About the Crew

John - About Us

Captain John Kerner, The Phoenix – Nags Head

Captain John moved to the Outer Banks in 1984 where he and his wife, Wendy raised their three children. He became a United States Coast Guard Master in 1998 and bought the Nags Head Dolphin Watch in 2008. Currently, he is on the Board of Directors for the Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research. Even after more than 30 years of living here, he still marvels at the beauty the Outer Banks has in store and can’t wait to show some of it off to you.

Captain Carl Talley, Miss Bodie Island – Manteo


Captain Carl is a United States Coast Guard licensed 100 ton master, and has been following the path of the Bottlenose Dolphin, Manatee, Whales, and other marine wildlife from the east coast to the Gulf of Mexico for the past twenty years, and is looking forward to having you on board. 


Jess - About Us

Jessica Weiss Taylor


Jessica Weiss Taylor has a Bachelors of Science in Marine Science from Rutgers University and a Masters of Coastal Environmental Management from Duke University. Her Masters research focused on studying the specialized feeding behaviors of bottlenose dolphins in Sarasota, FL. She has also participated in several field research studies of bottlenose dolphins, humpback whales, Stellar sea lions, and predatory fish in Florida, South Carolina, Australia, Alaska, and New Jersey. Jessica has worked as a naturalist with the Nags Head Dolphin Watch since 2007.

In 2008, she incorporated the Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research (OBXCDR), a non-profit dedicated to conservation of bottlenose dolphins in the Outer Banks, and currently serves as President and lead Principal Investigator of the organization. Jessica has 7 years of teaching experience in Dare County Schools; through the OBXCDR, she has presented educational programs related to dolphin conservation to local schools and organizations. While not out on the water, Jessica lives with her husband, Jay, and their two children in Kill Devil Hills.

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2020 Crew

Niki Cleary recently graduated from Villanova University with bachelor degrees in Environmental Science and Geography. During her time at Villanova she also competed on their Division I Track & Field team as a heptathlete. As an undergrad she had the opportunity to participate in an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates program. Through this program, was able to conduct research at the Rutgers University Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory in southern NJ. For this project she analyzed horseshoe crab movement within oyster farms in Delaware Bay. This project helped her realize that she wanted to pursue ocean and coastal studies moving forward. She is currently a master’s student at Duke University, where she will be receiving her degree in Coastal Environmental Management. After graduation she hopes to work in the field of marine mammal research, conservation and policy, so that she can positively influence the policies we create to protect these amazing animals in the wild. 


Molly Albright is ecstatic to join the OBXCDR and Nags Head Dolphin Watch team this summer. She is a recent graduate of Duke University, with majors in Biology and Theatre. As a highly cognizant mammal herself, she is fascinated by the social behavior of other highly cognizant mammals, and looks forward to diving deeper into bottlenose dolphin research. She takes special interest in marine mammal skin disease, and hopes to examine the presence of skin lesions as a tool for monitoring population health.


Jacquelyn Salguero is an aspiring marine disease ecologist. Originally from Philadelphia, A recent graduate from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. During that time, she had the opportunity to work with the Bolnick Lab Group studying ecology, evolution, and host-parasite dynamics of threespine stickleback fish and their tapeworm in Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Passionate about studying marine biology, her fieldwork experiences made her curious about the host-pathogen dynamics of mammals such as dolphins. Prior to starting a graduate program next year, she hopes to learn more about dolphin behavior and join the marine mammal research community. She is excited to be part of the team at Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research this summer and to learn more about these important, sentinel species!