Donna Bilkovic

Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Term: 2021 - 2024

Monitoring and Assessment Team Assignment: Wetlands

STAC Member Since: September 2021

Title: Research Professor of Marine Science

Department: Assistant Director, Center for Coastal Resources Management, Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Education: PhD Marine Ecology, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary (2000) MS Biology (Freshwater Ecology), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1995) BS Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1993)

Primary Focus Area: Marine ecology with an emphasis on wetland and estuarine ecosystems

Secondary Focus Area(s): coastal resources management, restoration ecology, community ecology, fish and bivalve ecology, marine debris

Career Experiences: I have been a research professor at Virginia Institute of Marine Science, William & Mary in association with the Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM) since 2008. I currently serve as the assistant director to CCRM which has a general mission to support informed decision-making on resource management issues at all levels of government, including private and corporate citizens. We have developed and maintain shoreline and tidal marsh inventories for coastal Virginia to assess the status and trends of those critical coastal resources. My research broadly encompasses the ecology and conservation of estuarine ecosystems and communities and has most recently focused on 1) improving our understanding of social-ecological feedbacks that erode or strengthen coastal habitat resilience, 2) evaluating the ecological functions of nature-based approaches for shoreline protection, along with their capacity to act as estuarine habitat conservation strategies, and 3) the valuation of societal benefits associated with shoreline habitat restoration. I was lead editor of the 2017 book “Living Shorelines: The Science and Management of Nature-Based Coastal Protection” which was international in scope and included contributions from managers, scientists, policy-makers, and practitioners in order to be a valuable reference text for a broad audience and encourage interdisciplinary thinking. To link science to action, I serve on numerous advisory committees including the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC), 2010­–2018; Chesapeake Bay Program’s Climate Resiliency Workgroup (2014–present), Fish Habitat Workgroup (2015–present), and Living shoreline outreach steering committee (2021-present); the science advisory steering committee for the York River and Small Coastal Basin Roundtable (2019-present); and the Elizabeth River Watershed Action Team – Habitat subcommittee (2021-present).