Faculty

The Three Seas program recruits high-caliber faculty who direct active research programs. Our average faculty member has over 10 years of teaching experience with our program. Five of our current faculty members are former Three Seas students who have completed a PhD and returned to teach in our program on a part-time basis in their area of expertise. Many current and former faculty members actively recruit Three Seas alumni as graduate students and research technicians, as they know our students have acquired a diverse skill set needed to succeed in these positions.

Dr. David Kimbro
Assistant Professor, Northeastern University
Prof. Kimbro’s research interests include a broad range of issues in population dynamics, community ecology, invasion biology, ecosystem science, and coastal oceanography. He joins the Three Seas faculty team to teach Experimental Design in Marine Ecology.

Dr. Justin Ries
Associate Professor, Northeastern University
Justin teams up with Mark Patterson to teach the inaugural Oceanography course for Three Seas students and Northeastern undergraduates in Fall 2014. He is particularly well suited to instruct the course, as the common thread throughout Prof. Ries’ work is oceanic change, which he investigates over broad temporal scales.

Dr. Mark Patterson
Professor, Northeastern University
Mark taught in the program at its inception and he is excited to become re-involved in one of the best teaching experiences of his career. An expert in environmental fluid mechanics and ecophysiology, he develops new instruments such as Autonomous Underwater Vehicles. His favorite research experience is saturation diving; so far he has spent 87 days living and working underwater on corals reefs in Hydrolab and Aquarius.

Dr. Donald Cheney
Associate Professor, Northeastern University
Don Cheney’s ties to the Three Seas program date back to its inception thirty years ago. He has taught in several different courses, including Molecular Marine Botany, and Ocean and Coastal Processes. Don returns to the program this year to teach the Marine Botany course.

Dr. Robert Haney
Post-doctoral Research Associate, Northeastern University
Rob Haney joined us last year as the instructor for the Marine Invertebrate Zoology course. When not teaching in the program, Rob is a postdoctoral research associate conducting NSF-funded research with MSC Director, Geoff Trussell, and MSC Associate Director, Steve Vollmer.

Dr. Randall Hughes
Assistant Professor, Northeastern University
Randall Hughes is the instructor for the Marine Biology Careers Seminar. Randall joined the MSC faculty in January 2013 following a research faculty appointment at the Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory. She completed her PhD and postdoctoral work at the University of California Davis in the labs of Jay Stachowicz, Susan Williams, Rick Grosberg, and Ted Grosholz.

Dr. Richard Aronson
Professor and Chair, Biological Sciences Department, Florida Institute of Technology
Rich Aronson has been associated with the tropical portion of the Three Seas program since its earliest days in Jamaica, and was also part of our faculty in French Polynesia. He has extensive research experience in marine communities on both sides of the isthmus of Panama.

Daniel Bisaccio, M.S.
Director of Science Education, Brown University
Daniel Bisaccio has been offering his Tropical Terrestrial Ecology course to Three Seas students since 1990. Dan’s state-side duties include directing the Science Education Program at Brown University, where he also lectures in Education. He is also the project director of HabitatNet, and has established Smithsonian Institution Man-and-Biosphere Field sites in Jamaica, Mexico, and Thailand. Dan has been instrumental in facilitating careers in secondary school education for numerous Three Seas alumni.

Dr. James Leichter
Associate Professor, Scripps Institute of Oceanography
As a graduate student at Northeastern University from 1990-92, Jim took coursework in and served as TA for a variety of courses at each of the program’s locales. Since 1998 he has taught several courses in the program, and is now an instructor for the Ocean and Coastal Processes course in Panama. Numerous alumni of the Three Seas program have assisted Jim with his ongoing research in the Florida Keys and French Polynesia.

Dr. David Combosch
Post-doctoral Research Associate, Harvard University
David Combosch has worked for the Three Seas since 2008 as TA for Coral Biology, Coral Reef Ecology, and Ocean Coastal Processes and was Site Coordinator in both Moorea and Bocas del Toro while conducting his PhD research in Steve Vollmer’s Lab. After graduating in 2013, David joined Gonzalo Giribets Lab at Harvard University and is now teaching Coral Reef Ecology on Coiba Island in the Tropical Eastern Pacific.

William Precht, M.S.
Director of Marine & Coastal Programs, Dial Cordy and Associates, Inc.
Bill’s tenure with the Three Seas program dates back to 1988. Although he currently serves as the Director of Marine & Coastal Programs at Dial Cordy and Associates, Bill still maintains active research in the Florida Keys and Belize. He brings a geological perspective to the ecology of coral reefs in his section of the Coral Reef Ecology course.

Dr. Jameal Samhouri
Research Fisheries Biologist, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Jameal joined us in 2013 to co-teach the Biology & Ecology of Fishes course. When not teaching in our program, Jameal is based at the Conservation Biology division of NOAA Fisheries Service in Seattle, Washington.

Dr. Adrian Stier
Kiliam Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of British Columbia
Adrian’s association with the Three Seas program began in 2007 when he served as the Teaching Assistant for the Biology & Ecology of Fishes class, while conducting dissertation research at our former tropical site in Moorea, French Polynesia. Now a Kiliam Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of British Columbia, Adrian joins us at our Caribbean location as instructor.

Dr. Steven Vollmer
Associate Professor, Northeastern University
Steve Vollmer is a Three Seas alumnus who returned to Northeastern University after completing his doctoral research. He has been teaching the Biology of Corals class in Panama since our move there in 2010, which he was instrumental in orchestrating. He maintains an active, NSF-funded research program at the STRI lab in Bocas del Toro.

Dr. Sean Place
Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina
Sean Place joined our faculty in 2009, co-teaching the Physiological and Molecular Marine Ecology course while a Postdoctoral Research Associate at UCSB. His research examines the physiological responses of marine organisms when subjected to significant variation of one or more abiotic factors. By integrating experimental approaches at the molecular, cellular, and biochemical level, Sean is a perfect match for this course.

Dr. Steven Scyphers
NSF SEES Postdoctoral Fellow, Northeastern University
Steven is a postdoctoral fellow in Jonathan Grabowski’s lab at Northeastern’s Marine Science Center and joins the Three Seas Program in 2014 to teach Marine Conservation Biology. His research couples ecological and social science tools to understand and improve decision-making along sheltered coastlines and in coastal fisheries, and he is currently supported by an NSF Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES) Fellowship.

W. Breck Tyler, M.S.
Associate Marine Specialist, University of California at Santa Cruz
Breck Tyler has been teaching the Marine Birds and Mammals course in the Three Seas Program since 1994. He is based at the Institute of Marine Sciences at Long Marine Laboratory, in Santa Cruz, where he’s had extensive research and lecture experience with Pacific Coast marine birds and mammals. In addition to our Marine Birds & Mammals course, Breck also co-teaches the Pelagic Ecosystem Function Research Apprenticeship at Friday Harbor Labs during the fall semester.

Northeastern University's Three Seas Program