Meet the Community Science Team!

Present and Past Members

Dr. Elizabeth (Liz) DeMattia (BA, MEM, PhD): Liz is the lead Research Scientist for the DUML Community Science Initiative. Liz has more than 20 years experience conducting ecological research and developing environmental outreach for community-based conservation programs; and is excited to work with our researchers, teachers and students to create community science programs and activities.


Rory McCollum (BA, MEM): Rory is the first Community Engagement Fellow at DUML. She studied community-based and coastal environmental management and has been with the Community Science Initiative since 2022. She loves connecting with community members of all ages, and her passion is running youth programs and learning about how our team can better support the young people here.

Josh Matheson: Josh serves as a Research Technician at the Marine Robotics and Remote Sensing Lab. Transitioning from a background in fighter jet engine maintenance, he has redirected his precision skills towards specializing in GIS and remote sensing. Upon obtaining his undergraduate degree in GIS, he harnessed his expertise in aviation, GIS, and conservation to establish two drone programs benefiting the Cincinnati Nature Center and Cardinal Land Conservancy. 

Claire Sullivan: Claire is a sophomore from Wittenberg University where she studies Environmental Science and Marine Science. She is the Secretary of the Green club at Wittenberg and a member of the women’s varsity tennis team.  Claire has a strong passion for community outreach and sparking environmental awareness in communities.

Asha Bashir: Asha is a junior at Duke University studying biology with a concentration in marine science and minoring in theater studies. Her fervent dedication to conservation has driven her to integrate her passion for the arts into environmental education. Actively engaged in community outreach since the age of 15, she has contriubted to organizations such as Greenpeace Mexico and SELIDER. Asha thrives on discovering innovative intersections between her diverse interests and translating them into meaningful initiatives to benefit the community.

Anjali Boyd: Anjali is a Ph.D. student in the Silliman Lab in the Nicholas School of the Environment and a long-term member of the DUML Community Science Initiative. As a Marine Ecologist, Anjali’s research focuses on examining how environmental pressures will alter marine ecosystems in the future and developing novel ecosystem-based restoration and management practices to restore disturbed marine communities. Anjali is devoted to ensuring that science is 1) being shaped by individuals that reflect the diversity of our population and 2) accessible and comprehensible to all, regardless of age, education level, geographic location, and socioeconomic status.



Morgan Rudd: Morgan is an alumna of Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment (MEM 2018) and current Restoration Coordinator for Duke Restore! While her interests lie broadly in coastal ecology, she is specifically interested in the intersection between human populations and the coast. Morgan’s research focuses on restoration best practices and how to restore shorelines to maximize long-term ecological success and benefits to society. She believes that restoration success starts with community awareness and involvement, and is excited to work with local communities to support healthy coasts!

Rett Newton: Rett is a graduate student volunteer with the DUML Community Science Initiative. As a student and Program Manager of the Duke Marine Robotics and Remote Sensing Lab, Rett is studying how to use drones to detect and identify marine debris in our coastal ecosystems. As a native of Beaufort, NC, Rett is passionate about protecting the coast and keeping our waters and beaches free of marine debris. He has also been very active in discussing water quality issues and initiatives with local schools, civic groups, and government officials. Fun fact- Rett used to be the mayor of Beaufort!

Cristiana Falvo: Cristiana is a drone technician with the MARRS lab and a former CEM! She has data management expertise from the US Geological Survey and works in geospatial and remote sensing. Cristiana is interested pursuing sustainable land management solutions. In her spare time she likes to play ultimate frisbee, surf, and jam with friends on her guitar. 

Justin Ridge: Justin… 

Jodi Psoter: Jodi is the Marine Lab librarian… 

Dimitri Gonzalez (Fall 2023)Dimitri is a student at Wittenberg University in Ohio. He is interested in community science because he feels that by connecting the community their local ecosystems and environments they can help make impactful changes to benefit those ecosystems. When he’s not doing marine activities, he’s probably at the gym or playing lacrosse. 

Ashley Rogers (Fall 2023): Ashley is a student at Vanderbilt University, but is spending the semester at DUML. She loves community science because it’s a great way to connect with and learn from various members of the community. It allows her to work in a collaborative effort to better the surrounding environment. 

Maeda Williams (Fall 2023): Maeda attends Duke Kunshan University, based in Kunshan, China. She loves community outreach because it strengthens the bond between local communities, scientists, and their shared environment.  Outreach has taught her that science can be communicated and appreciated through many different forms.

Betty Alfaro (Summer 2023): Betty is a senior at Duke University double majoring in Biology and Environment Science & Policy on the pre-med track. She loves to work with technology and the natural sciences, especially if it means being outdoors. She’s looking forward to continuing this work with community members and local students to keep them excited about science, art, and all things between.


Sydney Mantell (Fall 2022, Spring 2023): Sydney is a Master of Environmental Management student studying the connection between art, marine science, and critical theory. Her masters project will be a zine that investigates the concept of entanglement using various forms of art. In her free time, she enjoys creating fluid paintings, obsessing over Harry Styles, and religiously watching “Survivor”.  

Mariana Kendall (Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Summer 2023): Mariana is a Master of Environmental Management student studying coastal wetlands. When she’s not considering the history and impact of humanity coastal wetlands, she’s probably looking at raccoon memes (I mean, come on, look at their little hands) or thinking about her dog, Luna. 

Kathryn Lienhard (Spring 2023, Summer 2023): Kathryn graduated from Duke’s MEM program in the spring of 2023. Her masters project investigated living shoreline distribution in coastal North Carolina. She loves the Carolinas and has been a resident in the area since her undergraduate experience at Coastal Carolina University. Her fascinations outside of the marine sphere include cats (especially the marine lab cats), Taylor Swift, and watching “Jersey Shore” with her roommate. 


Tai Deloney (Fall 2022): Tai is a student at Wittenberg University studying Marine Science. 



Hugh Cipparone (Fall 2021, Spring 2022): Hugh is a Master of Environmental Management student studying seafood policy after a few years working as an aquaculture researcher and fisheries observer. When he’s not thinking about the confluence of fish and people, he loves to make music and hike. Hugh is a proud graduate of Bowdoin College and dreams of one day settling in coastal Maine.


Anne Roderer (Fall 2021, Spring 2022): Anne is a Master of Environmental Management candidate interested in policy development at the confluence of water and climate change. As a campus architect and planner prior to coming to Duke, she was an effective advocate for sustainable design and interdisciplinary work and carries forth the belief that there should be at least one scientist at the (decision-making) table.  Anne is a New Yorker at heart and has lived in many locales including DC, Philly, San Fran, Seattle, Baltimore, New Haven, and Florence. She loves food, practicing yoga, and admiring cute tiny dogs.


Kendall Wimberley (Fall 2021, Spring 2022): Kendall is a Master of Environmental Management student at the Nicholas School studying Environmental Economics and Policy. Kendall studied environmental science in undergrad, and before coming to graduate school, served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Knoxville, TN focusing on community work around energy democracy and public utilities. Kendall wants to continually be involved in community work, from building and informing policy to working directly with communities on environmental justice issues. Kendall enjoys biking, baking, knitting, and tending to her numerous houseplants in her free time.


Anna He (Fall 2021, Spring 2022): Anna is a senior at Duke studying Environmental Science and Cultural Anthropology. She is interested in how nature shapes our sense of identity, culture, well-being, and home. She joined the Community Science Initiative to understand how to blend coastal science with community engagement. She is excited to be in community with everyone and build a more climate-resilient society!


Zoe Wong (Fall 2021, Spring 2022): Zoe is a Master of Environmental Management student at the Nicholas School, where she studies Coastal Environmental Management. Before coming to Duke, she conducted research on cetaceans in the Gulf of Maine and worked as a marine ecology and conservation educator in Hawaii. Zoe is interested in illegal fishing, offshore aquaculture, and offshore energy development and is planning to pursue a career in federal policy after graduating. Her Master’s Project focuses on climate adaptations in the US offshore aquaculture industry. In her free time, Zoe enjoys snorkeling, reading, and attempting the daily NYT crossword.


Sage Riddick (Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Summer 2021): Sage is a recent Master of Environmental Management graduate from the Nicholas School, where she studied Coastal Environmental Management. She also pursued a Community-Based Environmental Management certificate. Previously, she was a marine science instructor at Catalina Island Marine Institute teaching 4th-12th graders. On Catalina Island, she enjoyed taking students snorkeling and kayaking for their first time. She is interested in marine policy and sustainable tourism, specifically how tourism is affecting local communities. When she isn’t found studying or working, she can be found exploring the outdoors or cheering on Boston sports.


Corie Grewal (Fall 2020, Spring 2021): Corie is a recent graduate of the Master of Environmental Management program at the Nicholas School, where she studied Coastal Environmental Management. She is currently working for the National Marine Fisheries Service at the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office on the Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle team. Corie has taught environmental education in elementary and middle schools in Massachusetts, where she completed her undergraduate degree at Northeastern University, and onboard whale watching vessels off of coastal New Hampshire. A lifelong New Englander, she was excited to have the opportunity to explore coastal environments with students in North Carolina. Her master’s research focused on examining trends in Bottlenose dolphin depredation on rod and reel anglers in the Gulf of Mexico.

Natalie Rodriguez (Fall 2019, Spring 2020)Natalie is a graduate of the Master of Environmental Management program at the Nicholas School of the Environment and studied Coastal Environmental Management. Growing up in Tampa, Florida instilled in her a passion for the ocean that led her to Duke. Prior to graduate school, she worked with sea turtles at aquariums and interned with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. At Duke, she pursued a Community Based Environmental Management (CBEM) certificate and focused on social aspects of marine conservation for her Master’s Project. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, watching movies, and fishing. Natalie holds a B.A. in Environmental Science and Policy from Florida State University with minors in Biology and Communications.


Waverly Reibel (Fall 2019, Spring 2020): Waverly is a graduate of the Master of Environmental Management program at Duke University. She grew up on Roanoke Island off the coast of North Carolina and spent most of her early days either on a boat or on the beach. While pursuing her Environmental Science degree from Florida State University, she interned at a sea turtle hospital where she developed and implemented public programming that highlighted anthropogenic threats facing endangered marine life. At Duke, she sat on the board for the student organizations DukeFish and the Ocean Policy Working Group. Her Master’s Project focused on bottlenose dolphin nursery groups off the coast of NC. In the future, Waverly hopes to enter a leadership position of a marine conservation non-profit organization that helps to promote research, education and conservation of marine mammals. 


Cassandra Nieman (Summer 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019): Cassandra studied Applied Biology and Spanish at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, before pursuing a graduate degree in Coastal Environmental Management at Duke University. She is interested in examining interactions between coastal communities and their environment with a specific focus on marine debris pollution and recreational fishing for food. In order to achieve a balance of natural and social science, she aims to engage community members in science and the research that affects them.

Ali Boden (Summer 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019): At the Duke Marine Lab, Ali studied Coastal Environmental Management with a focus on the coastal environment. Prior to graduate school, she studied Supply Chain Management & Sustainability at Arizona State University, and worked as a Supply Chain Analyst for PepsiCo. She is interested in sustainable tourism practices, the effects of marine pollution (plastic and chemical) on marine life, and ways to communicate research to the greater public.





Annie Harshbarger (Summer 2017, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2019): Annie was an undergraduate student (Class of 2019) studying Environmental Sciences and Biology. She also researched the applications of drone technology for monitoring the health of feral horse populations in eastern North Carolina. 

Anna Windle (Spring 2018, Summer 2018): Anna was a Masters student studying Coastal Environmental Management at the Duke Marine Lab. She researched the effects of light pollution on nesting sea turtles in North Carolina. As a Maryland native, Anna’s future plans include using her skills and knowledge to protect the Chesapeake Bay.


Elizabeth Nowlin (Fall 2017, Summer 2018): Elizabeth, a native of eastern North Carolina, was a Duke undergraduate student majoring in Environmental Science and Policy with a Marine Science and Conservation Leadership certificate and a Biology minor. Her studies focused on the current and historical interactions between humans, wildlife, and the environment. In the future, Elizabeth hopes to incorporate her passion for teaching and community engagement in her future profession. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys playing ultimate frisbee.

Sam Burdick (Spring 2018): Samantha is a North Carolina native and was a Coastal Environmental Management student at the Duke Marine Lab. Her studies focused on coastal resiliency, water quality, and marine debris. For her Master’s Project, Sam worked with the NC Coastal Reserve to assess the long-term effects of bulkheads on salt marshes.


Jackie McGarry (Fall 2017, Spring 2018): Jackie was a Master of Environmental Management student studying Coastal Environmental Management. She has particular research interests in the local impacts of ocean acidification and understanding coastal communities’ relationship with their environment. Jackie graduated from American University in 2013 with a double major in biology and film and media arts. Afterward, she served as a digital specialist at Ocean Conservancy for three years. When she’s not knee deep in a salt marsh, Jackie enjoys photography, baking, and going for walks with her beagle, Rodney.

Alaina Young (Fall 2017, Spring 2018) : Alaina was a Master of Environmental Management degree candidate with a concentration in Coastal Environmental Management. She researched the northern range of bottlenose dolphins sighted in the Outer Banks.


Adrienne Hewitt (Summer 2017): Adrienne completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science and graduated in May 2018. Her future goals included obtaining a Masters degree in Environmental Sustainability and ultimately working with businesses to reduce their environmental impacts by adopting more sustainable business models.


Flurina Boslough (Summer 2017): Flurina was an undergraduate student (Class of 2020) studying mechanical engineering.