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.


Photo of Andrew Altieri

Andrew Altieri
CCS Associate Director and Assistant Professor, EES

Andrew Altieri’s 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. 

Get to know Dr. Andrew Altieri

He earned his BA at UC Santa Cruz and PhD at Brown University, followed by postdocs at Northeastern University and Brown University.

Photo of Christine Angelini

Christine Angelini
CCS Director and Associate Professor in Environmental Engineering Sciences

Christine Angelini is an Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Coastal Solutions (CCS). Founded in 2020, CCS works across disciplines–ecology, engineering, health, computer sciences, policy and communications–to develop and deliver research and technology solutions that support coastal communities in addressing hazards and environmental degradation.

Get to know Dr. Angelini

A hallmark of the center’s innovation is the integration of large data sets, artificial intelligence and supercomputing to rapidly simulate coastal environmental scenarios and produce data driven solutions.…

Photo of David Kaplan

David Kaplan
CCS Associate Director and 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. 

Get to know Dr. David Kaplan. 

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.

Photo of Sharon Ryan

Sharon Ryan
Associate Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives, CCS

Sharon Ryan is the Associate Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives. She leads strategic planning, communications, and outreach for the Center, as well as support  its partnership and development initiatives.  

Get to know Sharon

She received her BA in French from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, her BPR in Public Relations (recognized by Canadian Public Relations Society for excellence in PR education) and MA in Environmental Communication and Education from Royal Roads University. 

Photo of Nina Stark

Nina Stark
CCS Associate Director and Assistant Professor, CCE

Nina Stark is the faculty lead of the coastal & marine geotechnics research group. Nina has received her MS (Diploma) in Geophysics in 2007 from the Westphalian Wilhelms University Muenster, Germany, and her PhD in Marine Geotechnics in 2011 from the University of Bremen, Germany. She worked as a postdoc at the University of Bremen (2011-2012) and at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada (2012-2013). She was an assistant professor from 2013-2019 and an associate professor from 2019-2023 in the geotechnical engineering program at Virginia Tech. She joined the University of Florida as an associate professor in 2023. Nina has received the NSF CAREER award in 2018, the ONR Young Investigator Award in 2018, and was leading the SERDP Project of the Year in 2022.

Advisory Board

Photo of Robert W. Bailey

Robert W. Bailey
Vice Chair, Advisory Board

  • 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

Photo of Heather W. Barron

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.

Photo of Brian Beach

Brian Beach
Founder and President, Beachside Strategy LLC

Brian Beach is the president of Beachside Strategy, working with organizations to develop the vision and models for innovation and transformation. Brian was most recently senior vice president, customer experience and Sysco Labs at Sysco Corporation, a $75+ billion, global company. He was part of the executive leadership team, responsible for innovation strategy, digital transformation, CX, enterprise analytics, business development, customer segment strategy, and corporate ventures. Prior to Sysco, Brian was the senior vice president for administration and business ventures at the University of Florida. In that role, he was the senior executive responsible for all operations and administrative areas. He also served as chief of staff to the president, directing strategic initiatives for the president and board, including the goal to reach top 10 among public universities. Prior to UF, Brian held executive roles in venture capital and investment banking, and he began his career as a consultant for EY/Ernst & Young.…

Photo of Tracy Fanara

Tracy Fanara
Research Scientist and Program Manager, NOAA

Dr. Tracy Fanara is a Coastal Modeling Portfolio Manager for the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the creator of “Inspector Planet.” She previously guest-hosted the Discovery Channel show “Myth-Busters” and served as the Environmental Health Programs Manager for Mote Marine Laboratory. Fanara received her BS, ME, and PhD in Environmental Engineering Sciences at the University of Florida. 

Photo of Elizabeth Gadsby

Elizabeth Gadsby
Innovation Executive Consultant, eGad Innovation

  • 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

Photo of Drew Jeter

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.

Photo of Jen Lomberk, Esq.

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.

Photo of Scott Pressly

Scott Pressly
Chair, Advisory Board

Photo of Bruce J. Rogow

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


Photo of Paul H. Silverglate

Paul H. Silverglate
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

Photo of Kevin Taylor

Kevin Taylor
Director and Senior Wealth Advisor, Mariner Wealth Advisors

Kevin provides individuals and business owners with wealth management solutions, including investments, risk management, estate and tax planning, insurance planning as well as qualified and nonqualified retirement and benefit plans. He relies on the deep knowledge he has gained from business, legal and tax education to offer wealth advice to help clients reach their goals. Kevin believes the financial planning process should reflect clients’ vision and values and designs strategies that are flexible as their needs and goals change. 

Prior to Mariner Wealth Advisors, Kevin practiced law in Orlando, focusing on tax, estate and asset protection planning for ultra-high-net-worth families. He holds a BA in economics, a JD with honors and a Master of Laws in Taxation (LL.M.), all from the University of Florida. 

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


Photo of Orlando Cordero

Orlando Cordero
Geospatial Specialist, Center for Coastal Solutions

Orlando leverages numerous resources in terrestrial LiDAR, photogrammetry, unmanned aerial systems, and survey grade global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) to support CCS.

Get to know Orlando

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.

Photo of Stacey Dolan

Stacey Dolan
Administrative Support Assistant, Center for Coastal Solutions

Stacey Dolan plays a vital role in helping the CCS run smoothly on a day-to-day basis by supporting our leadership team and special events. 

Her background is a unique blend of engineering and biology, which builds on the diverse expertise of our team at CCS. Stacey obtained a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a master’s in Mechanical Engineering at UF, followed by a post-baccalaureate in Zoology and Animal Biology at UF, and most recently a master’s in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from Clemson University. 

Photo of Patrick Norby

Patrick Norby
Field Technician, Center for Coastal Solutions

Patrick Norby is part of the team of field technicians integral to the production of high-quality science at CCS. Patrick supports the collection of consistent and repeatable data in support of solid research. His research interests include the evolution of marine invertebrate biodiversity and he received a Bachelor of Science in Geology/Earth Science from Brigham Young University. 

Photo of Charli Pezoldt

Charli Pezoldt
Research Technician, Center for Coastal Solutions

Charli joined the Center for Coastal Solutions in May 2022 as a research technician. Charli enjoys working in water quality monitoring and is passionate about understanding the impacts of saltwater intrusion into the Everglades freshwater ecosystems.

Get to know Charli

Previously, they 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. 

Photo of Todd Van Natta

Todd Van Natta
Director of Field Research, Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering

As director of field research for the Center for Coastal Solutions (CCS), Todd oversees field work for multiple complex projects in different locations throughout Florida and the Southeast region.  

Get to know Todd

Todd received his Bachelor’s in Marine Biology at the University of California Santa Cruz. 

Research and analytics Team

Photo of Ron Fick

Ron Fick
Associate Research Scientist, Center for Coastal Solutions

Dr. Ron Fick’s work is on the application of machine learning to various data sources, mostly remote sensing data. His current research focuses on using remotely sensed data to better understand water quality conditions for the purpose of mitigation and avoidance of coastal water quality hazards.

Get to know Ron

He received his PhD in Computer Engineering from the University in Florida. 

Photo of Jose María González Ondina

Jose González Ondina
Research Assistant Scientist, Center for Coastal Solutions

Dr. Jose Gonzalez Ondina is a research scientist at the CCS and runs programs that simulate the behavior of the ocean. Jose has more than twenty years of experience developing numerical models for environmental fluids.

Get to know Jose

He has worked at IH Cantabria (Spain) and, more recently, at the Plymouth Ocean Forecasting Centre (POFC, UK).…

Photo of Tricia Kyzar

Tricia Kyzar
Researcher and Project Manager, Center for Coastal Solutions

Dr. Tricia Kyzar 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 and how planning can help improve the natural environment.

Get to know Tricia

Tricia joined the Center for Coastal Solutions in July 2022 as a researcher and project manager.

Photo of Jorge Armando Laurel Castillo

Jorge Laurel Castillo
Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Center for Coastal Solutions

Dr. Jorge Armando Laurel Castillo collects and analyzes field data to investigate ocean-river interactions in the Peace River, Florida, and their effects on water quality in the estuary.

Get to know Armando

His research interests include environmental fluid dynamics and transport processes (lakes, rivers and estuaries), coastal processes, flood risks, and computational fluid dynamics.…

Photo of Beatriz Marin-Diaz

Beatriz Marin-Diaz
Postdoctoral Associate, Center for Coastal Solutions

Dr. Beatriz Marin-Diaz leads monitoring and experimental field research aimed at restoring coastal systems surrounding Tyndall Air Force Base, including seagrass meadows, marshes and oyster reefs, using nature-based solutions. This work supports the planning, permitting and design of future shoreline enhancement and stabilization projects at Tyndall Air Force Base.

Get to know Bea

She obtained her Masters in Ecology and Ecosystem Management and Restoration at the University of Barcelona, Spain and her PhD in Ecosystem-based Coastal Protection, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) and the University of Groningen. 

Photo of Joe Morton

Joe Morton
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Center for Coastal Solutions

Dr. Joe Morton 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.

Get to know Joe


Photo of Enrique Orozco López

Enrique Orozco López
Postdoctoral Associate, Center for Coastal Solutions

Dr. Enrique Orozco Lopez is investigating how water and nutrients from Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee River Watershed impact coastal water quality resulting in frequent harmful algal blooms.

Get to know Enrique

His 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.…

Photo of Sharlynn Sweeney

Sharlynn Sweeney
Research Coordinator, CCS

Dr. Sharlynn Sweeney manages and coordinates a wide variety of projects at the CCS. 

Get to know Sharlynn

Dr. Sweeney received a dual BS in Biology and Marine Sciences from the University of Miami, MLIS (Masters in Library and Information Studies) from FSU and earned a PhD in Systems Ecology / Environmental Engineering Sciences from UF. 

Partnerships and Communications Team

Photo of Nicholas Cole

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


Photo of Helen Goh

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


Photo of Ann Powers

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


Photo of Megan Sam

Megan Sam
Communications Specialist, CCS

Megan Sam is the Communications Specialist and supports the Associate Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives to develop a monthly Coastal Edges newsletter, manages CCS social media accounts and website and supports in event planning.

Get to know Megan

She received her BA in Sustainability Studies and Sociology from the University of Florida. 

Affiliated Faculty

View our Affiliated Faculty profiles here.