Dr. Derek Aday

Dr. Aday is Dean of William & Mary School of Marine Science and Director of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS). In these roles, Dr. Aday has the primary responsibility to provide the vision and leadership for VIMS to be a world-renowned center of excellence in marine science, attracting the best students and scholars in the nation, expanding the frontiers of science through research and discovery, educating the next generation of marine science leaders, and making an impact on the state, nation, and world by applying new knowledge and understanding to important societal issues. VIMS has more than 500 faculty, staff, and students and, with an annual operating budget of $52 million, is among the largest marine research and education centers in the United States.

Aday has been a fellow of the American Fisheries Society since 2019, an editor-in-chief of the society’s flagship journal since 2018, served as an editor before that for 6 years, and was an associate editor 5 years prior. He has also served as Chair of the Research Subcommittee for Improve Care Now PWG since 2017.

Before becoming Dean & Director at VIMS, Aday led the Applied Ecology department at North Carolina State University (NCSU) and was the director of the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center. Prior to serving as department head, Aday was the assistant dean for academic programs at NCSU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (2013-17), associate professor of applied ecology (2010-15) and assistant professor of biology (2005-10) at NCSU, and assistant professor of evolution, ecology and organismal biology (2002-05) at Ohio State. He obtained his Masters in Aquatic Ecology from Louisiana State University in 2002, and his PhD in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from the University of Illinois in 2002.

Aday’s research focuses on aspects of aquatic ecology, conservation biology, fishery science, and environmental toxicology. He works at the interface of basic and applied ecology, addressing issues related to conservation and management of game and non-game fish species, invasive-species dynamics, population dynamics, and community ecology of freshwater and marine fishes, and the impact of aquatic contaminants on fish, wildlife, and human health. His research relies on strong theoretical underpinning and contemporary tools to address current problems and issues in aquatic systems.

Aday has had manuscripts published in Environmental PollutionScience of the Total EnvironmentEnvironmental Science and TechnologyEcologyOecologiaEnvironmental Toxicology and ChemistryBiological InvasionsFisheriesInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public HealthEcotoxicologyJournal of Fish BiologyJournal of Environmental MonitoringFisheries Management and EcologyNorth American Journal of Fisheries ManagementJournal of Fisheries ManagementTransactions of the American Fisheries SocietyJournal of Freshwater Ecology, and American Midland Naturalist. He has also written book chapters for Small Impoundment Management in North America; Centrarchid Fishes: Diversity, Biology, and Conservation; and Balancing Fisheries Management and Water Uses for Impounded River Systems.

Aday lives in Williamsburg with his family. His father, David Aday Jr., is professor emeritus of sociology and a distinguished member of the W&M community.