To educate the public on local marine issues and expand the knowledge of Long Island Sound and the organisms that reside there. To complete pertinent research studies on both invasive species and species lacking current scientific exploration. To monitor water quality in order to demonstrate the ever-improving health of Long Island Sound.
Our staff is comprised on biologists with a B.S. and / or M.S. in Biological Science, Marine Biology, and related fields. This allows our staff to run programs of the highest caliber as our biologists come into the lab with prior knowledge of LIS and its inhabitants. Also, when completing research it is important to have a background in experimental design and procedure, which gives way to the ability to conduct experiments in the field.
CIMRL Staff / Volunteers
Lauren Engstrom- Director / Biologist / Educator
B.S. Biology and Connecticut Teaching Certification Candidate, Southern Connecticut State University (2016)
Brittany Kittle- Lab Assistant/ Biologist/ Educator
M.S. Candidate. Environmental Science, University of New Haven (2017)
B.S. Biology/ Zoology, Delaware Valley University (2013)
Brittany first joined Cedar Island Marina Research Laboratory in 2015 as a summer volunteer. After graduating Manga Cum Laude from Delaware Valley University, Brittany traveled to Hawaii for an internship with a production company. While there, she studied the Kona Manta Rays and was PADI Scuba certified. After the internship was completed, Brittany received a position at the Lehigh Valley Zoo as a guest educator. With both of these positions she gained vast experience in both education ofchildren and adults and the research aspect of biology. Brittany’s passion for biology led her to University of New Haven for a M.S. in Environmental Science. At UNH, she is a research assistant and performs daily surveys and data input. Her current research is on Winter Flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus).
Connie Wall - Biologist / Educator
B.S. Biology, The University of Scranton (2015)
Connie joined the Cedar Island Research Laboratory in June of 2015 as a part-time research biologist and educator. Her particular focus while studying at Scranton was Invertebrate Physiology, specifically that of mollusks and the Blue Mussel (Mytilus edulis). She is currently attending The University of Hartford for a B.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering with a focus on mechanics and flow dynamics.
Connie’s current research involves shell strength and integrity of M. edulis, and has presented on this topic at the Benthic Ecology Meetings in Quebec, Canada (March, 2015). Other projects and interests include comparative physiology and biomechanics of both vertebrates and invertebrates, as well as the use of popular culture in teaching biological concepts.
Emily Hauck - Director / Biologist / Educator
M.S. Candidate, Biology, Southern Connecticut State University (2016)
B.A. Psychology, Southern Connecticut State University (2012)
Emily first joined the Cedar Island Marina Research Laboratory in 2011 as a volunteer research assistant. In May 2012, Emily graduated Magna Cum Laude, with her B.A. in Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University and became a part-time educator and research assistant at the lab. Emily showed her versatility in teaching and working with all ages from children to adults. Emily presented at the majority of our Traveling Touch Tank and Guided Ecological Tour programs and became the director of the lab in June of 2014.
Emily’s constant desire to expand her knowledge on various research methodology and goal to become an educator for younger generations continues to inspire her work. Emily’s current research for her M.S. at Southern Connecticut State includes data collection in studies concerning the spider crab (Libinia emarginata) and Northern star coral (Astrangia poculata). Emily also attended the New England Estuarine Research Society, in 2012 on Block Island, RI and presented at the NOAA Flatfish Biology Conference in 2014.
Beth Patrizzi - Director / Biologist / Researcher
M.S. in Biological Sciences, Southern Connecticut State University (2010)
B.S. in Biological Sciences / Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut (2008)
Beth was the lab director of the Cedar Island Marina Research Laboroatroy for four yeras, from June of 2010 to July of 2014. She joined the Cedar Island Marina Research Laboratory in 2005 as a part-time educator and researcher while attending the University of Tampa. In 2008 Beth graduated from the University of Connecticut with her B.S. in Biological Sciences and a minor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Upon completion of her thesis in 2010, Beth graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with her M.S. in Biological Sciences and became the director of the Cedar Island Marina Research Lab.
Beth has completed research on the only coral present in Long Island Sound, the Northern Star Coral, Astrangia poculata. Her research also includes water quality monitoring in Clinton Harbor, the ecology of organisms including winter flounder and various species of crab. Beth also spent ample time writing reports and various environmental permits. She presented research completed at Cedar Island Marina Research Laboratory at various conferences across New England.
Elyse Rossignol - Biologist / Educator
B.S. Biology & Marine Studies, Southern Connecticut State University (2012)
Elyse joined the Cedar Island Research Laboratory in January 2013 as a part-time research biologist and educator. While studying biology and marines studies at SCSU Elyse worked as an assistant for the biology department. Also during this time Elyse was as a research assistant for SCSU’s Center for Coastal and Marine Studies.
Elyse’s past independent research includes eelgrass restoration and sediment transportation in West Haven, CT. Her experience consists of: water quality monitoring of New Haven Harbor, heavy metal and grain size analysis, beach profiling, guest lecturer, biologist on NOAA’s Surf Clam and Ocean Quahog survey cruise and volunteer in Costa Rica working with Leatherback Turtles.
Elyse is currently a lab assistant at Gateway Community College.
Joe DiRenzo - Biologist / Educator
B.S. Biological Sciences, Southern Connecticut State University (2010)
M.S. Candidate, Geography, University of North Carolina at Charlotte (2014)
Joe joined Cedar Island Marina Research Laboratory in 2009 as research assistant and educator. In June 2011, Joe became a part-time research biologist, where he focused on fieldwork. Joe played an active role in several studies including but not limited to: longitudinal studies on various species of crab (Asian shore, green and blue crabs), flat fishes, and other various fishes and invertebrates.
Joe also played a major role on the open water researching spider crabs and coral. Joe is also adept at working with GIS software and used these skills throughout his time at the lab to contribute to many research projects.
More recently, Joe has turned his interests to the spatial distribution of emerging infectious diseases as he works towards his M.S. in Geospacial Analytics from North Carolina State University in Raleigh.