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Areas of expertise for selected SoMAS faculty members.  For additional experts at Stony Brook University, please visit the Experts page.

Atmospheric Sciences

Brian Colle, Ph.D., Professor in Atmospheric Sciences. Dr. Colle’s research focuses on the structure and dynamics of meoscale phenomena in the coastal zones of North America, as well as meoscale numerical modeling and forecasting. He was the first person to successfully obtain the three-dimensional flow over mountainous terrain using an aircraft Doppler radar and also is conducting idealized simulations of the interactions of fronts with the steep coastal terrain of western North America.

Specific areas of expertise: Synoptic meteorology. Meoscale numerical modeling and forecasting. Coastal meteorology.

Marine Sciences

Jackie Collier, Ph.D., Associate Professor in Biological Oceanography. Dr. Collier uses molecular genetic, biochemical and genomic approaches to investigate a variety of issues in marine microbial ecology, including impacts of harmful algal blooms like Brown Tides on spatial and temporal patterns in planktonic communities, the role of fungus-like protists in the decomposition of organic matter in the oceans, and the effects of changing climate on microbially-driven processes in marine ecosystems. She is also developing molecular genetic methods to identify the prey consumed by crustacean predators such as the blue crab.

Specific areas of expertise: Phytoplankton physiological ecology; Bio-complexity and microbial diversity; Planktonic ecosystem processes in marine, estuarine, and freshwater systems.

David O. Conover, Ph.D., Professor in Fisheries. Dr. Conover is one of the world’s leading experts on the ecology of marine fishes and fisheries science. In 1997-98, he was named as the first recipient of the Mote Eminent Scholar Chair in Fisheries Ecology, a prestigious international award honoring those who have made major advances in the understanding of harvested marine resources. His most recent research, funded by the National Science Foundation and the New York Sea Grant Institute, involves determination of the long-term evolutionary (Darwinian) impacts of size-selective harvest regimes on the productivity of marine fish stocks. Much of his research involves species of great economic importance to New York such as bluefish, striped bass, and Atlantic silversides. Note: Dr. Conover is on a temporary leave-of-absence from the University while serving in Washington, DC with the National Science Foundation.

Specific areas of expertise: Marine fisheries science. Fish ecology. Conservation of living marine resources.

David Black, Ph.D., Associate Professor in Paleoclimatology/Paleoceanography. Dr. Black’s research interests include understanding the processes that cause global and regional climate change, developing records of past ocean-atmosphere variability using the marine sediment record, exploring linkages between different parts of the climate system and calibrating methods for reconstructing past earth climates. My lab uses a combination of marine micropaleontology, trace element geochemistry and stable isotope geochemistry to reconstruct regional patterns of temperature, wind strength, and precipitation for various regions around the world.

Specific areas of expertise: global climate change; paleoclimatology; micropaleontology; stable isotope geochemistry and marine sediments.

Henry Bokuniewicz, Ph.D., Professor in Geological Oceanography. Dr. Bokuniewicz has conducted studies on the behavior of coastal sedimentary systems and coastal groundwater hydrology. Much of his research is directly applicable to problems of coastal zone management. His other research deals with practical problems of groundwater seepage at the sea floor, shore erosion, dredging and the dispersal of dredged sediments, and marine mining.

Specific areas of expertise: Nearshore transport processes. Coastal groundwater hydrology. Coastal sedimentation. Marine geophyscis.

Malcolm Bowman, Ph.D., Professor in Physical Oceanography. Dr. Bowman studies the dynamics of coastal fronts, eddies, island wakes and coastal sea straits. He uses a combination of observations and model simulations to describe dynamically fundamental physical processes in shallow seas and estuaries, and how these processes control and influence the structure and production of the marine food chain from phytoplankton up to, and including, fish. Professor Bowman is also principal investigator of the Stony Brook Storm Surge Research Group, which develops and tests meteorological-ocean models to predict coastal storm surges.

Specific areas of expertise: Coast, ocean and estuarine dynamics. Coastal storm surges.

Christopher Gobler, Ph.D.. Professor in Biological Oceanography. Research by the Gobler group focuses on plankton ecology, in particular the factors which promote phytoplankton growth (organic and inorganic nutrients) and the factors which are responsible for algal mortality (zooplankton, viruses, filter-feeding bivalves). A primary emphasis in plankton ecology has been the study of harmful algal blooms (HABs), both locally and around the US. Another research focus is the ecological functioning and trophic status of estuaries, especially understanding how anthropogenic activities such as eutrophication, overharvesting of fisheries, and salt marsh / shoreline modification may alter the natural biogeochemical and/or ecological functioning of estuarine ecosystems. A final area of interest is how phytoplankton influence biogeochemical cycles of organic carbon, nutrients and trace metals in aquatic ecosystems.

Specific areas of expertise: Harmful algal blooms; Ocean acidification and estuarine ecology.

Gordon T. Taylor, Ph.D., Professor in Marine Microbiology. Dr. Taylor’s expertise includes: microbial involvement in biogeochemical cycles, food web relationships among microorganisms (bacteria, protozoans, algae and viruses), microbial biofouling, nuisance blooms, such as Brown Tide and ecology of oxygen-depleted marine systems.  His current research focuses on microbiological and chemical exchange processes across boundaries, novel microbial metabolisms and the microbial ecology of organic debris during transport from sites of production. His research sheds light on responses of the oceans’ carbon cycle and ecosystem function to oxygen stress and global climate change.

Specific areas of interest: Biological oceanography. Microbial ecology. Marine pathogens (bacteria and viruses). Global carbon cycle. Hypoxia. Anoxia. Ocean deoxygenation.

Robert L. Swanson, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor in Physical Oceanography. Dr. Swanson is a physical and coastal oceanographer who focuses on marine pollution and solid waste issues. He is Director of the Waste Reduction and Management Institute, and Associate Dean of the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. While maintaining a research program on the above topics, he also is active in using science to influence public policy.

Specific areas of expertise: Physical and coastal oceanography. Marine pollution. Marine policy, ocean policy, and solid waste issues.

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