I was born in New City, NY, a suburb located approximately 35 minutes northwest of New York City. I attended the State University of New York at Geneso, and received a B.S. in biology with a minor in chemistry. After Geneseo, I received a Master’s in Science from Stony Brook University’s Marine Science Research Center (since re-named SoMAS). I studied marine viral ecology under Dr. Gordon Taylor. During my PhD research I lived in historic Mystic, CT, with my wife; however, we recently moved to Branford, CT. My wife, Rosie, is also a talented science nerd. Rosie is finishing an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse program in Nurse Anesthesia; she will be a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). That means she puts people to sleep in the operating room for a living. Coincidentally, sometimes I find myself having the best sleep of my life, where I don’t remember a thing…My favorite hobbies are cooking, gardening, skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking. While I am a New York (Italian) native, I have fallen in love with New England. Rosie and I hope to settle down in the Northeast, start a family, and enjoy the rest of our lives.
I have always loved the ocean. I spent countless hours snorkeling and exploring different beaches with my mother and grandfather. But, it wasn’t until I spent a summer on a remote Maine (Shoals Marine Lab) island studying the field biology of the rocky intertidal zone that I realized I wanted to dedicate my career to the ocean. It was influential mentors at Geneseo, Dr.s Sid Bosch and Gregg Hartvigsen, that highlighted the power of teaching and mentoring. They showed me that I wanted nothing more than to teach science at the college level. At UConn, Dr. Hans Dam is helping me achieve that goal by honing my critical thinking, research, and mentoring skills.