Meet the Instructors

Dr. Jane Caffrey

Dr. Jane M. Caffrey, a Professor in UWF’s Center for Environmental Diagnostics and Bioremediation (CEDB), has several research interests. They include estuarine nutrient biogeochemistry and the cycling of oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorus – specifically, how bacteria alter these essential nutrients. She has worked on water quality issues and seagrass restoration with local NGOs and state agencies. EPA and the Electric Power Research institute funded a seven-year study with colleagues at Florida State University to determine the sources of mercury in rainwater, specifically the contribution of local emissions of mercury from coal-fired power plants.

Her current research includes water quality and nitrogen cycling in sea grass beds to guide restoration efforts, effects of phosphorus spills on estuarine biogeochemistry and the impact of artificial reefs on primary production, nutrient cycling and fish production. Caffrey’s findings have been published in Nature, Estuaries and Coasts, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Aquatic Microbial Ecology and other journals.

Caffrey received a Ph.D. in Marine Environmental and Estuarine Studies from the University of Maryland. She earned a M.S. in Marine Science from Louisiana State University and a B.A. in Biology from Cornell University. A former Fulbright Scholar, NRC post-doc and research oceanographer, she joined UWF in 1999. Among the courses she teaches: Estuarine Ecology, Aquatic Botany and From Wastelands to Wetlands.

Jane Caffrey portrait


Dr. Alexis Janosik

Dr. Alexis Janosik is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology; her research focuses on molecular ecology and evolution of invertebrates and fishes. Janosik’s research includes Environmental DNA, evolutionary history of invertebrates and fish, Antarctica and the Gulf of Mexico, and phylogeography, the study of population genetics and the historical processes that may be responsible for the contemporary geographic distributions of individuals. Some of her most recent research focuses on the phylogeography of invertebrates of the Gulf of Mexico and on Environmental DNA (eDNA) of Gulf and Alabama Sturgeon.

Janosik previously examined environmental DNA as a tool for detecting imperiled fishes and conducted research on the evolutionary history of Southern Ocean seastar species and unrecognized Antarctic biodiversity, among other topics. Janosik has made three research trips to the Antarctic and one to the Atlantic Continental Shelf. Janosik’s work has been published in Environmental Biology of Fishes, Marine Biology, Polar Biology and others.

Janosik has two degrees from Auburn University – a Ph.D. in Biology and a B.S. in Marine Biology. Her dissertation was titled “Seeing Stars: A Molecular and Morphological Investigation of Odontasteridae (Asteroidea).” Among the courses she teaches: Concepts of Oceanography & Marine Biology, Biology of Coral Reefs, Marine Mammalogy, and Tropical Marine Ecology in the Bahamas.

Alexis Janosik portrait


Dr. John Pecore

Dr. John Pecore, an Associate Professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Educational Leadership in the College of Education and Professional Studies, has researched innovative ways to engage students in science.

They include using inquiry projects and cases to stimulate students’ interest in learning science.  Pecore also has examined teachers’ facilitation of science inquiry pedagogy.

His work has been published in books, book chapters and refereed journal articles. Pecore co-edited a book, “Interplay of Creativity and Giftedness in Science” and was section editor for the “International Handbook of Progressive Education.”

His scholarly interest includes situating learning in contextualized experiences with an emphasis in project-based learning and instruction; he has written about progressive education, science self-efficacy, teaching practices, and science standards. Pecore’s work has appeared in The Journal of Mathematics and ScienceInterdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based LearningJournal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, International Journal of Progressive Education and The Science Teacher, among others.

Pecore has been awarded several science education-related grants, including one from the National Science Foundation. He provides teacher workshops, summer camps and community outreach both regionally and nationally.

Pecore, a former environmental scientist, taught science courses in middle and high school before he earned a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning from Georgia State University. He has a M.Ed. in Science Education from Georgia State and a B.S. in Physics and Chemistry from Old Dominion University.

John Pecore portrait


Dr. Wade Jeffrey

Dr. Wade Jeffrey is Distinguished University Professor and Director of the Center for Environmental Diagnostics and Bioremediation as well as director of the Reubin O'D. Askew Institute of Multidisciplinary Studies (AIMS). Jeffrey is an oceanographer focusing on bacterial function and diversity in the ocean. He studies the effects of ultraviolet radiation on marine microbes and has worked around the globe. He has also been involved with projects examining the effects of oil on microbial communities in the Gulf of Mexico, spawned by the 2010 BP oil spill.

A UWF faculty member since 1991, he has taught many courses, including Biological Oceanography, Climate Change Biology and Professional Development in Biology. Jeffrey has raised more than $6.5 million in outside funding for research projects that involved him, other faculty members and students.Jeffrey earned a Ph.D. and a M.S. in Marine Science from the University of South Florida and a B.S. in Biology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He also was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the EPA Research Laboratory on Pensacola Beach.

Numerous publications have carried his findings in leading journals including Nature, Nature Microbiology, Limnology and Oceanography, and Biogeosciences. He has represented UWF on the Florida Institute of Oceanography’s advisory committee for over 15 years. In addition he has been Associate Editor since 2004 of Limnology and Oceanography, which publishes original research articles, reviews, and comments about all aspects of limnology (the study of inland waters) and oceanography.

Wade Jeffrey portrait


Thomas Asmuth

Thomas Asmuth, associate professor, teaches digital and experimental media.

Asmuth is a transdisciplinary artist whose practices are influenced by the intersections of art and science, identity and robotics.

Asmuth studied physics in college, but exposure to the arts initiated a journey where science and art coexist. In his work, he uses a mixed-methodologies approach to affect innovation or gain new insights. An example of this concept is his exploration of sound. His project “Otto’s Ghost” is an installation of 300 autonomous units that constructs a soundscape that tracks the movement of time, thereby creating an ecosystem of natural input and emergent technological response. This project debuted at the 2013 Art in Odd Places in Greensboro, North Carolina.

An advocate of transdisciplinary collaboration, he often involves other artists, engineers and scientists in his work. He is collaborating with artists and environmental scientists at UWF and the Virginia Commonwealth University on “Turbidity Paintings,” a project funded by the Florida Research Fellowship. In May 2016, Asmuth and his team presented the concept for their work at the 22nd International Symposium of Electronic Art in Hong Kong.

Asmuth has exhibited his work and collaborations in national and international venues, including the 17th International Symposium on Electronic Art in Istanbul; the Laguna Art Museum in California; Zer01 Biennial (2006, 2008 and 2012) in San José, California; and the Francis Tang Teaching Museum in Saratoga Springs, New York. 

Thomas Asmuth portrait