Steering Committee

Hurricane Ecosystem Response Synthesis Network

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Dr. Christopher J. Patrick (he/him/his) | Lead Principal Investigator
Assistant Professor, Director of SAV Restoration and Monitoring Program at Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William & Mary

Dr. Patrick is a community and ecosystem ecologist focused on understanding factors that drive ecosystem structure and function across scales and extends across the salinity gradient from marine to freshwater ecosystems. Webpage 

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Dr. Beth A. Stauffer (she/her/hers) | Co-Principal Investigator
Associate Professor at University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Dr. Stauffer is a biological oceanographer working to understand how complex phytoplankton communities change with environmental variation across a number of spatial and temporal scales. Her research includes studies on the impacts of Hurricane Harvey and both event-driven and long-term freshening on coastal phytoplankton biomass and communities and the food webs of which they are integral parts. Webpage

Dr. William McDowell

Dr. William McDowell (he/him/his) | Co-Principal Investigator
University of New Hampshire        


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Dr. John Kominoski (he/him/his) | Co-Principal Investigator
Associate Professor at Florida International University                                                         

Dr. Kominoski is an ecosystem ecologist and biogeochemist that studies the effects of disturbance legacies on organic matter processing in coastal ecosystems.  He is the lead Principal Investigator for the Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research program. Webpage

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Dr. David Lagomasino (he/him/his) | Steering Committee Member
Assistant Professor at East Carolina University                                   

Dr. Lagomasino’s research focuses on understanding coastal changes at the landscape-to-global scales and how people and the environment respond to disturbances at the land-sea boundary. Webpage

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Dr. Carrie Hritz (she/her/hers) | Steering Committee Member
Senior Manager at Pew Charitable Trusts                                                           

Dr. Hritz is an interdisciplinary landscape archaeologist with a research focus on socioenvironmental conditions in the past and expertise in the use of Geospatial technologies. She has over 20 years of experience working in Middle Eastern river systems and, more recently, focused on how past conditions may inform current and future environmental challenges.

Peter Edwards

Dr. Peter Edwards (he/him) | Steering Committee Member
Economist at Pew Charitable Trusts   

Dr. Edwards contributes technical expertise to Pew's strategic planning and environmental projects on conservation economics, marine science, and environmental policy. Prior to joining Pew, Dr. Edwards worked at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) where he led research efforts to assess the economic impacts and value of habitat restoration activities for NOAA Fisheries and then led a team that designed and implemented a long-term socioeconomic monitoring program of U.S. coral reef jurisdictions for NOAA's Ocean Service. Prior to working in the US, Dr. Edwards spent over 10 years working in Jamaica and the Wider Caribbean as a consultant and academic researcher focusing on tropical ecology, environmental monitoring, and coastal zone management. He holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology and a master’s in marine sciences from the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica, and a Ph.D. in marine studies from the University of Delaware, USA.

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Dr. Enie Hensel (she/her/hers) | Postdoctoral Researcher
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William & Mary                              

Dr. Hensel current research efforts focus on seagrass restoration ecology in addition to her involvement with HERS (research coordination network for Hurricane Ecosystem Response Synthesis). Dr. Hensel has over a decade of experience working in subtropical and tropical coastal ecosystems, investigating how local and global stressors alter ecosystem functions and network interactions, particularly positive species interactions. Webpage