People

Who We Are

We care about our oceans and the beautiful coasts of Florida. We are engineers, scientists, educators, philanthropists, and leading corporations coming together to improve the resilience of our coastal communities.

Leadership

Photo of Andrew Altieri

Andrew Altieri
CCS Associate Director and Assistant Professor, EES

Andrew Altieri earned his BA at UC Santa Cruz and PhD at Brown University followed by postdocs at Northeastern University and Brown University. Andrew was a staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama before joining the faculty at UF. His lab is generally interested in human impacts on coastal ecosystems, particularly the ecological interactions that underlie the response of biogenic habitats and their associated communities to those impacts.

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Christine Angelini
CCS Director and Associate Professor in Environmental Engineering Sciences

Dr. Angelini is an Associate Professor in Environmental Engineering Sciences. She received her Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Florida in 2014 and her BSc in Marine Biology from Brown University in 2009. She is an ecologist with expertise in wetland, reef and dune systems. Her research focuses on advancing mechanistic understanding of how species interactions moderate ecosystem resilience to climate change and influence contaminant integration into food webs.

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David Kaplan
CCS Associate Director and Associate Professor, EES

Dr. Kaplan’s Watershed Ecology Lab focuses on linkages among the hydrological cycle, ecosystem processes, and human activities, with the goal of advancing natural resources conservation and management. He has worked extensively with water and environmental management agencies to tie hydrological modeling to ecological outcomes, predict restoration effects, and guide water management.

Photo of Maitane Olabarrieta

Maitane Olabarrieta
CCS Associate Director and Associate Professor, CCE

Research in Dr. Olabarrieta’s Coastal Hazards Lab focuses on the processes that drive coastal erosion and flooding under extreme storms and longer-term (seasonal to decadal) inlet and estuarine morphodynamics. One of the main goal is to improve numerical models used to predict coastal change, erosion and flooding.

Advisory Board

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Robert W. Bailey
The Bailey Strategy Group, LLC

  • The Bailey Strategy Group, LLC
  • Forty- year career in Global water consulting; served as President of CH2M’s Water Business with world-wide responsibility for project development and a portfolio with over $1B in annual revenue.
  • Distinguished Civil Engineering Alumni – University of Illinois
  • Serves on the Advisory Board for UF Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure and the Environment (ESSIE)
  • Past member of the Global Water Agenda Council for the World Economic Forum
  • Leadership Florida Alumni
  • Served on Governor Desantis’ transition team for Water, the Environment and Agriculture
  • Executive advisor to a Global Private Equity Group focused on Emerging Water Technology

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Heather W. Barron
Medical & Research Director, Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW)

Dr. Barron is a licensed wildlife and sea turtle rehabilitator with over 25 years of experience in researching, practicing, and teaching wildlife medicine. She received residency training in wildlife/special species medicine and was later tenured faculty at UGA’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She obtained international experience as Professor and Department Head of Clinical Medicine at St. Matthew’s University, School of Veterinary Medicine, Cayman Islands where she was also the vet for the Cayman Turtle Farm and Cayman Wildlife Rescue. She now serves as Medical & Research Director, Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW), and Consulting Veterinarian, Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. Her research interests focus on the intersection of wildlife, human and environmental health and she has published widely in her field.

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Tracy Fanara
Research Scientist and Program Manager, NOAA

  • Coastal Modeling Portfolio Manager, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • Inspector Planet”creator
  • Guest-hosted the Discovery Channel show “Myth-Busters.”
  • Formerly Environmental Health Programs Manager, Mote Marine Laboratory
  • BS, ME, PhD, Environmental Engineering Sciences, UF

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Elizabeth Gadsby
Head of Program Management & Medical Device Ops, Bloomer Tech

  • B.S. Microbiology, UF, 1992
  • Ph.D. Biochemistry, Georgia Tech, 2004, “Atomic Force Microscopy of DNA-Drug Interactions”
  • Master’s in Theological Studies, 2018
  • Head of Program Management and Medical Device Operations, Bloomer Tech women’s heart health start-up
  • Founder and Innovation Executive Consultant, eGad Innovation in artifical intelligence, clinical studies, ethics, business sustainability, and material assessments
  • Over 20 years progressive leadership in technology development, commercialization, logistics, marketing, and quality with over 30 patents at Kimberly-Clark Corporation and entrepreneurial ventures
  • UF Foundation National Board
  • UFF Talent Management Advisory Committee
  • Georgia Tech College of Sciences, Advisory Board
  • Desire Street Ministries, Advisory Board

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Drew Jeter
Global Program Management Chief Executive, AECOM

Mr. Jeter has more than 36 years of experience leading the development and delivery of technically complex, multi-billion-dollar facilities and infrastructure. He joined AECOM as Global Program Management Chief Executive after holding global program management leadership roles at Hill International, Jacobs and CH2M where he oversaw the delivery of more than $300 billion of capital infrastructure programs. Prior to his private-sector work, Drew served as a civil engineering officer in U.S. Air Force, retiring as a colonel after 23 years. His distinguished military career included serving as commander of four different organizations, including as base commander of Edwards Air Force Base, California.

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Jen Lomberk, Esq.
Executive Director, Matanzas Riverkeeper

Jen Lomberk is the Executive Director of Matanzas Riverkeeper and Chair of Waterkeepers Florida.  Lomberk holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Central Florida as well as a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Florida Levin College of Law with a certificate in Environmental & Land Use Law and Policy. Lomberk previously served as the Staff Attorney for Alachua Conservation Trust and the Director of Special Projects for the University of Florida Levin College of Law Conservation Clinic. She also serves on the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Advisory Group.

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Scott Pressly
Chairman of the Board 

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Bruce J. Rogow
IT Odyssey & Advisory

  • BCE in Environmental Engineering, UF 
  • ICEX Principal since 2004
  • Founding Member of the Prometheus Endeavor
  • Former Vice President, Global Head of Research for Gartner; Gartner Executive Fellow for 26 years
  • Full bio

 

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Paul H. Silverglate
Vice Chair, US Technology Sector Leader, Deloitte LLP

  • Vice Chair – US Technology Sector Leader, Deloitte LLP
  • National Industry Leader –  Tech, Media and Telecom; Risk and Financial Advisory
  • Global Crown Jewel Lead Client Services Partner
  • Developer and Co-Dean, Art of Engagement Leadership Development Program
  • Over 32 years of professional experience serving companies headquartered in Silicon Valley and around the world and specializes in leadership development, change management, and large-scale business transformation

UF Advisory Committee

Scientific Academic Advisory Board, focused on Water Quality Hazards and the CompCON Charlotte Harbor Pilot Project:

  • Mike Allen, Director, Nature Coast Biological Station, UF;
    Professor, Fisheries and Aquatic Science, School of Forest, Fisheries, & Geomatics Sciences, UF
  • Annie Brett, Assistant Professor, College of Law; JD/PhD Environmental Science & Policy
    Expertise: Ocean & Coastal Law, Artificial Intelligence law and policy in the marine environment
  • Ann Christiano, Director, Center for Public Interest Communications, UF;
    Clinical Professor, Department of Public Relations, College of Journalism and Communications, UF
  • Wendy Graham, Carl S. Swisher Chair in Water Resources and Director UF Water Institute Director
    Expertise: Hydrologic Modeling, Water Quality
  • Sherry Larkin, Director, Florida Sea Grant; Professor, Food & Resource Economics Department
    Expertise: Natural Resource & Environmental Economics
  • H. Dail Laughinghouse, Assistant Professor, Ft Lauderdale Research and Extension Center,
    Department of Agronomy, Applied Phycology
    Expertise: Phycology, Ecology, Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)
  • Tara Sabo-Attwood, Associate Dean, College of Public Health & Health Professions;
    Professor and Chair, Department of Environmental and Global Health
    Expertise: Aquatic Toxicology, Pulmonary Disease
  • Damon Woodard, Director AI Partnerships, Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering;
    Associate Professor, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
    Expertise: Biometrics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning

FIELD RESEARCH AND OPERATIONS TEAM

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Orlando Cordero
Geospatial Specialist, Center for Coastal Solutions

 

  • Orlando has a decade of IT experience as well as a Geology degree from the University of Florida. After joining the Angelini Ecology Lab and GMAP Lab in 2018 and 2021, he developed strong skillsets in remote sensing and geodesy and their roles in ecology research. With the advancements in today’s technologies, scientists can gather meaningful data without ever putting muck boots in the marshes or dunes.

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Adam Hymel
Research Technician, Center for Coastal Solutions

 

  • Adam Hymel graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biology with a concentration in Marine Biology and Ecology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Previously Adam worked in oyster hatcheries and algae research and is enthusiastic about the education of coastal issues.

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Patrick Norby
Field Technician, Center for Coastal Solutions

  • Research Interests: The evolution of marine invertebrate biodiversity

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Charli Pezoldt
Research Technician, Center for Coastal Solutions

Charli joined the Center for Coastal Solutions in May 2022 as a research technician. Previously, she worked as a field technician at FIU in the Wetland Ecosystems Research Lab developing remote sonde data collection systems for real time field data monitoring. Charli enjoys working in water quality monitoring and is passionate about understanding the impacts of saltwater intrusion into the Everglades freshwater ecosystems.

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Todd Van Natta
Field Operations Manager, Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering

Research and analytics Team

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Jose González Ondina
Research Assistant Scientist, Center for Coastal Solutions

  • Ph.D.,  Environmental Fluid Mechanics, Cornell University
  • Jose has more than twenty years of experience developing numerical models for environmental fluids. He has worked at IH Cantabria (Spain) and, more recently, at the Plymouth Ocean Forecasting Centre (POFC, UK). At POFC, Jose developed an interest in model downscaling and data assimilation, techniques that Jose will apply to models currently being developed at the CCS.

Photo of Hithaishi Hewageegana

Hithaishi Hewageegana
Postdoctoral Associate, Center for Coastal Solutions

  • Ph.D., Coastal Engineering, University of Florida
  • Dissertation topic: morphodynamic modelling of beaches and how to improve onshore sandbar migration and beach recovery in coastal models
  • Masters, Coastal Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands

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Tricia Kyzar
Researcher and Project Manager, Center for Coastal Solutions

Dr. Tricia Kyzar joined the Center for Coastal Solutions in July 2022 as a researcher and project manager. She is a spatial analyst with a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning and multiple certificates in GIS and Spatial Analytics. Tricia’s work focuses on using spatial analysis to support environmental and urban planning policy through projects such as understanding the level of risk to coastal septic systems from climate change impacts, changes in land use/land cover from development, the impacts of these issues on coastal ecosystems, and how planning can help improve the natural environment.

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Jorge Laurel Castillo
Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Center for Coastal Solutions

 

  • PhD in Coastal and Oceanographic Engineering, University of Florida
  • MSc in Hydraulics, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Ciudad de México
  • Dr. Jorge Armando Laurel Castillo’s research interests include environmental fluid dynamics and transport processes (lakes, rivers and estuaries), coastal processes, flood risks, and computational fluid dynamics. During his postdoctoral research at CCS, he will collect and analyze field data to investigate ocean-river interactions in the Peace River, Florida, and their effects on water quality in the estuary.

Photo of Beatriz Marin-Diaz

Beatriz Marin-Diaz
Postdoctoral Associate, Center for Coastal Solutions

  • Ph.D., Ecosystem-based Coastal Protection, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) and the University of Groningen 
  • Masters, Ecology and Ecosystem Management and Restoration, University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Beatriz leads monitoring and experimental field research aimed at restoring coastal systems surrounding Tyndall AFB, including seagrass meadows, marshes and oyster reefs, as part of the Enhancing Tyndall Air Force Base Coastal Resilience through Nature-Based Solutions project.

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Miles Medina
Research Scientist, Center for Coastal Solutions

Miles Medina joined the Angelini Lab and Center for Coastal Solutions as a postdoctoral research fellow in April 2021 to work on interdisciplinary, multisector collaborative research investigating the spatiotemporal dynamics and drivers of coastal algae blooms in Florida. Previously, as a quantitative consultant, he worked with various government entities and developed data management and machine learning tools to identify sources of water quality impairments throughout Florida. …

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Joe Morton
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Center for Coastal Solutions

  • PhD in Marine Science and Conservation, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University
  • Joe is a community ecologist who has been living, researching, and teaching on the North Carolina coast for the past decade. While he has diverse research interests, his work has largely centered around using manipulative field experiments to tease out the influence of behavior-altering parasites on coastal ecosystem structure, functioning, and stability.

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Enrique Orozco López
Postdoctoral Associate, Center for Coastal Solutions

  • PhD, Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department, University of Florida
  • Enrique is investigating how water and nutrients from Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee River Watershed impact coastal water quality resulting in frequent harmful algal blooms. Enrique’s research focuses in modeling the Caloosahatchee River Watershed hydrology, in applying physically-based neural networks to boost models’ calibration and testing efficiencies, and in the sequential integration of the fate and transport models from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee River Watershed and its Estuary.

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Collin Ortals
Associate Research Scientist, Center for Coastal Solutions

  • Ph.D.,  Coastal Engineering, University of Florida
  • Collin’s background in coastal and water resources engineering encompasses a broad range of environmental assessment and policy issues, focusing on watershed analysis, wetland restoration, coastal resiliency, flood hazards, and understanding how plants and animals influence these dynamic systems. His primary research focus is in conducting field studies on salt marsh evolution and water quality hazards in coastal environments.

Partnerships and Communications Team

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Nicholas Cole
Director of Development, Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure & Environment


(352)294-7948

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Helen Goh
Director of Marketing and Communications, Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering


(352)392-0984

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Ann Powers
Executive Director of Advancement, Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering


(352)294-7941

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Sharon Ryan
Associate Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives, CCS

  • Associate Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives
  • BA, French, Memorial University of Newfoundland 
  • BPR, Public Relations (Recognized by Canadian Public Relations Society for excellence in PR education)
  • MA, Environmental Communication and Education, Royal Roads University

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Megan Sam
Communications Specialist, CCS

  • BA, Sustainability Studies and Sociology, University of Florida
  • Megan Sam joined the Center for Coastal Solutions team in August 2022 as a communications specialist. She recently graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Sustainability Studies with a minor in Economics. Megan is passionate about finding equitable solutions for people and the planet through open communication, is eager to continue sharing CCS’s work and growing its audience.  

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Sharlynn Sweeney
Research Coordinator, CCS

  • BS, Biology and Marine Sciences, University of Miami
  • PhD, Systems Ecology / Environmental Engineering Sciences, UF
  • MLIS (Masters in Library and Information Studies), FSU

Affiliated Faculty

View our Affiliated Faculty profiles here.