CEED Faculty and Staff

Dr. Tim M. Scott, DirectorDr. Timothy M. Scott, Director
Dr. Scott joined Roger Williams University in 1996 as an Assistant Professor of Marine Biology. Since 1999 he has served as the Director of CEED and is also the Forrest C. Lattner Professor of Environmental Science. Dr. Scott earned his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from Stony Brook University, and spent five years sailing as Chief Scientist with the Sea Education Association of Woods Hole, MA. His past experience includes studies on the genetics and diversity of marine mammals and commercial-scale shellfish aquaculture. Dr. Scott is a member of the Aquaculture Regulatory Working Group of the RI Coastal Resources Management Council and the Professional Advisory Committee of the New York Harbor School. He previously served on the Executive Committee of the Rhode Island Aquaculture Initiative; was a member of the Bay Trust, a sixteen member commission set up by the RI House of Representatives to assess the economic and environmental development in Narragansett Bay, and was on the Fisheries and Aquaculture Panel of the Governor’s Narragansett Bay and Watershed Planning Commission.

Dr. Andrew Rhyne, Professor of Marine BiologyDr. Andrew Rhyne, Professor of Marine Biology
Dr. Rhyne joined RWU in 2008 and holds a joint appointment as a Research Associate with the New England Aquarium. He has a B.S. degree in marine biology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and both a M.Sc. degree and Ph.D. in biological sciences from the Florida Institute of Technology. He has numerous publications and his research interests include the biodiversity and conservation of marine invertebrate species commonly traded in the marine ornamental industry, the commercial scale production of marine copepods as larval food, and reproductive ecology and population biology of peppermint shrimp. Dr. Rhyne splits his time between RWU and NEAq and is responsible for the growth and development of our program in marine ornamental research.

Dr. Koty Sharp, Associate Professor of Marine BiologyDr. Koty Sharp, Associate Professor of Marine Biology 
Dr. Sharp joined the RWU faculty as an Assistant Professor in 2015. She received her B.A. in Biology at Mount Holyoke College and her PhD from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego in 2006. She has formerly held positions with the Smithsonian Institution, New England Biolabs, and Eckerd College. Her field and laboratory research is centered around the microbial ecology and natural products chemistry of invertebrate-microbial symbioses. Her recent work has focused on microbiome diversity and dynamics in tropical and temperate corals, identification of antibacterial compounds produced by coral-associated bacteria, and exploration of the microbiology of microplastics toxicology in Narragansett Bay. Since 2016, she has co-convened annual workshops to gather researchers and educators who work on the local, temperate coral Astrangia poculata, and together this group is working to establish this coral as a model organism for broad studies of animal-microbe symbioses.

Dr. Roxanna Smolowitz, Associate Professor of Marine BiologyDr. Roxanna Smolowitz, Associate Professor of Marine Biology
Dr. Smolowitz joined the faculty in the summer of 2009 and developed the RWU Aquatic Diagnostic Laboratory. Dr. Smolowitz has a B.A. from Indiana State University and a D.V.M. degree from Purdue University. She completed a residency in veterinary pathology at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital, Boston, MA in 1984 and was a Bang Fellow at the Marine Biological Laboratory where she studied disseminated neoplasia in soft shell clams and viral diseases in shrimp.  Dr. Smolowitz provided aquatic veterinary services and was  a researcher at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA for several years  and has served as the lead Veterinarian for the New England Aquarium.  Since joining CEED in 2009, she has established and led the Aquatic Diagnostic Laboratory which provides fish and shellfish diagnostic services to the aquaculture community in the northeast U.S.   She is a member of the Rhode Island Biosecurity Counsel, the World Aquaculture Veterinary Medical Association and is the Veterinarian of record for the RWU Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). She has a long standing interest in the disease and pathology of fish and shellfish and is widely recognized as one of the leading veterinary researchers in this field. Her research interests various diseases of bivalves, including the study of QPX disease and neoplasia in quahogs.  She also had published the pathological descriptions of various shell diseases in lobsters. She is the author of over 50 original research articles and book chapters and has attracted the prestigious AQUAVET Program (www.vet.cornell.edu/aquavet) to our campus.
Email: rsmolowitz@rwu.edu

Bradford Bourque, Marine Laboratory ManagerBradford Bourque, Marine Laboratory Manager
Captain Bourque joined CEED as the Marine Laboratory Manager in 2001. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Fisheries and Aquaculture from the University of Rhode Island, a Master’s degree in Fisheries Aquaculture from Auburn University, and he recently earned his 50-ton Coast Guard Master License. Mr. Bourque oversees student activity in the Marine Lab, teaches several science labs each year and is actively involved in numerous research projects. He was co-PI with Dr. Skip Pomeroy (RWU Faculty Emeritus) on the grants that established the ornamental fish research program, and a co-founder of the production company, New England Marine Ornamental, Inc.
Email: bbourque@rwu.edu

Liam Brosnahan, Assistant Hatchery TechnicianLiam Brosnahan, Assistant Hatchery Technician
Liam Brosnahan graduated from RWU in 2019 with a B.S in Marine Biology and a minor in Aquaculture and Aquarium science. While at RWU, Liam helped construct the first ornamental fish hatchery in the Dominican Republic. He also conducted a CEED funded research project looking to optimize Artemia production and presented the findings at the World Aquaculture Society in 2019. Liam is also currently the Senior In-House aquarist at Something Fishy Inc. in Warwick RI. Liam joined the CEED team in early 2022 to help with hatchery production.

Shawna Chamberlain, Microalgae ManagerShawna Chamberlin, Microalgae Manager and Marine Biology Camp Director
Shawna  is a RWU graduate (2013) with a major in Marine Biology and a double minor in Spanish and Aquaculture & Aquarium Science. While at RWU, Shawna worked in the CEED Marine Lab as a Research Assistant, with a focus on microalgae and copepod culture. While at RWU she completed research on the population growth of Parvocalanus sp. copepods in relation to culture volume and algal density, which she presented at the World Aquaculture Society meeting in 2013. Post-graduation Shawna worked in various aquaculture facilities throughout the Northeast, with both fish and shellfish, before landing most recently in the Hatchery at Island Creek Oysters. During her six years at ICO she assisted with building their microalgae program, as well as all things shellfish-related, from spawn to seed. Shawna joined the CEED team in early 2022 to oversee and develop the Microalgae Culture Facility.
Email: schamberlin@rwu.edu

Allex Gourlay, Marine Ornamental Research AssociateAllex Gourlay, Marine Ornamental Research Associate
Allex is a 2015 RWU graduate of Marine Biology with a double minor in Mathematics and Aquaculture and Aquarium Science. While at RWU she worked as a Research Assistant in the CEED Marine Lab, and completed a senior thesis to determine the effects of social dominance on sexual allocation of recruiting juvenile Catalina gobies (Lythrypnus dalli) through behavioral observations and histological analysis of gonads under the direction of Dr. Andy Rhyne. Following graduation, Ms. Gourlay returned to the CEED Marine Laboratory for a year as an Aquarist that worked both on campus and at the local Audubon Society of Rhode Island maintaining their aquatic exhibits before receiving her Masters in Biology from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth on the skin mucous proteome of the Clark’s clownfish (Amphiprion clarkii) associating with various sea anemone species. She has been a RI NSF-EPSCoR Undergraduate Research fellow and is PADI SCUBA certified. Allex is responsible for the oversight of the research initiatives, and day-to-day operation of CEED’s Marine Ornamental Hatchery. Email: agourlay@rwu.edu

Aaron Langmuir, AquaristAaron Langmuir, Aquarist
Aaron Langmuir recently graduated from RWU in 2022 with a double major in Marine Biology and Aquaculture and Aquarium Science. As a student, Aaron completed a research project that designed an automatic feeder to dispense Artemia nauplii, greatly reducing manual feeding and improve larval shrimp development. His other research projects focus on developing techniques to culture novel invertebrates including Sexy dancing shrimp (Thor ambionensis) and the Blue tuxedo urchin (Mespilia globulus). As the Aquarist, Aaron helps maintain the systems and animals in the CEED Marine Lab along with the exhibits at the Audubon Society of Rhode Island Nature Center and Aquarium. He is working on introducing more invertebrates to the CEED Marine Ornamental Hatchery with research projects on the culturing of the Pederson cleaner shrimp (Ancylomenes pedersoni) and Harlequin shrimp (Hymenocera picta).   Email: alangmuir@rwu.edu


Susanna Osinski, Research Associate Susanna Osinski, Research Associate/Shellfish Technician
Susanna joined the CEED team in 2021 as the Shellfish Field and Extension Technician. She manages RWU’s FerryCliffe Shellfish Farm and Nursery systems. She coordinates field work as well as communicates via extension and outreach work with research partners, local aquaculturists, local government, and our own RWU students. She is currently working on getting her Captain’s License to be Roger Williams’ first female boat captain! Susanna has a B.S. from Cornell University (2020) in Interdisciplinary Studies focused in Biology and Business, as well as a double minor in Marine Biology and Agribusiness Management. She recently finished an ORISE Researcher Fellowship in 2021 with the U.S. EPA in Narragansett, RI. Susanna also has an extensive background in oyster farming from growing up on her family's oyster farm, Widow's Hole Oyster Co., in Greenport, Long Island that first sparked her interest in Marine Biology. Email:

Kristen Savastano, Research Associate/Shellfish Technician

Email: ksavastano@rwu.edu

Abigail Scro, Aquatic Diagnostic TechnicianAbigail Scro, Aquatic Diagnostic Technician
Abbey is an RWU alum with a double major in Marine Biology and Mathematics. While at RWU, she completed research on the development of a molecular diagnostic (PCR) for the detection of juvenile winter flounder in blue crab stomach contents under Dr. David Taylor. Following graduation, Abbey started as a diagnostic technician in the ADL. Her interest in marine pathogens continued to grow, eventually leading her to pursue further education. Abbey went on to receive her Master’s of Science in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences with a certificate in Aquaculture and Fish Health from University of Florida. Her thesis research focused on characterizing potential pathogens of the bay scallop, Argopecten irradians, in the Gulf of Mexico. Abbey has since returned to the ADL and is continuing to use traditional diagnostic skills combined with new molecular skills (qPCR, metagenomics, metabarcoding) for the detection of pathogens in marine invertebrates. She has been a RI NSF-EPSCoR Undergraduate Research fellow, as well as a recipient of a AMNH Lerner-Gray Marine Research Grant, and is an AAUS certified diver. Email: ascro@rwu.edu

Alicia Schickle, Post-Baccalaureate Research TechnicianAlicia Schickle, Research Technician
Alicia, an RWU alum (Marine Biology/Visual Arts '18), is currently a Rhode Island INBRE-funded post-baccalaureate research fellow in the Sharp Lab. Before joining the Sharp Lab she had a background in ornamental fish husbandry and is now expanding her aquarium husbandry knowledge outside the realm of fish and into microbial ecology of corals and coral spawning. Alicia has recently managed the building of two new recirculating raceway systems to house Astrangia in the lab and helps care for an Astrangia exhibit at the Audubon Society of Rhode Island. She is currently performing experiments on how microplastic-associated microbes impact Astrangia ingestion behavior. When not in the lab, Alicia can be found drawing scientific illustrations or painting surreal works. Email: aschickle@rwu.edu

Ben Towne, Assistant Aquatic Diagnostic Technician
Email: btowne@rwu.edu