Molly Payne Wynne
Senior Freshwater Scientist, Maine
Molly leads the Maine Freshwater Program which focuses on statewide restoration of connectivity between the Gulf of Maine and priority rivers, lakes, ponds, and headwater streams for the benefit of native sea-run and resident fish, freshwater and marine food webs, and local human communities. Molly manages implementation of fisheries and ecological monitoring of the Penobscot River Restoration Project, collection of road-stream crossing data, and a myriad of public outreach, education, and citizen science efforts including organizing and garnering support of World Fish Migration Day.
In addition to her work with the freshwater team, Molly co-leads staff learning in engaging and partnering with Indigenous Communities. “I am particularly interested in how our conservation and restoration actions can have lasting benefits for local people, especially indigenous communities. If we look to the intersections of scientific information, local knowledge, community values, that is where opportunities lie to make a valuable positive impact on Maines tremendous aquatic resources.”
Molly has experience in academia and working for other environmental non-profit organizations. Prior to working with the Conservancy, Molly worked for the Penobscot River Restoration Trust, a collaborative effort to restore sea-run fish to Maine’s largest river through dam-removal, improved fish passage, and rebalanced hydropower. She has pursued a variety of research topics in fisheries including river herring habitat use in Maine coastal rivers, marine fisheries ecology in Iceland, endangered humpback chub life histories in the Colorado River, and larval eel growth in the Sargasso Sea.
Molly received her Master of Science in Biology from the University of Southern Maine and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) in Syracuse, New York. Her deepest learning in life continues through raising her young daughter Clara, with her husband Ryan, and by spending time on or near the water as much as possible.