ACCRETE People

  • Ian C. Enochs, Ph.D.

    Ian C. Enochs, Ph.D.

    • Research Ecologist
    • 305-361-4399
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    Dr. Ian Enochs is the lead of the Coral Program at the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) in Miami Florida. His research focuses on understanding the responses of corals and reef biota to global change. He is particularly interested in the impacts of warming and ocean acidification on the persistence of coral reef framework structures that provide essential habitat and support numerous ecosystem services. Enochs applies a multidisciplinary approach, conducting research in both the laboratory and the field, as well as developing new technologies to address pressing research questions. He is a PI of the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program, and leads several projects pertaining to the Coral Reef Conservation Program's restoration and climate pillars, as well as NOAA's Omics initiative. Enochs graduated cum laude from the University of Miami in 2006 and later earned his Ph.D. at RSMAS in 2010 for his research on the environmental determinants of coral reef cryptic metazoan biodiversity in Pacific Panama.

  • Anderson Mayfield, Ph.D.

    Anderson Mayfield, Ph.D.

    • Assistant Scientist
    • 305-361-4418
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    Anderson Mayfield joined the AOML ACCRETE team after an extended (11-year) sojourn in the Indo-Pacific, where he split his time between Southern Taiwan’s National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium and the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation’s (LOF) research vessel, the M.Y. Golden Shadow. At the former institute, Mayfield both carried out global climate change (GCC) simulation experiments in coral reef "mesocosms" and developed molecular biological tools for assessing reef coral health, while his role with LOF was to attempt to document the health of thousands of corals sampled from French Polynesia to the Chagos Archipelago as part the “Global Reef Expedition” (the largest coral reef survey ever undertaken). Mayfield is now attempting to use the molecular biotechnological protocols and coral “stress test” assays he developed in Asia with corals from 1) ACCRETE’s GCC manipulation experiments and 2) the South Florida reef tract (particularly reefs that have been found previously by ACCRETE team members to span a gradient of resilience, from highly heat tolerant to extremely sensitive to environmental perturbations). Mayfield's ultimate goal is to create means of predicting coral health on a pre-death timescale such that coral reef “triage” could be enacted in situ.

  • Ewelina Rubin, Ph.D.

    Ewelina Rubin, Ph.D.

    • Senior Research Associate
    • 305-361-4408
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    Ewelina Rubin joined the ACCRETE research team in Nov 2019. She is using RNA-seq methodology to understand transcriptomic responses of corals surviving in marginal reef environments and to provide insight into molecular mechanisms that enable their resilience. Currently, she is contributing to the Urban Coral project, an exciting study of the resilient population of brain coral (Pseudiploria stigosa) that lives in the poor-quality waters near the Port of Miami. She received her MS degree from Nova Southeastern University, FL where she studied stony coral recruitment to ship grounding sites. In addition, she received her PhD from Stony Brook University where she studied molecular mechanisms of pathogenic virulence and host-resistance to disease. She gained additional molecular biology and next generation high throughput sequencing as well as bioinformatics experience during her postdoctoral studies at University of Connecticut and University of Rhode Island. She recently returned to Florida and is hoping to use her research experience to study stony corals and to make her personal contribution to protection efforts for these beautiful animals.

  • Michael S. Studivan, Ph.D.

    Michael S. Studivan, Ph.D.

    • Assistant Scientist
    • 305-361-4361
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    Michael Studivan is a principal investigator at CIMAS and UM lead of the Experimental Reef Laboratory. His research involves the use of advanced molecular techniques to better understand coral physiology and adaptation, as well as genetic connectivity of coral ecosystems in marginal environments. He aims to identify molecular mechanisms at the individual level that may affect population-wide ecosystem processes in variable environments, particularly in light of recent coral disease outbreaks on the Florida Reef Tract and wider Caribbean. He completed his graduate degrees and postdoctoral fellowship at Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. Studivan's dissertation research addressed mesophotic coral ecosystem connectivity and mesophotic coral morphology/physiology using genotyping, skeletal morphometrics, and gene expression profiling with Montastraea cavernosa from the Gulf of Mexico (Flower Garden Banks and Pulley Ridge) and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (Carrie Bow Cay, Belize). For his postdoctoral research, he characterized the response of corals to stony coral tissue loss disease and intervention strategies using RNA-Seq gene expression profiling and 3D modeling.

  • Ruben van Hooidonk, Ph.D.

    Ruben van Hooidonk, Ph.D.

    • Assistant Scientist
    • 305-361-4524
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    Ruben van Hooidonk designed and maintains the redesigned Ocean Acidification Product Suite (OAPS). Dr. van Hooidonk is interested in utilizing global climate models to forecast future risk and uncertainty for coral reefs with climate change and ocean acidification. He currently is a principal investigator on two projects through NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program to improve bleaching prediction and expand the OAPS to the Pacific. Van Hooidonk earned his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2009 and previously attended Utrecht University in the Netherlands where he earned his B.Sc and M.Sc.

  • Nicole Besemer, M.P.S.

    Nicole Besemer, M.P.S.

    • Senior Research Associate
    • 305-361-4374
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    Nicole Besemer is a marine biologist whose work has focused primarily on south Florida and Caribbean ecosystem management and conservation. She received her M.P.S. degree from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science in 2017 and her previous research efforts include invasive species management, endangered sea turtle conservation and monitoring impacts of Everglades restoration efforts on Biscayne Bay. Besemer has joined ACCRETE as the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program's Caribbean Climate Operations Coordinator. Her work focuses on implementation of the Climate Monitoring Component of NCRMP including but not limited to planning and operation of associated fieldwork as well as data analysis and submission related to how ocean acidification and global warming are affecting coral reef communities in the Atlantic.

  • Nate Formel, M.S.

    Nate Formel, M.S.

    • Senior Research Associate
    • 305-361-4514
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    Nate Formel is a marine biologist whose work has focused mainly on conservation and restoration of coral reef ecosystems in Florida, Hawaii, and the Caribbean. He holds an M.S. from the University of Miami and is currently a Research Associate at AOML's Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division and the University of Miami's Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS). Formel's work at CIMAS and AOML focuses on developing novel, low-cost, and open-source sampling equipment to expand the suite of tools used to study coral reef ecosystems to better understand the changes happening in our oceans and how these changes are affecting the reefs.

  • Michael Jankulak, M.S.

    Michael Jankulak, M.S.

    • Senior Research Associate
    • 305-361-4543
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    Mike Jankulak provides technical support for ACCRETE, as well as the maintenance and deployment of field instrumentation that report data in near-real-time via satellite relay. Jankulak is also the data manager for all time-series of environmental data of the larger CHAMP program. He received his M.S. from the University of Miami in 2012 for his work on association rule mining for the prediction of rapid intensity changes of tropical cyclones.

  • Graham Kolodziej, M.P.S.

    Graham Kolodziej, M.P.S.

    • Research Associate
    • 305-361-4331
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    Graham Kolodziej works with Dr. Ian Enochs in support of efforts to study the impacts of ocean acidification on coral reefs. Kolodziej serves as the permit coordinator for ACCRETE and is a technician specializing in the use of micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) to study the fine-scale processes of coral calcification and bioerosion. Kolodziej received his B.S. degree from the Division of Marine Biology and Fisheries of the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School in 2008, and completed his Masters of Professional Science in 2020, also at UM. He is currently a research associate with the Cooperative Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School.

  • Hannah Babbitz

    Hannah Babbitz

    • Masters Student
    • 305-361-xxxx
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    Hannah Babbitz received her B.S. in marine science in 2019 from the University of Delaware. She is now a second year MS student at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Babbitz is interested in the physiological impacts of climate change on corals. Currently, she is studying how individual coral lipid concentrations can be manipulated through heterotrophic feeding and how those lipid concentrations better prepare corals for heat stress due to climate change.

  • Albert Boyd

    Albert Boyd

    • Research Associate
    • 305-361-4458
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    Albert Boyd was recruited by the University of Miami as a research assistant while working on his B.S. with a major in biology and a minor in marine science and chemistry, for outstanding service in the multi-organizational state sponsored Redfish Stock Assessment program. After completing his B.S. degree, he continued working for more than three decades at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science as a research associate. Boyd specializes in macro algae culture, photothermic pelagic fish breeding, and advance water quality analysis. Other specialties include advance light and water data logging, design of open and closed experimental research fish and coral systems. Boyd has assumed the role of Coral Carbonate Chemist with the ACCRETE Team.

  • Allyson DeMerlis

    Allyson DeMerlis

    • Ph.D. Student
    • 305-361-xxxx
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    Allyson DeMerlis obtained her B.S. degree from McGill University studying molecular biology in Spring 2017. She is currently a first-year Ph.D. student at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and is interested in studying the molecular basis for coral resilience against bleaching and disease.

  • Patrick Kiel

    Patrick Kiel

    • ACCRETE Intern
    • 305-361-xxxx
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    Patrick Kiel graduated with a B.S. in Marine Science and Biology from the University of Miami in May 2020. Kiel has joined ACCRETE for a year-long internship as a research assistant with the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School. He previously collaborated with ACCRETE during his senior thesis where he examined the structural and mechanical properties of the threatened coral Acropora cervicornis and the effects of nursery grow-out platforms on the corals' mechanical strength. Kiel will be combining his coral background and previous coding experience to work with ACCRETE on a database tool for coral nurseries to catalog and compare phenotypic properties of staghorn coral genotypes to enhance and promote informed restoration efforts for the Coral Reef Conservation Program's (CRCP's) coral restoration pillar.

  • John Morris

    John Morris

    • Ph.D. Student
    • 305-361-4393
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    John Morris received a B.A. with honors in marine science from the University of Miami in the spring of 2017. He is currently a second-year Ph.D. student at Rosentiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. He is focused on investigating the effects of ocean acidification on coral reef persistence and bioeroding sponges.

  • Nash Soderberg

    Nash Soderberg

    • Research Associate
    • 305-361-4452
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    Nash Soderberg received his B.S. in Marine Science and Biology from the University of Miami in 2019. He works at ACCRETE as a Research Associate with the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. He assists with a wide variety of activities and projects within the lab, but is mainly in charge of maintaining and running ACCRETE’s Experimental Reef Lab.