Luiz oversees FWRI's Marine Fisheries Research section, a $15
million program centered in St. Petersburg and distributed in seven
field labs around the state.
B.S. Biology, Santa Ursula University, Rio
de Janeiro, Brazil, 1981
M.S. Biological Oceanography, Rio Grande University,
Ph.D. Marine Science, The College of William and Mary,
Education / Experience
After graduating from college, I worked for a couple of
years as a schoolteacher and then moved to the southernmost state
in Brazil to pursue graduate education. Since my graduate advisor
had done his Ph.D. work in the U.S., he strongly encouraged me to
come here and attend the same graduate school--Virginia Institute
of Marine Science of The College of William and Mary in
Williamsburg, VA. My Ph.D. work focused on the life history and
population dynamics of fishes and the application of this
information to the management of marine fisheries. After
graduation, I accepted a post-doctoral position at the University
of Georgia Marine Institute, where I stayed for a few years as part
of the research faculty. I started working for FWRI's Marine
Fisheries Research group in 1997. As a Research Administrator at
the Tequesta Field Lab, I studied reef fisheries along the
southeast coast of Florida. I was promoted to Senior Research
Scientist in 1999, and I moved to St. Petersburg to lead the
Finfish Fisheries Biology research group. This past July, I was
promoted to Program Administrator and became the head of our Marine
Fisheries Research section.
What are you working on now?
My job is primarily administrative; I oversee FWRI's Marine
Fisheries Research section, a $15 million program centered in St.
Petersburg but distributed in seven field labs around the
Was work in your current field your original career
interest; why or why not?
Like so many other people, I was influenced by Jacques Cousteau's
fascinating documentaries; when I was a teenager, his work got me
thinking about a career as a marine biologist. However, it wasn't
until, as an undergraduate in Biology, I did an internship in an
ichthyology lab that I got the "fish bug" and decided that I would
pursue a career in marine fisheries.
What would you say is your biggest
My greatest accomplishment is playing a big part in bringing two
wonderful human beings to this world (Elena and Gabe Barbieri), and
helping turn them into happy and well balanced individuals. Nothing
I ever do professionally or otherwise will get even close to
What do you like most about your
I like feeling that I play a part, however small, in
helping protect our natural resources.
What do you like least about your career?
Often, no matter how hard we work to present the best available
science to all of the right people, bad, sometimes irreversible,
management decisions are still made.
What are some of your biggest challenges?
Conducting management-oriented marine fisheries research in
Florida is a challenge in itself-a huge number of species, a
variety of commercial and recreational fisheries, and a huge influx
of out-of-state recreational anglers. Allocating our limited
resources to address the most critical data needs is, perhaps, the
What advice would you give to someone interested in
pursuing a career in your field?
First, make sure you believe in what you will be doing and that
you get a lot of satisfaction out of it. You don't get into this
field for the money; salaries are not really competitive with other
professional careers. Second, but just as important, concentrate on
your education. With more and more people pursuing careers in
marine science, you'll need to make sure you have a strong and
diversified educational background. With rare exceptions, graduate
education is a must.