Dylan Comb

Research Associate II

Dylan brings a background in marine ecology, field biology, and in conservation and restoration science as applied to coastal ecosystems to his work at GMGI. Having grown up locally on Cape Ann, he has an affinity for all things shellfish.

After completing a B.A. in environmental studies at the University of Vermont, Dylan spent a few years ski-bumming, working odd-jobs, and traveling before returning home to complete a M.S. in marine biology at Northeastern University. During his graduate research, he focused on shellfish restoration efforts in southern New England, comparing growth conditions among different populations of eastern oysters to better inform restoration science.

Prior to joining GMGI, Dylan helped start an aquaculture farm, worked as a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) fisheries observer, was a bicycle mechanic, snowmaker, schooner deckhand, and sailboat delivery captain, and volunteered in several marine science labs. When he’s not in the lab or out in the marshes, Dylan enjoys surfing, skiing, mountain biking, and gardening.


2011 – B.A. Environmental Studies, University of Vermont
2016 – M.S. Marine Biology, Northeastern University, Advisors: Jon Grabowski & Randall Hughes

Research Interests

As part of the fisheries research team, I work in the field and lab to investigate diseases in wild shellfish stocks, collaborate with state partners to improve stock management, protect natural resources, and safeguard human health. I also help develop environmental DNA (eDNA) technology to assess local biodiversity and utilize genomics to better understand stock structure dynamics of commercially important fisheries.

Some of the questions that drive my work are: How can we improve the ways we detect viruses and disease in finfish and shellfish, and what can we learn about the factors that drive infection? What are the most efficient ways to use emerging technologies to monitor and assess fish populations? Where can we apply research to improve management of commercially valuable species and conserve their critical habitats?

My hope is to use molecular techniques and cutting-edge genomic technology in parallel with traditional methodologies to address these and other questions that impact coastal ecosystems around Cape Ann and beyond.

Research Projects