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Administration Contacts and Center Staff

Stephen Moysey, Director

Professor, Geological Sciences
My interests are primarily in the area of hydrogeophysics where I focus on environmental sensing and model-data synthesis to understand mechanisms of flow and transport in porous media.  I am particularly interested in using data and models to scale from the pore to watershed and understanding linkages between the unsaturated zone, groundwater, and surface water.

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Mike O’Driscoll, Associate Director

Professor, Coastal Studies
Utilizing tracers and other hydrogeological, geochemical, and geophysical techniques to develop insights into the geological controls and land-use effects on surface water-groundwater interactions and contaminant transport. Recent work has focused on evaluating onsite wastewater contaminant inputs to nutrient-sensitive Coastal Plain and Piedmont watersheds.

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Samantha Mosier, Associate Director

Associate Professor, Political Science
Dr. Mosier’s expertise lies in the area of governance, administration, and public policy development. Her research evaluates local sustainability initiatives, food and agricultural policies, and university-community engagement.

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Alex Manda, Associate Director

Associate Professor, Geological Sciences
Coastal hydrology, borehole geophysics, groundwater modeling, citizen science, water resources management, and geoscience education. In the recent past, Dr. Manda’s research has focused on saltwater intrusion, groundwater management of coastal aquifers, impacts of climate change and sea-level rise on coastal water resources, nutrient transport in groundwater, and public participation in scientific research.

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Christine Bell

Center Administrative Coordinator

Grace Gavigan

Community and CCEDS NRT Program Coordinator

Bobby Bowser, PhD

Lab and Field Manager

Kim Kassner

Communications Manager

Neda Safari

WaterCorps Manager

Westley Blakeslee

Science Communication and Virtual Reality Developer

Tara Van Niekerk

Community Outreach and Education Programs

For more information about the Water Resources Center, please contact us.

Faculty Affiliates

Rebecca Asch

Assistant Professor, Biology
Rebecca Asch is a fisheries oceanographer whose research aims to understand how climate change and variations in oceanic and estuarine conditions affect commercially and ecologically important fishes and fisheries. Much of the Asch Lab’s research focuses on spawning behavior and early life history stages of fishes. Our lab aims to integrate modeling approaches with field-based monitoring and process studies to understand how changing conditions affect living marine resources.

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April Blakeslee

Associate Professor, Biology
April Blakeslee is a conservation biologist focusing on aquatic systems. Her research includes global species patterns, biogeography, biodiversity, species interactions, evolutionary ecology, and the unique and integrative insight that can be gained from studying biological invasions. She is also interested in biogeographic patterns of hosts and parasites, host-parasite interactions, and host-parasite coevolutionary dynamics. Recent work focuses on abiotic and biotic tradeoffs that shape species distributions along coasts and in estuaries, and how parasites can serve as valuable bioindicators of conservation-related questions, like invasions and coastal restoration.

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Margaret (Meg) Blome

Teaching Assistant Professor, Geological Sciences
I teach many of the introductory geosciences courses and the upper level geomorphology course. Prior to coming to ECU, I worked in Petroleum Geology in TX for 7 years and briefly as an archaeologist before graduate school. My research interests range from paleoclimatology and limnology (lake studies) including micropaleontology, to geoarchaeology. I am currently pursuing the ECU GIS Graduate Certificate and hope to use that for research once I have completed it!

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David Collier

Professor, Pediatrics (Brody School of Medicine)
Physician scientist with access to regional patient populations, surveys, health outcomes, and ability to obtain biological samples.

Reide Corbett

Dean, Integrated Coastal Programs; Exec. Director, Coastal Studies Institute
I am a coastal oceanographer and geochemist with an overall scientific interest in the geochemical and geomorphic dynamics of coastal and open ocean environments. From North Carolina to Puerto Rico, New Zealand to the Antarctic, I have studied the land-sea interface to understand the transport of soil/sediment from the coastal plain to the continental shelf, passing through the critical estuarine systems along the way; the influence of nutrients from agriculture and other runoff on the chemistry of groundwater, and eventually, our coastal waters; and the other drivers of change — storms, sea level rise, even boat wakes. Broadly, my interests include coastal change and geomorphic evolution across telescoping timescales.

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Steve Culver

Professor, Geological Sciences

Randall Etheridge

Assistant Professor, Engineering
Developing sustainable engineering solutions to water quantity and quality issues faced by communities in eastern North Carolina. I have worked on a wide variety of issues including addressing flooding caused by sea level rise, treating agricultural drainage using constructed ecosystems, and managing waterfowl impoundments to reduce nutrient export.

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Erin Field

Assistant Professor, Biology
I am a geomicrobiologist that focuses on the role of microbes in water treatment and water quality. My areas of interest include metal-microbe interactions, microbial iron oxidation and contaminant mobility, heavy metal bioremediation, and biocorrosion.

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Rachel Gittman

Assistant Professor, Biology & Coastal Studies Institute
Rachel Gittman is a coastal ecologist with expertise in community ecology, restoration ecology, coastal management and policy, and conservation.

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Cynthia Grace-McCaskey

Associate Professor, Anthropology & Coastal Studies Institute
I am an applied environmental anthropologist with expertise in the human dimensions of marine and coastal resource management issues. I use qualitative, quantitative, and participatory methods to examine the multiple ways social and natural systems interact with and influence one another, and what that means for ecosystem health, equitable resource management, and governance. More specifically, my research examines: 1) the social, political, economic, and historic factors that influence the success of natural resource management institutions; and 2) the resilience of social and natural systems, focusing on community resilience in post-disaster contexts, and the promotion of participatory processes and collaboration to improve governance and support long-term sustainability and resilience of coupled social and natural coastal systems.

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Stu Hamilton

Professor & Chair, Coastal Studies
Hamilton is a remote sensor and geographic information systems specialist interested in nearshore environments, particularly mangrove forest change and other estuarine processes. Much of his research is conducted at his three sites in Jinja, Uganda, Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador, and Barreirinhas in Brazil.

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Adriana Heimann-Rios

Associate Professor, Geological Sciences
Adriana Heimann-Rios conducts research in mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, and economic geology and is interested in environmental geology, environmental and social justice, and access to higher education. She uses tools to solve basic and applied problems, including: developing geochemical exploration tools for the search of economic mineral deposits such as critical minerals (i.e., lithium) and base metals (Pb, Zn); fractionation of iron isotopes during magma evolution and planetary formation; and geochemistry of early Earth marine environments. Her new projects are multi-disciplinary and involve working together with community organizations to investigate societal relevant problems such as water and soil quality and pollution, landslides, and flooding.

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Eric Horsman

Associate Professor, Geological Sciences
Eric Horsman researches the application of geophysical tools and methods. He also studies the influence of fracture networks on groundwater. Worked as an environmental consultant in Houston prior to starting graduate school. Experience with numerous geophysical methods for a wide range of purposes (but in all honesty, mastery of none).

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Greg Howard

Associate Professor, Economics
Dr. Howard is an economist who specializes in the use of discrete choice experiments and stated preference surveys in the valuation of nonmarket resources and policy analysis.

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Rob Howard

Research Associate, Geography, Planning and Environment
My research interests are diverse, encompassing areas of hydrology, remote sensing, and geographic information science. Currently, I am working on projects mapping urban stormwater response using satellite-based synthetic-aperture radar; developing low-cost, connected environmental sensors; and building web-based decision support tools to help decision-makers better make informed decisions.

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Charlie Humphrey

Associate Professor, Health Education & Promotion
I have experience evaluating the pollutant treatment efficiency of onsite wastewater systems, groundwater transport of various contaminants, and managing urban runoff.

Guy Iverson

Assistant Professor, Health Education & Promotion
Surface water and shallow groundwater quality; nutrient cycling; wastewater management; geospatial analysis.

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Suzanne Lea

Professor, Public Health (Brody School of Medicine)
My research focuses on how environmental quality impacts human health. With a background in environmental health and epidemiology, I often serve as the public health expert for environmental epidemiology studies. I often seek collaborators with expertise in water quality measurement and analysis for exposure assessment in human health research. Recently, I’ve completed research related to resiliency from hurricane-induced flooding and how to improve communication to communities for obtaining information about recovery.

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Eduardo Leorri

Associate Professor, Geological Sciences
My research focuses on understanding coastal evolution at different times scales (from tens of thousands of years to decadal scale) within the Quaternary/Holocene from a multidisciplinary perspective (micropaleontology, geochemistry, sedimentology), including the Anthropogenic impact (physical and chemical) in the coastal systems.

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Phil Lunsford

Professor, Technology Systems
Cyber security, network performance, and application of emerging technologies in electrical engineering and computer science to cross-discipline problems.

David Mallinson

Professor, Geological Sciences
Coastal processes, marine geology, impacts of rising sea-level, and storms on coastal systems in general.

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Alex Manda

Associate Professor, Geological Sciences
Coastal hydrology, borehole geophysics, groundwater modeling, citizen science, water resources management, and geoscience education. In the recent past, Dr. Manda’s research has focused on saltwater intrusion, groundwater management of coastal aquifers, impacts of climate change and sea-level rise on coastal water resources, nutrient transport in groundwater, and public participation in scientific research.

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Jermaine McNair

Teaching Instructor, Sociology
Well regarded throughout the greater Eastern North Carolina community and beyond as a sociology practitioner, Jermaine McNair’s academic and applied efforts focus on inner-city poverty, structural inequities within local social systems, and equitable community engagement models.

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Sid Mitra

Professor, Geological Sciences
research interests involve applying organic molecules to understand coastal water quality impairment, coastal plain wildfires, and Holocene climate change.

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Jim Morley

Assistant Professor, Biology
Jim’s research examines how year-to-year variation in climate impacts marine and estuarine species and their habitats. He also examines the impacts of human-based stressors to marine ecosystems including fishing and habitat alteration. These data can be used to quantify and predict how changes to coastal ecosystems are impacting marine resource species so that policy makers have the right tools for decision making.

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Mike Muglia

Research Associate Professor, Coastal Studies and Coastal Studies Institute
I lead the ECU Coastal Studies Institute’s wave and current resource assessment for the NC Ocean Energy Program and am part of the leadership team for the NC Renewable Ocean Energy Program. My scientific interests include understanding variability in the position and transport of western boundary currents, the complex confluence of different shelf water masses, and meridional overturning circulation linkages between western boundary currents and deep western boundary currents. I apply my oceanographic knowledge and extensive field expertise to develop renewable ocean energy solutions.
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Ariane Peralta

Associate Professor, Biology
I am an interdisciplinary microbial ecologist. My research program examines ecological patterns and processes of the “unseen (microbial) majority” to advance our understanding of environmental microorganisms and their nutrient cycling functions at the land-water interface. This knowledge can inform the conservation and sustainable management of soil and water resources.
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Jacob Petersen-Perlman

Assistant Professor, Geography, Planning & Environment
Water Resources Geographer who investigates political institutions and organizations responding to global environmental change, specifically the changing distribution, and increasing degradation of water resources. Within these interests, he studies security, governance and management aspects of water resources planning; and mechanisms and processes that foster natural resources cooperation and mitigate conflict.

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Qubin Qin

Assistant Professor, Coastal Studies
Dr. Qin’s research covers a broad range of topics in the estuarine and coastal environment, such as hydrodynamics and transport processes, water quality issues, physical-biological interactions, living resource conservation, environmental and public health, and model development. His approach integrates analytical theory, numerical modeling, and analysis of in-situ measured and remotely sensed data. One of his research goals is to generate scientific research findings that can be translated into practical solutions to coastal environmental challenges.

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Jason T. Raupp

Assistant Professor, Maritime Studies
I am an Assistant Professor in the Program in Maritime Studies at East Carolina University. My research interests include historical and maritime archaeology of the Pacific Ocean, Latin America, and the Caribbean; historic fisheries and fishing traditions; military technologies; and battlefield studies.

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Nathan Richards

Professor, Maritime Studies
I am a maritime archaeologist with an interest in the in situ preservation of submerged cultural resources. I have a research interest in archaeological site formation from qualitative (i.e., CAD-based archaeological site modeling) and quantitative perspectives (e.g., measuring corrosion on shipwreck sites). I am presently collaborating on research regarding whether anthropogenic climate change will accelerate underwater archaeological site degradation.

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Tom Rickenbach

Professor, Geography, Planning & Environment
Dr. Tom Rickenbach is an associate professor of atmospheric science in the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.

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Hannah Sirianni

Assistant Professor, Geography, Planning & Environment
I am interested in the rapidly changing developments in geospatial and remote sensing technologies. I use these cutting-edge technologies to help understand and predict how natural and human coastal systems are being altered by various climate change-related influences (e.g., sea-level rise, nuisance flooding, and tropical storms).

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Matthew Sirianni

Assistant Professor, Geological Sciences
Dr. Sirianni is an early career scientist who specializes in the applied use of hydrogeophysical, hydrological, and geospatial techniques to better understand: 1) Ground/Surface Water Interactions, 2) Wetland Disturbance & Carbon Cycling, and 3) Soil Salinization & Saltwater Intrusion.

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Jeffrey Skibins

Assistant Professor, Recreation Sciences
I use conservation psychology frameworks to develop population level models for pro-conservation behaviors. Often, this includes evaluating communication and education strategies for behavior change efficacy.

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Sinan Sousan

Assistant Professor, Public Health
Dr. Sousan’s research focuses on airborne exposures (aerosols and toxic gases) and their health effects. His specific expertise is related to exposure measurements and the possible health effects based on the quantitative analysis of the data collected. His current active projects are personal exposure using low-cost sensors, respiratory protection and respirator efficiency test, quantifying secondhand electronic cigarette exposure, and detecting airborne pathogens inside residential halls and occupational sites. His interest extends to physical hazards such as extreme temperatures, UV exposure, and noise.

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Heather Vance-Chalcraft

Assistant Professor, Biology
Heather Vance-Chalcraft is a biology education researcher with a background in ecology. Her research focuses on strategies to improve student engagement and the development of research and team science competencies. Her main emphasis is on community-engaged learning and student experiences with authentic research.

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Eric Wade

Assistant Professor, Coastal Studies & Coastal Studies Institute
I am an environmental social scientist whose research is interested in understanding and exploring human-environment interactions, primarily drawing from the fields of behavioral economics and social and conservation psychology. I am interested in the motivations behind people’s decisions and behaviors in natural resources and how they develop responses to social and environmental changes. Within this research, I also look at the role of formal and informal institutions in how people interact with the environment.

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Joi Walker

Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Current research projects include: 1) cross-disciplinary practice focused undergraduate laboratory transformation (X-Labs), 2) increased access to authentic undergraduate Research (ChemCUREs), 3) assessment design and validation, 4) undergraduate teaching assistant preparation. Chemistry faculty member on STEM Collaborative for Research in Education (STEM CoRE).

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Rui Wu

Asstant Professor, Computer Sciences
My major research interests are data mining and data visualization. I have been involved in hydrologic research projects, such as nitrate predictions and model accuracy improvement. I am also interested in data visualization. For example, 2D fire spreading data visualization and watershed grid system visualization.

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Hua Xu

Assistant Professor, Political Science
Experienced in rural public health and health policy, environmental health, telehealth, rural and community development, state and local public finance and budgeting, e-government, public policy and administration.

Emily Yeager

Assistant Professor, Recreation Science
I aim to help communities leverage natural, socio-cultural, and hospitality resources to nurture a quality of life. This is accomplished through both quantitative and qualitative methodologies supported by interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks.
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Jeremy Borrelli

Staff Archaeologist, Department of History
I am the Staff Archaeologist with the Program in Maritime Studies at ECU. In my role, I assist with field logistics for classes and grant-funded projects along with scientific diving tasks for a range of research initiatives. My personal research focuses on 18th and 19th century maritime history in North Carolina, the archaeology of ports, harbors, and landing sites, and digital and 3D documentation methods.

Student Affiliates

All students who are members of Pirates on Water are considered to be affiliate members of the Water Resources Center.  We encourage you to be active in all aspects of the WRC community and take advantage of the many resources and activities going on!  Also, taking part in activities like Coffee Time and Journal Club are a great way to get to know your professors!  Your thoughts and ideas are values, so please share and be an active part of the discussion on our Microsoft Teams site (contact us at if you don’t have access).