Shawn McLaughlin, PhD

Cooperative Oxford Laboratory
Cooperative Oxford Laboratory

The Cooperative Oxford Laboratory (COL) is a unique partnership between NOAA, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and U.S. Coast Guard. NCCOS/MSE scientists, such as McLaughlin, integrate a broad spectrum of physical, biological, and social sciences to inform coastal and marine decision making. 

McLaughlin conducts research on the impacts of stress on coastal ecosystems to provide resource managers the knowledge and tools needed to better understand and anticipate changes in  ecosystem function. Over the last decade, she participated in COL ecological assessments conducted in Chesapeake Bay and led a similar assessment in the Tred Avon River in the Choptank River Complex, a NOAA designated Habitat Focus Area. From 1990-2002, her research as a Fishery Biologist at COL focused on elucidating the mechanisms of disease and other stressors in ecologically or economically important fish, shellfish, and coral. She is currently analyzing COL’s 60-year specimen archive for historical baseline data to support coastal restoration activities. McLaughlin co-chairs the NCCOS People Committee (2019) and actively supported diversity and inclusion over a nearly 40-year federal career. She completed a one-year detail at NCCOS Headquarters in 2000 where she served as liaison for the Charleston, Beaufort, and Oxford laboratories.

McLaughlin holds a B.A. from Notre Dame of Maryland University, a M.S. in Microbiology from University of Maryland, and a Ph.D. in Biology from Abo Akademi University. She is a graduate of the Management Institute at Chesapeake College (2004) and Department of Commerce's Executive Leadership Development Program (2009).


NCCOS delivers ecosystem science solutions for stewardship of the nation’s ocean and coastal resources to sustain thriving coastal communities and economies.

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