Dr Jim FranksJim Franks is a Senior Fisheries Biologist with the University of Southern Mississippi, Center for Fisheries Research and Development, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. He is adjunct faculty with the University’s Department of Coastal Sciences. His primary research interests are age, growth, reproduction, and habitat requirements of coastal and large pelagic fishes in the northern Gulf of Mexico. His current research includes studies on the biology and life history of cobia, tripletail and wahoo. He is currently co-investigator on a study of pelagic Sargassum and oceanic frontal zones as habitat for larval and juvenile pelagic fishes, particularly billfish, tunas, amberjack and dolphinfish, in the Gulf of Mexico. Current research also includes investigations of pelagic species as potential aquaculture candidates. He has conducted studies on barrier island fish ecology, co-authored a plan of response to protect coastal habitats and fishery resources during oil spills, and worked with colleagues and fishers to establish angler-based cooperative tag-and-release programs in the Gulf and South Atlantic regions. He has authored numerous scientific papers and serves on fisheries advisory committees and boards. He is on the board of directors of the Mississippi Wildlife Federation and several sport fishing tournaments, and is a member of the American Fisheries Society, Billfish Foundation, Coastal Conservation Association, and Gulf Coast Game Fish Restoration Coalition.