issue correct or is it wrong?” “What is it that I am not seeing?” These are great questions to start with and it is very important to answer them honestly. Try not to find an answer based on what benefits you but what’s centered around the truth of the matter.


Cassidy Miles

Western Illinois University


I am a White Queer Cis-Woman 

  • Current MS Biology student at Western Illinois University advised by Dr. Jim Lamer of the Illinois Natural History Survey 
  • BS in Biology, Southwestern Illinois University of Edwardsville (2013)
  • Interests: Roller skating, roller derby (pre-coronavirus), hiking with my dog, picking up trash, outreach and education 

The organisms and systems we study are diverse and evolve over time. Why doesn’t this apply to us conducting the research?  We need to learn together and grow together. I hope to normalize questioning the “norm” and being allowed to change your mind about something. It is okay to mess up as long as you own up to it, learn, and keep trying! Let us break down barriers so that any and all have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, whether that be recreationally and/or professionally! 


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Lian Guo

University of Massachusetts Amherst


  • PhD Candidate in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
  • BA in Organismal Biology from Scripps College
  • Studying thermal ecophysiology of juvenile river herring
  • Interests: science communication, cooking/baking, puzzles, traveling anywhere with beautiful water and aquatic life, diversity and inclusion

The quality of our fisheries science and management is limited by the talent and perspective in our workforce. It’s time to ask ourselves the hard questions: Why are we missing certain groups of people from the fisheries workforce? How do those people feel when they’re in the room? What systemic barriers can we remove to radically transform who can access and feel included in our profession? Social issues influence every aspect of our work, and it’s time we talk about and address it!

Thank you for checking out the Fisheries Diversity and Inclusion Podcast!
We encourage you to join us to explore success stories, learn more about systemic barriers to inclusion, and meet some amazing fisheries professionals.
For suggestions on topics or to provide constructive feedback, you can email us at [email protected].

Recent Episodes

Jan 27th, 2021


Lian Guo and Aaron Bunch collaborate on a great conversation with Dr. Andrea Reid.  Have you ever thought about the history of the land you are on right now?  Look around you.  Many places are named after Native American/Indigenous Peoples.  Dr. Reid discusses many important aspects of the relationship between Native/Indigenous Peoples and Fisheries.  She discusses her open access paper which defines the concept of Two‐Eyed Seeing (Etuaptmumk in Mi’kmaw) which embraces “learning to see from one eye with the strengths of Indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing, and from the other eye with the strengths of mainstream knowledges and ways of knowing, and to use both these eyes together, for the benefit of all,” as envisaged by Elder Dr. Albert Marshall. Please visit the podcast link to access more resources related to this episode.

Dec 2nd, 2020


Aaron Bunch and Deon Kerr welcome two new co-hosts, Lian Guo and Cassidy Miles, who have shown dedication and leadership in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in the American Fisheries Society (AFS).  You might remember them from Sept. 9 episode 4 when we discussed DEI Day which occurred during the AFS Virtual Annual Meeting.  We loved their spunk, knowledge, great voices, and dedication so much we asked them to join the podcast team!
We have some great new content coming out soon, so keep a look out for new episodes which will be launched on Wednesdays, generally every 2-3 weeks.   

In this week’s episode of the “Fisheries Diversity and Inclusion Podcast”, We are joined by Ernest Muhammad, SCDNR biologist and Executive Director of the LowCountry Alliance for Model Communities, who will discuss the details of a grassroots initiative in the South Carolina LowCountry that blends community programs, STEM education, research, and outreach. Also learn about the “Gullah Geechee” people who live along coastal communities of the southeast coast.

This podcast was video recorded as part of the recent AFS Virtual Annual Meeting!  If you would rather see us in action, feel free to check us and other important D&I content here

In this week’s episode of the “Fisheries Diversity and Inclusion Podcast”, Aaron Bunch interviews members of the AFS Equal Opportunities Section planning committee to preview an important day that AFS has themed “Diversity and Inclusion Day“. 

Although, we hope you decide to register for the 2020 AFS Virtual Annual Meeting, the specific content described in the podcast is FREE to anyone who would like to register.   

In this week’s episode of the “Fisheries Diversity and Inclusion Podcast”, Deon Kerr and Aaron Bunch have a powerful and truly educational discussion with Jerad Green who has dedicated his life to improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in academia and elsewhere.  This is a great opportunity to learn from an expert on the Black Lives Matter movement.

SHARK WEEK DEI SPECIAL!!!  Aaron Bunch spends time with Executive Board members of the Minorities in Shark Sciences (MISS) to discuss their important mission.  Check out their awesome website and consider donating to their cause.  These researchers have a passion for sharks, and want to pave the way for future generations!  

This week we are previewing a new podcast hosted by by Aaron Bunch and Deon Kerr all about diversity and inclusion in the field of fisheries. In this podcast they’ll be talking about a variety of topics that affect all of our lives.