jellyfish in jar


Faculty in the Marine Biology and Coastal Sciences program engage students in research and educational opportunities spanning the world. As a student, you have the opportunity to pursue marine biology and marine biological research. Dr. Bologna has been leading research and educational trips to St. Johns Island (US Virgin Islands) since 2003. This work has yielded three papers published with students and over 12 scientific presentations. Drs. Brachfeld and Passchier have traveled to Antarctica to investigate polar sediments and students have traveled with them to pursue research. Additionally, the University has a vibrant Study Abroad Program and opportunities such as Operation Wallacea, Three Seas Program, Semester at Sea, and courses and research through the New Jersey Marine Science Consortium.

Students in the program engage in both undergraduate and graduate research. Research opportunities abound in marine biology, aquatic ecology, geosciences, and environmental sciences for students in the program. Many student research projects are presented at regional and national meetings and many have been published in research journals.

Faculty Research Interests/Projects

Paul Bologna

  • Caribbean Black Sea Urchins
  • Use of mangroves and seagrasses by fish and invertebrates
  • Seagrass diversity and secondary production
  • Herbivory and tropical plant diversity
  • Seagrass Restoration
  • Seagrass Community Structure

Lisa Hazard

  • Salinity impacts on New Jersey amphibians
  • Distribution and impact of waterborne amphibian diseases in New Jersey
  • Osmoregulation, keeping the organism’s fluids from becoming too diluted or too concentrated, and salt gland function in marine and desert lizards

As a physiological ecologist, my primary interest is in organism-level biology: how individual organisms function and behave, how they are influenced by their environment and their evolutionary history, and how this ultimately leads to the evolution of biological diversity. My research focuses on the physiological ecology of reptiles and amphibians, integrating lab and field studies, often with a conservation-oriented approach. My current major areas of study include the impact of anthropogenic changes to environmental salinity on temperate zone amphibian species and the factors influencing distribution of water-borne amphibian diseases in New Jersey; I am involved in several other projects as well. I have found fascinating variation among species in how they cope physiologically and behaviorally with environmental or dietary salts, with profound implications for the evolution of physiological traits and for the conservation of imperiled species. Students participate in all aspects of my research, and several have been co-authors on conference presentations and peer-reviewed publications.

Sandra Passchier


  • Sedimentary records of polar ice sheet dynamics
  • Ecomorphodynamics of mid-latitude coastal systems

Dr. Sandra Passchier and her students study sedimentary records of polar ice sheet dynamics in collaborative research efforts involving expeditions to the Arctic and the Antarctic. As a science team member she was involved in six international scientific drilling projects. Ice sheet thickness and extent affect local and global sea level, sea-ice formation, and physical and biogeochemical processes in the ocean that control important variables in our Earth’s climate system. The group’s work has directly informed the broader understanding of polar ice sheet dynamics and future sea level rise, ocean circulation, and the evolution of Southern Ocean plankton ecosystems. She also worked on the ecomorphodynamics of mid-latitude coastal systems. She is currently a member of the U.S. Advisory Committee for Scientific Ocean Drilling (USAC). Within the Marine Biology and Coastal Science program Dr. Passchier teaches Advanced Marine Geology.

Jorge Lorenzo Trueba


  • Mathematical Modeling of Earth’s Dynamical Systems
  • Linkages between coastal geomorphology, ecology, and human activities
  • Linkages between coastal geomorphology and stratigraphy


  1. A Geoeconomics Approach to Long-term Coastal Hazards Management
  2. Coupled barrier-backbarrier system responses to long-term coastal change

Meiyin Wu

Interests and Projects

  • Bioaccumulation of Mercury in New Jersey Aquatic Ecosystems
  • Pathogen Indicator
  • Ultrasonic Control of Aquatic Invasives
  • Greenhouse Gas Fluxes of Wetlands

Aquatic Ecology

  • Wetland Characterization
  • Invasive Species
  • Lake Ecology
  • Amphibian Ecology


  • Antarctic Sediment structure
  • Sediment Contamination