Alumni Awards

Request Info
Request Info
Alumni Graduation Graduation

The University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science Alumni Association is dedicated to building a strong network among our graduates; enhancing their careers and opportunities, advancing their interests, and harnessing their skills and resources for the benefit of the Rosenstiel community.

Thanks to the support of alumni and friends, the RSMAS Alumni Association has granted 21 Awards.

2012-2013 Alumni Award Recipients

Katinka Bellomo, MPO, $3,500

Katinka graduated from Universita' di Torino (Italy) with a BS and MS in Physics. She is currently working with Dr. Amy Clement on investigating the role of cloud radiative forcing on climate variability and change. The Alumni Award will support a two-month internship at the Max-Planck Institute for Meteorology in Germany, where she will use their IPCC coupled ocean-atmosphere model to run decadal prediction experiments.

Patrick Rynne, AMP, $2.500

Patrick has a BS from Brown University in Material Engineering, and a Masters degree in Ocean Engineering from Florida Atlantic University. His current research is focused on understanding the hydrodynamic processes of tidal inlet and estuarine systems. Additionally, Patrick spearheads Waterlust, a student run project aimed at bringing creativity and self-expression to marine scientists through online film. He is using this award to establish an on-campus center for students and faculty to create their own Waterlust films.

Christine Beggs, MAF, $1,500

Christine graduated with Honors from Goucher College in 2010 where she earned her Bachelor’s in Biology. Presently, she is pursuing a Master’s in Marine Conservation at RSMAS. Christine will use the Award to fund her internship at the Isabela Oceanographic Institute in the Galapagos, utilizing her marine conservation media site, to launch online crowdfunding campaigns for local environmental projects.

Dominique Lazarre, MBF, $3,000

Dominique graduated from Eckerd College with a BS in Marine Science (Biology) and Environmental Studies. Her PhD research is focused on understanding the dynamics that have allowed invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish to spread throughout the Western Atlantic and Caribbean, as well as their impacts on local fish communities. She plans to use the funds provided by the Alumni Award to discern how lionfish are impacting the spiny lobster trap fishery in the Florida Keys.

Xaymara Serrano, MBF, $1,000

Xaymara has a BS in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico and a MS in Marine Biology & Fisheries from University of Miami RSMAS. She is completing a PhD using the latest genetic tools to understand the extent to which reefs are effectively connected to one another, especially in the face of climate change. Xaymara will use the Alumni Award funds to characterize two algal symbionts using quantitative PCR assays.

Past Recipients

Monica Arienzo (2011-2012)

Monica graduated from Franklin & Marshall College with a BA in Geosciences before coming to RSMAS where she works with Dr. Peter Swart. She is investigating past rapid climate change events, known as Dansgaard/Oeschger (D/O) and Heinrich events over the last 100,000 years, using the Bahamas stalagmites as recorders of millennial scale temperature variability.

Rachel Silverstein (2011-2012)

Rachel graduated cum laude from Columbia University with a BA in Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, came to RSMAS for a Ph.D in the department of Marine Biology and Fisheries studying corals and climate change. She is also supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and a UM Graduate Student Fellowship. She plans to use the Alumni Fellowship to utilize molecular genetics in assessing coral response to environmental stress.

Remy Okazaki (2011-2012)

Remy graduated from the University of Utah with a BS in both Biology and Business Administration. He is currently in the Marine Biology and Fisheries program studying ocean acidification and corals. The Alumni Award will support an experiment comparing the responses of 10 different Caribbean coral species to increased temperature and pCO2.

Kasey Cantwell (2011-2012)

Kasey graduated from the undergraduate program at RSMAS in 2010 where she double majored in Marine Science and Biology. She is currently working on her master of science with Dr. Pam Reid and Maria Estevanez, where she uses underwater landscape mosaics to assess the human impact on coral reefs.

Kieran Bhatia (2010 – 2011)

Kieran Bhatia graduated Cum Laude from the University of Maryland at College Park in 2010, earning a B.S. in Physics (meteorology track). In addition to his research during his semesters, he spent two summers conducting research at NOAA sites in Boulder, Colorado and Camp Springs, Maryland. In Camp Springs, he evaluated the success of a conditional bias correction on the 5-day forecast for the 500 hectopascal height field and mean sea level pressure. At NOAA’s Office of Atmospheric Research in Boulder, he developed probabilistic evapotranspiration forecasts for two of the most profitable agricultural regions in the country, the Imperial and Coachella Valleys in southern California. Kieran will start working toward his Ph.D. this fall with Dr. David Nolan on the dynamics and development of hurricanes.

Andrew Kough (2009 – 2010)

A Presidential Scholar, Kough earned a B.S. in Biology from Gettysburg College in 2008. Throughout his undergraduate career, he participated in numerous field studies including the white-throated sparrow project at Cranberry Lake Biological Station and research with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Patuxent Research Refuge and at the University of Queensland. Kough is currently working toward his Ph.D. jointly in Marine Biology and Fisheries and Applied Marine Physics with Dr. Claire Paris on bio-physical modeling of shrimp larval transport and associated acoustic cues.

Adam Greer (2008 – 2009)

Greer graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2007, where he worked with a scientist studying speciation in leaf beetles by looking at the feeding habits of the larvae on different host plants. This experience fostered an interest in population dynamics, and Greer thought it would be interesting and challenging to apply these concepts to marine fish populations. Greer is currently working toward his Ph.D. with Marine Biology and Fisheries Chair and Maytag Professor of Ichthyology, Dr. Robert Cowen on larval stage dispersal and juvenile recruitment of marine fishes.

Lyanne Yurco (2007 – 2008)

Yurco graduated from Kent State University in 2007, where she participated in a research cruise to the Arctic Ocean that led to her senior honors thesis on the Arctic paleoclimate during the Late Pleistocene through the analysis of sediment cores from the Northwind Ridge, Chukchi Sea. She is currently working on her M.S. in Marine Geology and Geophysics, and her research is focused on high-resolution paleoclimatology of the Cariaco Basin in Venezuela

Jennifer Grimm (2006 – 2007)

Grimm is currently the environmental coordinator for Florida International University’s (FIU’s) Biscayne Bay campus. She coordinates with each department on the campus to help integrate environmental themes into the classes offered and the creation of new classes. In addition, she develops outreach activities for FIU students and the surrounding community. Grimm previously worked for the City of Miami Office of Sustainable Initiatives. She received her M.A. in Marine Affairs and Policy from the Rosenstiel School in 2008.

Jayme Timberlake (2005 – 2006)

Timberlake received a B.A. in Environmental Science and Geography with honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara and arrived with working experience in her field of interest, marine resource management and protection. She earned her M.A. in Marine Affairs and Policy at the Rosenstiel School in 2003 and is a habitat restoration specialist with Dudek Associates, a private consulting firm that is restoring wetlands along the Tijuana River.

Jason Seuc (2004 – 2005)

Seuc currently works as an environmental permitting project manager for Coastal Systems International, Inc., where he coordinates with local, state, federal, and international environmental agencies to secure coastal and environmental permit approvals for public and private clients. He manages projects involving coastal construction, Environmental Impact Assessments, marinas, island development, and beach renourishment projects in South Florida, The Bahamas, and the Caribbean. Seuc received his B.A. in Marine Affairs from UM in 2003, and his M.A. from the Rosenstiel School in Marine Affairs and Policy in 2008.

Johnathan Kool (2002 — 2003)

Kool is currently carrying out postdoctoral work in Townsville, Australia. He is jointly funded by James Cook University and the Australian Institute of Marine Science to research conservation planning methods, and assist with the developmentof marine protected area networks in the Coral Triangle region of Southeast Asia. He received his Ph.D. in Marine Biology and Fisheries from the Rosenstiel School in 2008.

Jenny Litz (2001 – 2002)

A fisheries biologist at the National Marine Fisheries Service working in the Marine Mammal Program, Litzs research focuses on marine mammal stranding, health, and stock structure in southeast U.S. waters. After completing extensive research into the social structure, genetic structure, and organohalogen pollutants in bottlenose dolphins in Biscayne Bay, FL, she received her Ph.D. from the Rosenstiel School in Marine Biology and Fisheries in 2007.

Manuel Lonfat (1999 — 2000)

Lonfat is managing director of Travelers Personal Insurance Catastrophe Modeling Unit based in Hartford, CN, where he heads a team with a variety of backgrounds in science and business, in charge of quantifying the risk posed by natural catastrophes. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography in 2004, specializing in the assessment of tropical cyclone rainfall impacts.

Tyler Smith (1998 – 1999)

Smith is currently an assistant professor at the University of the Virgin Islands Center for Marine and Environmental Studies, where he is a graduate instructor, mentor, and coordinator of the U.S. Virgin Islands Territorial Coral Reef Monitoring Program. His research is focused on coral reef ecology, including how reef systems respond to outside forcing, such as upwelling and climate change. He also specializes in the ecology of deep mesophotic coral ecosystems at the frontier of reef exploration. Smith received his Ph.D. in Marine Biology and Fisheries at the Rosenstiel School in 2006.

Jennifer Schull (1997 – 1998)

Schull is a fishery biologist at the National Marine Fisheries Service working in the office of Science Planning and Coordination. Her previous research has focused on the distribution and abundance of Goliath grouper, Epinephelus itajara, in the Ten Thousand Islands area of Southwest Florida as well as general grouper ecology and monitoring fish populations along the Florida Reef Tract. Schull received her M.A. in Marine Affairs and Policy from the Rosenstiel School in 2000.