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Dr. Reginal M. Harrell



Environmental Science & Technology 2113 Animal Science/Agricultural Engineering Building 8127 Regents Drive College Park, Maryland 20742


Northeastern Regional Aquaculture Center 2113 Animal Science/Agricultural Engineering Building 8127 Regents Drive College Park, Maryland 20742


  • Fisheries
  • Wildlife Science
  • Ecological and Natural Resource Ethics


  • 1975 - B.S., Clemson University, Clemson, SC. Major: Zoology, Secondary Emphasis: Economic Zoology, Botany
  • 1977 - M.S., Clemson University, Clemson, SC. Major: Wildlife Biology, Secondary Emphasis: Fisheries Science, Ecology
  • 1984 - Ph.D., University of South Carolina, Columbia. Major: Biology, Secondary Emphasis: Ecology, Zoology
  • 2005 - MBA, Salisbury University, Salisbury, MD. Major: Business Administration; Management
  • 2011 - MDiv, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC. Major: Christian Ethics

Professional Summary:

Dr. Harrell is a Professor of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences and Natural Resources and Director of the Northeastern Regional Aquaculture Center.  His research interests have always been in wildlife and fisheries management particularly from a conservation biology and management perspective, the impacts of natural and man-made stressors on the health of native fish and wildlife, and in genetic hybridization and breeding in fishes.  In the past few years his research interests have focused almost exclusively on ecological and natural resource ethics of fish and wildlife wherein his most recent focus has been as a member of an international team of scientists and managers seeking to protect critically endangered species of African vultures.  He has international experience in Canada, South America, Africa, Europe, and China.  A major driver of Dr. Harrell’s research and educational interests that crosses over into his personal life is trying to understand and explain humanity’s responsibility of being good citizens and stewards of our environment and natural resources.  Specifically related to this interest is the desire to bridge science, philosophy, and theology to better understand how we should be respectful of creation as part of a biblical mandate of stewardship. He is also an ordained Southern Baptist minister and a retired volunteer pastor, which helps him in bridging science with philosophy and theology regarding creation-care and ethics.

At present time, Dr. Harrell is no longer advising graduate students

Professional Work:

Dr. Harrell started his career with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources as a fisheries biologist and was recruited by the University of Maryland in the mid-1980s to come to Maryland to help with the restoration of the threatened populations of striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay. He progressed through the faculty ranks becoming a full professor in 1995 and has served in various administrative roles including; Regional Director (Department Chair) for University of Maryland Extension, Director of the Lower Eastern Shore Research and Education Center, and Associate Dean of Research and Associate Director of the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station. In addition to his faculty position, he is currently the Director of the Northeast Regional Aquaculture Center.


As a faculty member Dr. Harrell has taught over 10 undergraduate and/or graduate courses ranging from fish and wildlife management and ecology, aquaculture, natural resource and environmental ethics, research methodologies, and professional communication and development. He currently guest lectures in a variety of courses.


Dr. Harrell’s research interests are focused on environmental and natural resource ethics and stewardship of our natural resources. Currently he is engaged with a team of international scientists attempting to help protect endangered and threatened sub-Saharan old world vultures. His role in this effort is to better understand how cultural issues impact vulture populations through the ethical integration of use of traditional medicine and respecting traditional religious beliefs.

Research Focus

  • Ecological and Natural Resource Ethics
  • Cultural Ecosystem Services associated with managing endangered and threatened vulture species in Southern Africa
  • Stress physiology of fish and other vertebrates
  • Conservation biology

Research Interests Environmental and bioethics; stress physiology of fish and other vertebrates; breeding genetics of fish and aquatic ornamental plants; conservation genetics and biology; restoration ecology; natural resources management of fish and wildlife populations. Extension Interests Environmental and bioethics; fish and wildlife management and health; pond management; invasive species control; ornamental aquatic plant breeding, restoration ecology.

Awards & Honors

  • Nominated and Elected Member of Beta Gamma Sigma, The Honor Society for Collegiate Schools of Business, Salisbury University
  • Nominated, Elected, and Life Member of the Honor Society Phi Kappa Phi
  • Elected Fellow of the American Institute of Fisheries Research Biologists
  • Elected Fellow of the American Fisheries Society
  • Elected External Fellow of the Russ L. Bush Center for Faith and Culture at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • 2017 Excellence in Extension Award – Department of Environmental Science and Technology
  • 2021 Dean Gordon Cairns Award for Distinguished Creative Work and Teaching in Agriculture – College of Agriculture and Natural Resources


Selected out of 135 Referred Journal and Extension Publications


  • Harrell, R.M., W. Van Heukelem, J. Jacobs, J.R. Schutz, J.U. Takacs, and D. Jacobs.  2002.  Heritability of swimbladder inflation in striped bass, Morone saxatilis. North American Journal of Aquaculture. 64: 117-121.
  • Harrell, R.M.  2002.  Genetic implications of escaped and intentionally-stocked cultured fishes. Pages 167-196 in J. Tomasso editor.  Aquaculture and the Environment in the United States. United States Aquaculture Society/World Aquaculture Society, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA.
  • Harrell, R.M. 2013. Releasing hybrid Morone in natural waters with congeneric species: implications and ethics. Pages 531–549 in J. S. Bulak, C. C. Coutant, and J. A. Rice, editors. Biology and management of inland striped bass and hybrid striped bass. American Fisheries Society, Symposium 80, Bethesda, Maryland.

Environmental-Stress Physiology:

  • Jacobs, J.M., M. Rhodes, D. Howard, E.B. May, and R.M. Harrell. 2009.  Historical presence of mycobacteriosis in Chesapeake Bay striped bass (1975-1985). Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 85:181-186.
  • Jacobs, J.M., A. Baya, M. Rhodes, R. Reimschuessel, H. Townsend, and R.M. Harrell.  2009. The influence of nutritional state on the progression and severity of mycobacteriosis in striped bass (Morone saxatilis). Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 87(3):183-187.
  • Jacobs, J.M., R.M. Harrell, J. Uphoff, H. Townsend, and K. Hartman 2013. Biological Reference Points for the Nutritional Status of Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass, North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 33(3): 468-48.
  • Haus, W.O., K.J. Hartman, J.M. Jacobs, and R.M. Harrell. 2017. Development of Striped Bass Relative Condition Models with Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis and Associated Temperature Corrections, Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 146:5, 917-926, DOI: 10.1080/00028487.2017.1318093.


  • Gore, M., A. Hubschle, A. Botha, M.A. Otttinger, L. J. Shaffer, B. Coverdale, R. Garbett, R.M. Harrell, S. Kruger, J. Murrow,  L. Olson, H. Smit Robinson, L. Thompson, L. van den Heever, W. Bowerman. 2020. A conservation criminology-based desk assessment of vulture poisoning in the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area. Global Ecology and Conservation. Vol 23: Open Access.
  • van den Heever, L.,  L.J. Thompson, W.W. Bowerman, H. Smit-Robinson, L.J. Shaffer, R.M. Harrell, and M.A. Ottinger. 2021. Exploring the role of vultures at the human-wildlife-livestock disease interface: an African perspective. Journal of Raptor Research. 55(3):311-327.
  • Ottinger, M.A., A. Botha, R. Buij, B. Coverdale, M. Gore, R.M. Harrell, J. Hassell, S. Krüger, C.J.W. McClure, J.M. Mullinax, L.J. Shaffer, H. Smit-Robinson, L.J. Thompson,  L. van den Heever, W.W. Bowerman. 2021. A strategy for conserving Old World vulture populations in the framework of One Health.  Journal of Raptor Research. 55(3): 374-387.
  • Thompson, L.J., S.C. Krüger, B.M. Coverdale, L.J. Shaffer, M.A. Ottinger, J.P. Davies, C. Daboné, M. Kibuule, S.I. Cherkaoui, R.A. Garbett, W.L. Phipps, E.R. Buechley, R.A.Godino Ruiz, M. Lecoq, C. Carneiro, R.M. Harrell, M.L. Gore, and W.W. Bowerman. 2021. Assessing African vultures as biomonitors and umbrella species. Frontiers in Conservation Science 2: 25 November 2021 |

Ecological Ethics:

  • Harrell, R.M. 2017. Bioethical considerations of advancing the application of marine biotechnology and aquaculture.  Marine Drugs 15(7): 197, DOI:10.3390/md15070197
  • Yee, N., L.J. Shaffer, M.L. Gore, W. Bowerman, and R.M. Harrell. 2021. Expert perceptions of conflicts in African vulture conservation: implications for overcoming ethical decision-making dilemmas. Journal of Raptor Research. 55(3):359-373.
  • Harrell, R.M. 2002. Genetic implications of escaped and intentionally-stocked cultured fishes. Pages 167-196 in J. Tomasso editor. Aquaculture and the Environment in the United States. United States Aquaculture Society/World Aquaculture Society, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA.