By Paige Welsh
We are pleased to welcome two new early careers fellows to the center team: Collin Closek as our new early career science fellow, and Jesse Reiblich as our new early career law and policy fellow. Closek has a research background in molecular biology and ecology. He completed his B.S. in Biology at the University of Georgia. His doctoral research focused on tropical coral diseases, reef health, and changes in associated microbial diversity.
“I wanted to be a marine biologist since I was little,” said Closek, “During college, I got the chance to work in two marine research labs and the opportunity to go on a 30-day research cruise in the Atlantic, which made me appreciate the interdependence and symbiosis with other organisms. That was when I decided the focus of my scientific work needed to be on the health marine organisms and the ocean.”
Closek poses just before a dive.
He began his doctoral studies in California at UC Merced and completed his Ph.D. at Penn State. Afterwards, he was a joint postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington's School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and the University of Maryland's Institute for Marine and Environmental Technology working on Sea Grant-funded projects to study oyster and abalone diseases in California. Closek hopes his work will continue to improve eDNA technology, bringing it closer to being a low cost and accurate method for monitoring biodiversity in ocean environments.
“This is an area where policy and science often overlap and I hope our research can inform better policy measures,” said Closek.
Reiblich, our new law and policy fellow, will use his background in environmental and land use law to further the Center’s projects around adapting the coast for climate change and sea level rise.
“In my time here, I hope to contribute to the Center’s mission as much as I can, carve my own niche in ocean and coastal law and policy, publish several articles and develop professionally as much as possible,” said Reiblich.
Reiblich, a world traveler, will further our coastal adaptation projects.
After spending his formative years in Arizona and Florida, Reiblich earned B.A. degrees in Philosophy and English and minored in Environmental Studies at the University of Florida. Jesse went on to earn his J.D. at the University of Florida Levin College of Law where he earned a Certificate in Environmental and Land Use Law. Reiblich is an avid traveler and completed an around-the-world trip prior to starting law school. He visited Asia, Europe and Central America. Finally, Reiblich earned his LL.M. degree in Environmental and Land Use Law, also at the University of Florida, through a grant from the Florida Climate Institute.
“It was gradual, but hoping to work on environmental law and policy informed my decision to attend law school,” said Reiblich about his journey, “Reading about Surfrider’s [a foundation devoted to coastal conservation] work litigating ocean and coastal cases also informed this decision.”
During law school, Reiblich interned with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission where he worked on issues relating to fisheries management and endangered species protection. He has published several law review articles on subjects ranging from legal protections of surf breaks to climate change.
The Center is excited to welcome both Closek and Reiblich aboard to the team. We are certain that their skills and enthusiasm will be invaluable in our mission to link science to policy.