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For the Media

Below is a list of UCI staff members and their areas of expertise. Additional biographical information can be found on the Who We Are page. See a full list of experts at Monmouth University.

Media inquiries may be directed to Communications Director Karl Vilacoba at or 732-571-3688 (cell: 848-469-0832).

UCI Expert Guide

Dr. Jason Adolf

Expertise: Water quality, harmful algal blooms, red tides, phytoplankton ecology and evolution

Meredith Comi

Aquaculture, oyster restoration and living shoreline projects, coastal community resilience

Vice Admiral Paul G. Gaffney II, USN (Ret.)

Expertise: Ocean exploration, federal ocean policy, Naval meteorology and oceanography

Dr. Thomas Herrington

Expertise: Coastal resilience and sustainability, hazard mitigation, ocean engineering, storm surge and wave impacts, beach/sand management, climate change

Tony MacDonald, Esq.

Expertise: Ocean resources management issues and public policy, beach access law, ocean planning, federal environmental legislation and congressional affairs

Jim Nickels

Expertise: Marine science, fisheries, plankton, benthic organisms, sediment, water quality, mitigation, geophysics, marine GIS and GPS mapping

Jay Odell

Expertise: Fisheries, ocean planning, climate change impacts to ocean ecosystems, marine life and dependent fishing communities

Karl Vilacoba

Expertise: General inquiries about UCI programs, projects and activities; the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal and regional ocean planning

News Releases

Visit our frequently updated UCI Blog for additional news and features

New Jersey Resources Celebrates Earth Day with Pledge to Support Coastal Resilience and Healthy Ecosystems Through Monmouth University’s Urban Coast Institute, April 22, 2024

Pallone Secures $625,000 for Monmouth University to Support Ecological and Coastal Resilience, March 13, 2024

N.J. Poll: Support for Wind Energy Plunges, Aug. 29, 2023

Comi to Lead Oyster Restoration and Resilience Initiatives at Urban Coast Institute, Aug. 16, 2023

Monmouth University Study Finds Rain-Driven Microbial Pollution Persists at Surfing Beaches in Colder Months, Aug. 9, 2023

Urban Coast Institute to Host Symposium Exploring Oceans and Climate Change April 13, March 30, 2023

Study: Deal Lake Caught in Seasonal Cycle of Harmful Algal Blooms, Jan. 11, 2023

Monmouth Receives Funding to Establish Consortium of N.J. Universities to Conduct Research on Coastal Resilience, Sept. 27, 2022

Ocean Wind 1 Funds Nearly $13 Million in Fisheries Monitoring Surveys, July 27, 2022

Monmouth U. Receives Federal Funds to Improve Coastal Resilience in Naval Weapons Station Earle and Socially Vulnerable N.J. Communities, April 19, 2022

National Poll: Fires, Floods Linked to Climate, Oct. 4, 2021

Monmouth University Awarded Grant to Monitor Health of County’s Coastal Lakes through 2023, July 8, 2021

Analysis of Pitch Data Shows Climate Change May Strike Baseball Umpiring, June 23, 2021

Sea Grant’s COVID-19-inspired #BEachSAFEly Wins “Best Public Awareness Campaign” Award, April 30, 2021

Study proves bits of DNA in seawater correlate to the weight of netted fish, Dec. 3, 2020

Gaffney Named to National Academies Committee Tasked with Advancing Defense Research at HBCUs and MSIs, Sept. 14, 2020

Humpback Whale Disentangled off New York Thanks to Team Effort, July 31, 2020

DNA surprises surfacing in the Atlantic: Species far from their usual southern homes, May 12, 2020

‘An Ocean for All: Ecosystems, Economies & People’ Oct. 22 at Monmouth University, Oct. 1, 2019

Mixed Views on Plastic Bag Ban: New Jersey Public Largely Unaware of Microplastics Pollution, Sept. 30, 2019

Exhibition Explores Economic and Emotional Toll of Superstorm Sandy through Art, Multimedia, Sept. 17, 2019

Monmouth University and Rumson to Host Two River Seminar Series, Sept. 4, 2019

Monmouth University to Study Water Pollution at Surfing Beaches, May 13, 2019

Monmouth Poll: Strong Support for Wind Energy in New Jersey, April 3, 2019

Monmouth U. Welcomes World-Renowned Climate Change Experts for Symposium April 17-18, March 18, 2019

Sen. Kyrillos Leads ‘Our Ocean and Beaches: A Record of Success and New Challenges to Face’ Panel at Monmouth University, March 15, 2019

Urban Coast Institute Director Named to National Academies Ocean Studies Board, March 5, 2019

President Emeritus Paul Gaffney Inducted into Naval Oceanography Hall of Fame, January 19, 2019

Found Nemo, found Dory with DNA in the seas; Experts prescribe way ahead for new ocean science, January 16, 2019

Climate Concerns Increase; Most Republicans Now Acknowledge Change, November 29, 2018

Marine species quickly revealed by new ‘Go Fish’ tool, highlights potential of emerging eDNA science, November 28, 2018

Monmouth University Christens Research Vessel as the Heidi Lynn Sculthorpe, October 18, 2018

Commissioner McCabe Announces Launch of Comprehensive Coastal Resilience Plan During Summit at Monmouth University, October 9, 2018

Former Govs. Kean, Florio and Other Coastal and Ocean Champions to be Honored Oct. 9 at Monmouth University, September 28, 2018

Monmouth University Appoints Inaugural Rechnitz Family UCI Endowed Chair in Marine and Environmental Law and Policy, September 18, 2018

UCI Receives $150,000 Plangere Foundation Grant to Improve Stewardship of Coastal Lakes, July 30, 2018

Monmouth University Unveils 49-Foot Research Vessel Nauvoo, June 27, 2018

Report Assesses Mid-Atlantic Coast’s Economic Vulnerability to Climate Change, April 17, 2018

Science Building Renovation and Expansion Project Completed, Feb. 21, 2018