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Stony Brook at a Glance

Overview   |   Directory   |   Alumni Perspectives   |   Where Are They Now? SoMAS Alumni Profiles

"Being in Stony Brook University gave me the opportunity to experience what it means to be a marine biologist and I am thankful I have been a part of MSRC. The Marine Sciences Research Center is full of faculty who are supportive and always willing to help. I will always remember as I was applying to graduate school, all the faculty who were willing to talk to me and give me advice even though I was never one of their students and they were not my assigned advisors. Having had a mentor like Bassem Allam has really helped me become who I am today. He was supportive, helpful, and taught me how to become a better scientist. With him as my mentor, I was able to do a URECA summer project, present a poster at the URECA poster presentation event, as well as learn numerous lab skills. As I continue my studies in marine science, I can only hope that one day I will become a professor who like Mary Scranton, is always willing to take time out to advise students, who like Bassem Allam, inspires students to pursue marine science and instills confidence in students to think for themselves, and like all the faculty at marine science, who always keep an open door and a willingness to help every student."

Joyce Lau, B.S., 2006

Lisa Lau

Lisa Clough
Lisa Clough at the North Pole

"The degree of collaboration between faculty, and the level of respect and camaraderie afforded graduate students by the faculty is what made my project possible, and what makes the MSRC environment truly unique. Since leaving MSRC, I've become an actual seagoing oceanographer, and I appreciate my multidisciplinary training all the more. My journeys have taken me to the Arctic Ocean four times in the last six years.

Because graduate students are encouraged to do things like give the informal Friday afternoon seminar, I felt very well prepared to present my ideas to colleagues, and to face the challenges of teaching at the college level. My training at the MSRC, and the support network that is in place among and between graduate students, faculty, and staff has allowed me to wind up in a job that I truly enjoy going to (almost) every morning!"

Lisa Clough, Ph.D. 1993
Assistant Professor,
Department of Biology, East Carolina University


"I highly recommend Stony Brook and the Marine Sciences Research Center to prospective students. The faculty here are not only first-rate researchers; they sincerely care about seeing graduate students achieve their career goals in science. Students come to the MSRC from a variety of backgrounds and with a broad range of interests. This diversity is on of the MSRC's greatest strengths. Students can pursue their interests in all areas of oceanographic research, and have the opportunity to participate in and design projects in locations ranging from the Long Island Sound to the Atlantic Ocean. Living near the water is an added plus. While some students rely on the sound as a study site, others are happy to go kayaking, swimming, sailing, and fishing there when they are not in the lab."

Anitra Ingalls, Ph.D. 2002
Assistant Professor,
University of Washington

Anitra Ingalls

Tom Hurst
Tom Hurst with the one that didn't get away

"When I came to the MSRC to study the population biology of fishes, I was impressed by the breadth of topics addressed by the faculty. However, I couldn't predict how valuable this diversity of interests would become to me. During the course of my research on the winter ecology of striped bass, I have frequently called upon the expertise of geologists, benthic ecologists, and physical oceanographers in planning experiments and interpreting findings. In addition I have had the opportunity to participate in a variety of estuarine research projects outside my own work. Through this cooperation, I have gained a much better understanding of my study organism, and the estuarine environment in which it lives. Working among such a diverse group of scientists has been an incredibly challenging experience, and one which has been invaluable to my professional development."

Tom Hurst. Ph.D. 2000
Research Scientist, National Marine Fisheries Service



"The interdisciplinary emphasis of the marine science program at Stony Brook has been one of its great strengths and prepared me well for my current position as an associate professor of environmental science at Rutgers University. In my research, I have recently been occupied tracking down mercury in some of our urban coastal waters, which as this photo of the New Jersey Meadowlands attests, should not be thought of as beyond repair. I am often struck by the importance of the experiences I had at MSRC that were not directly related to my graduate research.

Through these experiences, I learned something about benthic ecology, organic geochemistry, and how to host a “distinguished visiting scholar,” all of which has been extremely useful as a teacher and a professional scientist. I have great memories of the positive work and social environment among the students and faculty at MSRC, which recent visits back to Long Island tell me still exists."

John Reinfelder, Ph.D. 1993
Associate Professor
Dept of Environmental Sciences
Rutgers University


Barries Creek Egret

"MSRC is at the vanguard of a new public awareness of the importance and fragility of the coastal zone. I cannot imagine a more exciting opportunity for prospective students seeking to make a meaningful contribution to important issues, while at the same time receiving a high quality education."

Mead Allison, Ph.D. 1993
Associate Professor
Tulane University

"MSRC offers a rare opportunity to interact with students and faculty from all over the world, in many disciplines, and of all ages. This diversity is a form of learning experience that no oceanography textbook can ever give."

Shino Tanikawa Oglesby, M.S. 1997

"Being an atmospheric scientist in a renowned national laboratory for 4 years, I always feel indebted and grateful to the teaching staff and the research facilities in Marine Science Research Center in Stony Brook University, where I studied and worked as a Ph.D. candidate in those years. During the years in MSRC, I'd been surrounded by a very high-quality academic research atmosphere. This atmosphere enabled everyone here to develop the high quality and performance required to become a professional scientist. I benefit a lot from the life at MSRC in my everyday research work at Lawrence Livermore National Lab."

Shaocheng Xie, Ph.D. 1998

"I was very happy with my decision to come to MSRC at Stony Brook for my Ph.D., and I would highly recommend MSRC to future students. One of the biggest assets of the department is its open and friendly atmosphere. Not only is it relatively easy to collaborate with other laboratories on site, but the majority of students socialize together creating a warm, welcoming environment, which is so important considering how much time one spends on campus and interacting with colleagues. Students who decide to attend MSRC are rewarded with a wonderful opportunity to develop their own research interests with excellent faculty, and, when one has spare time, students can easily drive or take the train into New York City or hang out at the many nearby beaches."

Dianne Greenfield. Ph.D. 2002
Research Assistant Professor
University of South Carolina & South Carolina Dept. of Natural Resources

Dianne Greenfield
Photo courtesy of NY Sea Grant

"My marine remote sensing research progress, starting at MSRC, attests to our ability to meet the challenges of marine science's new frontier and to MSRC's commitment to educating a new generation of marine scientists."

Xiao-Hai Yan, Ph.D. 1989
Professor of Oceanography, Co-Director of Center for Remote Sensing
University of Delaware Graduate College of Marine Studies


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