Honoring Kwami Alexander and Jacob Dybiec

The CERF community mourns the loss of two rising stars in coastal and estuarine science. Both planned to attend and present at CERF 2023, but tragically passed away this summer. 

Kwami Alexander 

Kwami Alexander passed away on his home island of St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, on 11 July 2023 at the age of 24. He had recently earned his Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) and was working toward a career in marine biology. He had been working with CERF board member Kristin Wilson Grimes at UVI and was set to begin a fellowship with the US Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources Fish and Wildlife on St. Croix and had submitted an abstract to present at CERF 2023. As a tribute to Kwami, his research, “GRROE-ing for the Future Resilience and Restoration of Mangrove Forests in the U.S. Virgin Islands,” will be presented by UVI colleague Kayla Halliday at the Monday Poster Session.

Learn more about Kwami in his obituary

Jacob Dybiec

Jacob “Jake” Dybiec passed away on 3 July 2023 at age 29. Jake was pursuing a PhD in biology at the University of Alabama in the lab of Julia Cherry. Jake’s dissertation examined the impacts of environmental variation of plant interactions and ecosystem stability in tidal marshes. Jake was selected for the 2022-2024 cohort of the NOAA Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Fellowship. As a tribute to Jake, Julia will present his research “Interactive effects of nutrient enrichment and waves along a tidal marsh ecotone” on Tuesday, 14 November, at 2:15 PM in the “Human impacts and climate change” session in room D135. Contributions may be made in Jake’s memory to South Alabama Land Trust, Two by Two Rescue, or Black in Marine Science.

You can learn more about Jake in his obituary