Board of Directors

Members of the MCERC Board of Directors volunteer their time and expertise in support of MCERC’s mission to promote healthy ecosystems through education and research, review organizational operations, and collaborate with faculty and staff to continually improve the approach to meeting goals and create opportunities.

Chairperson, CFO

Andrea McLain

Andrea is the Chairperson for MCERC. She is currently the Dean of Natural and Health Sciences at Quincy College in Massachusetts and has decades of experience working in nonprofit science organizations. She is the lead administrator for the Steering Commitment for Continuous Improvement in MCERC’s business operations.

Andrea specializes in creating business plans with forward thinking for science and education entities. She brings a thorough understanding of the unique challenges inherent in funding nonprofit organizations and is committed to supporting the mission of non-profit, science and education organizations.

Vice Chairperson

Andrew Cutliff, Esq.

Andrew is the Vice Chairperson for MCERC and chairs the Legal Advisory Committee. He brings decades of experience in business and contract law and guides the process of reviewing contracts and agreements for the coastal center. Andrew is affiliated with several business in the United States as the chief advisor for contract negotiations.


Nicole Daigneault

Nicole is a wildlife and fisheries biologist and proud Texas Aggie. She serves as an active member of the Board of Directors and as a Research Associate with a particular interest in herpetology and invasive species in subtropical and tropical ecosystems.

Nicole rounds out the leadership team with a terrestrial perspective for MCERC programs and supports administrative operations. She currently works in the Florida county where she resides creating valuable resources using GIS mapping technology and continues to be the point person for consultation in wildlife programs at MCERC.

Secretary, Accountant

Lauren Smits

Lauren is the Secretary and Accountant for MCERC operations where she assures the resources for administrative, education, and research, are allocated according to best practices and in compliance with US government laws and regulations. She specializes in accounting for nonprofit organizations, which make up a majority of her clients’ organizations.

Funding resources fall under Lauren’s purview. She provides MCERC with guidance in creating accurate reports for the entities who awards grants in support of our mission.

Executive Director

Mithriel MacKay

Dr. MacKay is the founder of MCERC. Her commitment to developing and implementing teaching programs, designed to be inclusive, dynamic, and connect the larger issues in conservation biology facing our planet, continue to be the driving force behind the mission of MCERC.

Dr. MacKay’s research exhibits a strong influence from her background in clinical laboratory medicine, pre-hospital emergency medicine, marine resources management, and marine biology. She has extensive experience in industry, management, research, and education.

Dr. MacKay earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Marine Biology from an interdisciplinary program with a diploma from Texas A&M University – College Station, Texas A&M at Galveston, and Texas A&M – Corpus Christi. Her Master’s degree in Marine Resources Management was awarded from Texas A&M University and Texas A&M at Galveston.

Ex Officio, IT

David Wallace

David has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2012 and brings extensive experience as an administrator and expert in Information Technology. He specializes in cyber security and infrastructure and currently is the Information Technology Director and Security Officer for a major healthcare system in New England.

David is the point person for designing a network to meet the challenges of the vast education programs offered by MCERC and the increasing demand for research data storage in the cloud. MCERC programs and collaborations depend on smooth, secure, uninterrupted, connectivity across the globe during meetings, online classes, and field excursions. David is the advisor, guide, and navigator through a continuously evolving organization staying on the cutting edge of science and education technology.

Copyright and photo credit information

Copyright and photo credit information All images posted to the MCERC website are copyright protected. Images are the property of MCERC or the original photographer who has granted MCERC expressed permission in writing for use of their images. Photographs shall not be reproduced or shared for any purpose unless the owner of the images has given permission in writing.