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  • PI: Alex Soloviev, Ph.D.
  • Lab Manager: Breanna Vanderplow (Master's Student)
  • Post-Doctoral Researcher: Michael McGauley, Ph.D.
  • Research Asssociate: John Kluge (Ph.D. Candidate)
  • Research Assistant: Georgia Parks (Master's Student)
  • Ocean Engineer: Geoff Morrison
  • Captain/Divemaster: Brian Ettinger, M.S. (Field-Work Support)
  • Program Coordinator: Luba Solonenko

Former Students:

  • Atsushi Fujimura - Assistant Professor, University of Guam, Mangialo, Guam
  • Bryan Hamilton – Molecular Biologist, A-TEK, Miami, Florida
  • Christopher Maingot - DD/RSS Field Specialist at Weatherford, Houston, Texas
  • Jenny Ostroff (Fenton) - Biological Scientist, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Saint Petersburg, Florida
  • Katherine Moore - Lab manager, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, Florida
  • Kathy Burge (Young) - Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Central Florida School of Medicine, Orlando, Florida
  • Naoko Kurata - Researcher at Center for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics at Smithsonian Institution, Washington, District Of Columbia

PO Lab actively collaborates with:

  • Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Canada
  • German Aerospace Center (DLR)
  • University of Hamburg, Germany
  • University of Miami, RSMAS, Florida
  • University of Rhode Island
  • Seoul National University, Korea


Breanna Vanderplow

Lab Manager/Master's Student

Breanna Vanderplow is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Marine Science at Nova Southeastern University alongside her work in the Physical Oceanography Laboratory. Her research in the lab focuses on using computational fluid dynamic software (ANSYS Fluent) to model artificial upwelling, and further studying the applications of implementing such a structure, such as increasing productivity, preventing harmful algal blooms, modifying climate on a local scale, and hurricane mitigation. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in both Marine Biology and Biology, with a minor in English, in 2013 from Nova Southeastern University, where she participated in the Honors Program and graduated with high honors. Her passion for marine and environmental studies, as well as experiences working in the NSU Organic Chemistry Laboratory, the Racine Zoological Society, Museum of Science and Discovery, and Wisconsin Humane Society Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, led her to move from Wisconsin to Florida, to pursue a future in Marine Sciences in hopes to contribute to the scientific community and environment.



Michael McGauley, Ph.D.

Post-Doctoral Researcher

Michael is working with Dr. Soloviev on simulating the effects of oil spills on the ocean’s surface and comparing these results with those seen at the new University of Miami air-sea tank. Michael comes from San Diego where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics then moved to Miami to complete his graduate work in Meteorology and Oceanography at the University of Miami, earning a PhD.  Michael’s full-time job is a professor at Miami Dade College where he has been for the past 11 years. Michael has also studied astronomy at Florida International University and has done research at the University of Arizona on exoplanets (planets found outside our solar system). Michael loves to travel and loves to sail.




John "AJ" Kluge

Research Associate/Ph.D. Student

John “AJ” Kluge is a research associate and a PhD candidate at the Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Physical Oceanography Lab. Currently he is working on electromagnetic fields and their correlation to internal waves while aiding in other research conducted in the lab. Before his current work John obtained his Bachelor’s Degree of Marine Sciences  from University of New England and his Masters of Sciences in Marine Biology  from NSU’s Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography. John’s graduate work primarily focused on coral epidemic and population models of four coral genera in the Arabian Gulf.  While working on his Master’s thesis his interest for modeling grew and ultimately led him to pursue a career in Physical Oceanography. Originally from Washington State, John was involved with Metro Parks Tacoma by volunteering or through internship opportunities at various parks around Pierce County.  During his internship at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, he would communicate to the public in a group setting or private tours scheduled by the park. It was these experiences that inspired him to continue his education at the NSU Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography and brought him to where he is today.


Georgia Parks

Research Assistant/Master's Student

Georgia Parks is pursuing a Master of Science in Marine Biology at Nova Southeastern University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Geosciences from Texas A&M University, and is using her background of having a minor degree in Oceanography coupled with her interest in biology to study surfactant-associated bacteria found in the microlayer and subsurface waters in application to Synthetic Aperture Radar. Born and raised in Texas, her pursuit of marine biology led her far away to North Queensland, Australia where she conducted coral surveys on the Great Barrier Reef during a study abroad program – and to Sarasota, Florida where she interned at Mote Marine Laboratory researching the behavioral ecology and physiology of lemon sharks. She hopes to use her research in the Physical Oceanography Lab to make valuable contributions to the scientific community, while learning ways to use advanced technology to better understand biological processes that affect our ocean’s surface.




Geoff Morrison

Ocean Engineer

Geoff is working on a project attempting to identify the physical signatures of surface and internal waves both in the open ocean and in the controlled environment of an experimental wave tank. He has considerable experience collecting and interpreting both Conductivity, Temperature and Depth (CTD) profiler data as well as hydro-acoustic data generated by Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCPs). Born and educated in the United Kingdom he has a  B.S. in Applied Physics, and has had extensive ocean going experience on a variety of platforms operated by a variety of different nations he has worked in the Arctic and Antarctic regions as well as all of the major ocean basins. Geoff is a dinghy sailor and a certified SCUBA diver. In the winter he enjoys downhill skiing.



Brian Ettinger


Brian Ettinger, M.S. has been working with the Oceanographic Center since 1996 when he came to NSU’s Oceanographic Center to complete his Master’s Degree in Marine Biology.  The focus of his study was abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes and reef associated fishes of Broward County, FL.  While at the Oceanographic Center Brian Ettinger became the first AAUS scientific diver during the Oceanographic Center’s process of becoming an AAUS facility.  Brian Ettinger participated in many benthic survey projects involving coral and fish survey and census projects.  Brian Ettinger worked full time with the National Coral Reef Institute as a scientific diver and worked as a scientific diver/field services technician with the Physical Oceanography Lab.  Brian Ettinger is a Licensed Captain (OUPV) and a Diving Instructor for PADI, SSI and PDIC.  He is also an First Aid/CPR instructor with Divers Alert Network, PADI and the American Red Cross.  In addition to the recreational diver agencies, Brian Ettinger has completed the Diver Training Program at the U.S. EPA Diver Training Facility in Gulf Breeze, FL and a Diver Medical Technician at Hyperbarics International in Key Largo, FL.  He has also served as a Dive Team Coordinator and Training Officer for the Hollywood Fire Rescue Dive Team where he is a Fire Lieutenant/ Paramedic. Currently Brian works part time with a local commercial diving company where he is exposed to many different areas of diving.  Brian Ettinger’s B.A. is in Biology Concentrating in Marine Science and was completed at Boston University through the Boston University Marine Program (BUMP).  He has worked at the New England Aquarium as well as taught marine science courses and scientific diving courses at Seacamp Association and Newfound Harbor Marine Institute in Big Pine Key , FL.



Luba Solonenko

Program Coordinator

Luba Solonenko is the Program Coordinator at the Physical Oceanography Lab. She acquired her Bachelor's of Science in Telecommunications-News with a Minor in Leadership from the University of Florida in 2012. During her time at UF she volunteered at WUFT-TV, the PBS-affiliate news station located on the UF campus and held various positions including studio camera operator, reporter, and anchor. She also interned at NBC Miami in the fall of 2011, shadowing local reporters and gaining insight into large market news operations. Following college she worked as a reporter for KTVH, an NBC-affiliate news station located in Helena, Montana and covered stories such as interim legislative meetings at the state's Capitol and county commission meetings. Luba is a member of the National Academy of Television, Arts, and Sciences (NATAS) for the Northwest Chapter through her past work at KTVH. From 2014 to 2018 she served as a judge for various regional NATAS Emmy Awards.


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