Board of Directors

The Fisheries Conservation Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors that oversees strategic planning, project selection, foundation finances, and partnership development. The current members of the Board are:

Principal Scientist, Illinois Natural History Survey,
Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability at the University of Illinois

Dr. David Philipp is the Principal Scientist at the Illinois Natural History Survey, a research department within the Institute of Natural Resources Sustainability at the University of Illinois. His research interests focus on three major areas: conservation genetics, reproductive ecology, and the effects of fishing on natural populations. His findings have helped to document the negative impacts of outbreeding depression that can result from hatchery stocking programs, as well as to illustrate the evolutionary effects that fishing can have on natural populations. Much of his research has targeted centrarchid species, particularly focusing on the factors that impact their parental care activities, reproductive success, and annual recruitment. In recent years, Dr. Philipp has broadened his interest in these research topics to include the marine flats ecosystem, studying bonefish reproductive behaviors and the effects of recreational angling on post-release behavior and survival of flats fishes. Dave was one of the original group of founders spearheading the formation of the Fisheries Conservation Foundation, and he currently serves as the Chair of its Board of Directors.


JEFF KOPPELMAN, Vice-Chair and Treasurer
Fisheries Scientist,
Missouri Department of Conservation

Jeff Koppelman is a retired Resource Scientist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, where he headed the Conservation Genetics Program. He has used genetics principles and analysis techniques for over 25 years to help preserve native fish, crayfish, amphibian, mammal, and plant diversity, as well as to protect and improve fisheries resources. He has been involved with several educational programs that enhance the experiences children and adults can have when they are immersed in our natural heritage.

JEFFREY STEIN, Chair, Freshwater Science Team
Fisheries Research Scientist,
University of Illinois

Dr. Jeffrey Stein works as a fisheries scientist at the University of Illinois where his research focuses on linkages between ecological function and exploitation of fish populations by humans. Using basic and applied research approaches, he explores how human activities can impact the reproductive ecology and behavior of fishes, ultimately translating findings into meaningful and effective conservation actions. A large component of that research investigates the impact of catch-and-release angling on the reproductive life history and recruitment dynamics of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), a popular freshwater sport fish. Additionally, Jeff worked on a study with our partners, the Cape Eleuthera Institute, that focused on a long-term historical shark data, re-creating a study from a dataset detailing the diversity and abundance of shark populations in The Bahamas that took place over 30 years ago. This research project looked at historical variation in the diversity, abundance and demographic population structure of apex predator assemblages to provide insight into the effectiveness of potential conservation strategies. A manuscript is currently in production.

John T pic

JOHN TIEDEMANN, Chair, Marine Science Team
Assistant Dean,
Monmouth University

John Tiedemann is the Assistant Dean in the Monmouth University School of Science and the Director of the BS degree program in Marine and Environmental Biology and Policy. A lifelong resident of New Jersey, John has worked in both the public and private sectors dealing with marine and environmental issues since 1979. Since joining Monmouth University in 1999, his efforts have focused on real-time water quality monitoring and assessment, microbial source tracking in estuarine waters, and development of watershed management and habitat restoration strategies for shallow estuaries and coastal lakes.

Other issues John has worked on over the course of his career include impacts of ocean dumping of sewage sludge, industrial waste and dredged material in New Jersey coastal waters; assessments of overwintering habitat for striped bass in the Hudson River; impacts of coastal development on traditional maritime industries; enhancing marine recreational fishing opportunities; and development of best management practices for controlling nonpoint sources of coastal pollution.

Mr. Tiedemann is also a member of the Cape Eleuthera Institute Advisory Committee and the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium Advisory Council. When not at work he can be found surfing or fishing along New Jersey’s northern coast.


Deputy Director,
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Fred Harris is retired from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. During his 36-year tenure at the Commission, he served as a research biologist, chief of fisheries and chief deputy director of the agency. His main interests are management of freshwater fish populations, integration of nongame and game fish management and collaboration among agencies and nongovernmental organizations. He is a past president of the American Fisheries Society.


Ambata Capital Management

Michael Philipp is the Managing Partner of Ambata, a global investment and advisory firm specializing in clean energy and sustainability, with a strategic focus on the Middle East and Africa.  For the past 25 years, he has held senior management positions across the financial services industry, including Credit Suisse as a member of their Executive Board, and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa and Deutsche Bank as a Member of the Board of Managing Directors and Chairman and CEO of Deutsche Asset Management. Michael holds a bachelor of arts, an M.B.A. in finance, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Massachusetts. He is chairman of Reykjavik Energy and a board member of World Wildlife Fund – US.

Contact Us

Fisheries Conservation Foundation
302 E. Green Street #2102
Champaign, IL 61825

Let’s Be Friends

Five Ways to Help

Are you looking for a way that you can help to preserve our aquatic resources? Let us show you five ways you can help today!

Scroll to top