Meet the Crew
It seems that every year we set new production and sales records, both in the hatchery and on the river. This wouldn’t be possible without an all-star team. Their hard work and competence have brought Mook Sea Farm to a new level of efficiency and dependability.
Sean has been working on oyster farms since he was the wee age of 13. He started his career in Rhode Island working for Moonstone Oyster Company and then the Matunuck Oyster Farm. He moved to Maine and began working with us in March 2017 quickly displaying his expertise in the industry. Known as ‘Big Sexy’ in Rhode Island, he has ditched that moniker and became THE VIKING up in Maine.
Andy began working in aquaculture for Cape Cod Oyster Company in 2012. After working with us for a summer, he fell in love with Maine and moved up permanently in 2017. Andy loves to fish and hunt, chasing ducks or striped bass all over our river. No one works harder than Andy, whether it’s trying to catch a mackerel or figuring out how to ship 30,000 oysters in a day.
A native of Damariscotta, Luke began working with us in 2015. An avid sportsman, Luke usually enjoys a year in which he has a tuna and a deer in his fridge. Along with Jay Olson, Luke usually makes up our ‘dream team,’ flipping cages with our automated flipper during the summer months. Luke is always good for a fish story or two.
A native of Cape Cod, Sean moved to Damariscotta when he was 11. Briefly working in the flooring industry, Sean started with us in 2014 and has spent time working on the river and in the hatchery. Finding a love for birds while in Maine, Sean is referred to as the ‘metal birder,’ possibly the best nickname ever given to a birder. He usually picks the music in our plant for the crew, with tastes ranging from Slayer to Bob Marley.
Another native of Damariscotta, Jay has spent time on all manner of boats, from lobster to fishing to oyster. Jay began working for us in 2014 and has spent time working on every aspect of the farm. In the summer months, you can usually find Jay out flipping cages with his right hand man Luke. Another sportsman, Jay will often be in the woods during the fall, on the trail of some buck.
The ‘young buck’ of our crew, Jake started working for us during the summer of 2017 handling the young of year seed. A fast learner, Jake is now fluent in everything oyster; from driving boats in the freezing cold to delivering orders to customers in our comfy trucks. When he isn’t working on the farm you can find Jake down at the dog park with his new pup, or at the most recent Trailer Park Boys show in town.
A native of Jamaica, Kirk came to the United States with his longtime friend, the Warrior King, to join him on his musical career in the states. He ended up touring with him for about 10 years until Kirk grew tired of the NYC lifestyle and moved to Maine. He began working with us in 2015, quickly earning a reputation as a master oyster sorter. Kirk now lives in Bath with his daughter and is working to bring his son to the states.
Simone works with our retail customers. Most mornings you can find her packing oysters... or plotting the next Moondancer Oyster/local brewery collaboration.
Hatchery and R&D Crew
Andy leads the hatchery team. In a successful attempt to be a renaissance man, Andy received BAs in both Communication and Philosophy, with an emphasis in science from the University of Maine. He has worked at Mook Sea Farm since 1999. Prior to joining us, Andy worked for 10 years managing first a salmon farm and then a macroalgae farm in Downeast Maine. At Mook Sea Farm, he has played a key role in all of our technological advancements and handles all of our oyster seed sales. Andy is an avid outdoors person, fishing, hunting, hiking, enjoying life outside. Andy loves to share a heartfelt ‘Good Morning’ and knee-slapping joke to start the day off right!
Meredith leads our research and development efforts. Originally from Massachusetts, She received her BS from Lafayette College and her PhD in Biological Oceanography from the MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Oceanography. Before joining Mook Sea Farm in 2016, Meredith’s research focused primarily on understanding the effects of ocean acidification on a variety of marine organisms. She enjoys painting various sea creatures while sipping a glass of wine or cider. When she isn’t reading scientific papers, you may find her jamming out to bluegrass.
Hailing from Connecticut, Team Leader Gianni attended school in New York and England before entering the food industry and forming a band in NYC where he played for many years. He even opened for Shaggy! He joined Mook Sea Farm in 2016 working on the river crew before transitioning to the hatchery in 2017. Be sure to catch a live performance of his musical talents at the Oysterhead Lounge on Thursday open mics.
A New Hampshire native and our other Team Leader, Chris Hedberg earned his BS in Marine, Estuarine, and Freshwater Biology from UNH and joined Mook Sea Farm in 2016. While at UNH, Chris conducted underwater research at Shoals Marine Laboratory, and worked on a striped bass/hydroponic project. Chris is an avid snowboarder and surfer and loves hiking with his dog, Win. Chris tops the chart for most interesting collection of shorts worn by any oyster farmer on the Damariscotta River.
Amanda is our Clean Room Manager. She earned her BS from the University of Maine (Machias) and her MS in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire where she reared finfish and studied mechanisms for adaptive variation in Atlantic cod. Originally from New Hampshire, she joined the Mook Sea Farm team in 2016 and is extraordinary at keeping our laboratory ship-shape and our microalgae cultures productive and happy. She can be frequently found in a barnyard in Nobleboro with her horse, Tiger.
Michelle considers herself a Pennsylvania native, that’s where her family is from and where she lived for a large part of her childhood, although she was born in Guam. She's also lived from coast to coast, spending half of her life calling the southwest (Tucson, AZ) and Southern California her home. (She also spent a brief stint in the Pacific Northwest). Michelle obviously enjoys traveling to new cities, exploring wildlife and places around the country! She's glad to finally have a permanent home in Maine, a great place to raise her little boy. She loves being outdoors, canoeing, hiking and especially running around with her two dogs. Michelle joined the Mook Sea Farm Hatchery team in early 2020 and is one of our very capable Hatchery Technicians.
Cory is an Alaskan native who knows his way around commercial fishing vessels. He knows his knots, boats, fish, and now oysters. After joining us in early 2020 he learned the ropes and became one of our Hatchery Technicians, immersed in all things Mook Sea Farm. He is equally as skilled out on the River. In his spare time he likes to play the drums and tend to his ferrets, cat, and his backyard flock of muscovy ducks.
A native to the mid-coast, Cody has always loved being close to the ocean. He attended the University of Maine at Machias graduating in 2011 with a B.S. in marine biology and a B.A. in biology. After graduating he worked Downeast for nine years and has hatchery experience with a wide variety of commercially important shellfish species. When not working as one of our Hatchery Technicians he can be found wandering the intertidal flipping up seaweed and turning over rocks looking for interesting marine life.
Facilities & Engineering Crew
Originally from Southern Maine, Rich is happy to be living in the Midcoast area now. He received both a BS and an MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Vermont. He has experience in bio processing of biofuels and building electronic sensors and devices. Since joining in 2018, he has proven himself entirely indispensable to us as he works to automate the systems in our new oyster holding room and in our hatchery. Rich is a man of mystery and an amateur mycologist, frequently found foraging for mushrooms in the woods. He also expresses his creativity in crafting guitar effects pedals.
Laura is our Steward, who keeps our working quarters clean and tidy. She has lived in the Damariscotta area since she was 19. She runs a cleaning company called Coastal Cleaning Services and Pet Care and has three adult daughters. We were happy to have her join the team in January 2019.
Andrew is Mook Sea Farm’s and Cape Cod Oyster Company’s Director of Sales & Marketing. Andrew has 15 years’ experience in the seafood industry working alongside many of the country’s top distributors. Andrew’s focus is on partnering with key distributors, retailers, and restaurant chains across the country. This partnership involves working with them on the road to visit their end-user accounts and supporting their sales programs through outreach. Andrew is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island’s Coastal Management and Policy program and is a licensed Captain. Andrew lives in Duxbury, MA with his wife and two children.
The man, the myth, the legend. Originally from Cooperstown, New York, Bill founded Mook Sea Farm in 1985. He earned a BS in Environmental Sciences from Wesleyan University and came to Maine for graduate work at the Darling Marine Center, where he studied with a cohort of the OG Damariscotta River aquaculturists. Bill continually seeks, develops, and tests new technologies aimed at improving the process and resiliency of growing shellfish at each stage of their life. Bill and his wife, Karen, have been married 40 years and live on the Sheepscot River in Newcastle, Maine.
Steve grew up on the Jersey Shore, has a BS from Rutgers University, and an MS from NYU. He came to Mook Sea Farm from Harvard, where he conducted research in molecular and cellular biology, managed a research lab, and was in charge of their very sizable zebrafish aquaculture facility. Steve is a whiz at design, fabrication, automation, and generally keeping everything running smoothly in the hatchery, on the river, and in our new oyster holding facility. As our COO he takes challenges in stride and keeps us all rowing in the same direction.