Roger Life Stories

Roger Life: From Undergraduate Research to Tropical Coral Career

By Anna Cohen
Tommy Demarco in the lab

Marine Biology major Tommy Demarco ’21 will apply what he learned through his undergraduate research at RWU to his new career as a Microbiology Technician at the Smithsonian Marine Station in Fort Pierce, Fla. Demarco will be working to support coral reef resilience and survival, focusing on tropical coral recruitment and stony coral tissue loss disease.

Unique Research Experience: “Something so unique to Roger is that we don't have marine science graduate students, so we get to be super hands-on in our research as undergraduates. Being able to take part in world-class research with Dr. Sharp is absolutely amazing. It’s definitely a highlight of Roger.”

From Local to Tropical Coral: “The work I’ll be doing is really similar to what I've been doing here in Dr. Sharp’s lab. We've done a lot with settlement of the local coral species, and I'll be transitioning to do the same with tropical species at the Smithsonian. Dr. Sharp was a postdoc at the Smithsonian, so that's a cool little connection.”

Working Toward Sustainability: “I was an RWU Eco-Rep. I did a lot of event planning, like our sustainability fair, and work to make sure that we are a sustainable campus. We have an amazing Marine Bio program, so we should take a huge part in taking care of our environment. Eco-Reps was the perfect medium to do that.”

Demarco is from Framingham, Mass. 

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Roger Life Stories