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School of Forest, Fisheries, & Geomatics Sciences

School of Forest, Fisheries, & Geomatics Sciences

Seaman, Jr., William

Professor Emeritus, Coastal Fishes, Habitats & Fisheries


William Seaman is Professor Emeritus and a founding member of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences at the University of Florida. Dr. Seaman’s research and technology transfer emphasis has been on coastal fishes, habitats and fisheries. He has contributed to developing the scientific basis for design of purpose-built (“artificial”) reefs, their responsible use in fisheries and ecosystem management, and multi-disciplinary evaluation of their performance, worldwide. He established and taught for 10 years UF’s first fishery science course. Seaman was an invited organizer and lecturer for the European Union-sponsored short course “Design and Management of Artificial Reefs for Fisheries,” attended by professionals from 13 countries, the first such program in the world. He has been an invited speaker at nine international fishery-related conferences since 2000. His monograph “Structure in the Sea: The Science, Technology and Effects of Purpose-built Reefs and Related Surfaces” (Elsevier, 349 pages, profusely illustrated) was published in 2022. it is a worldwide review of both intentional human-made reefs and also the role of secondary reefs from marine infrastructure, and includes treatment of global ocean change. See

Dr. Seaman is a Certified Fisheries Professional of the American Fisheries Society (AFS), a former president of the Florida Chapter of AFS, and an elected Fellow of the American Institute of Fisheries Research Biologists. He has held sabbatical research appointments at the University of Hawaii and the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. As an undergraduate, his inspiration to work with fishes came from Edward Raney, the colorful and legendary mentor for a generation of U.S. ichthyologists. His graduate major professor was the renowned Carter Gilbert.

Additional service to the University of Florida included associate directorship of the Florida Sea Grant College Program (until 2006), with responsibility for extensive grantmaking and managing statewide research, education and extension aimed at sustainable conservation and use of coastal and ocean resources (see He founded the Florida Marine Biotechnology Summit series, the only forum of its kind in the nation, and chaired the first five events. He has served on review panels for the National Science Foundation and is a former editor of the North American Journal of Fisheries Management, and chaired the AFS best paper awards committee. He has authored 90 publications. See extended biodata here.

Note to Students

Professor Seaman does not have laboratory facilities or financial support for graduate students, but is available for consultation on research ideas concerning coastal habitats and environmental sustainability and education.