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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Tsunami Experts

Media Contact: Wendy Roworth, 401-874-2773

KINGSTON, R.I. -- January 7, 2005 -- The University of Rhode Island offers several experts who can provide insight and commentary on various aspects of the recent tsunami disaster and its aftermath:

Tsunamis - Stephan Grilli, professor of ocean engineering, is one of the nationís leading experts on the science of tsunamis. His research on numerical modeling of long wave propagation and run-up in the ocean, as well as other tsunami-related projects, has been funded for many years.

Malaria, Mosquito-transmitted Diseases - Thomas Mather, professor of entomology, studies diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks and other insect vectors. He can provide insight on malaria, Dengue fever and other infectious diseases transmitted by mosquitoes that could result in many more deaths in the affected region.

Sri Lanka coastal management - Stephen Olsen, director of the URI Coastal Resources Center, has worked in partnership with the government of Sri Lanka since 1985 on issues related to coastal development, resource management, coastal erosion and storm hazards.

Sexual exploitation - Donna Hughes, professor of womenís studies, is an international expert on sex trafficking of women and children and can comment on the potential exploitation of tsunami survivors by sexual predators and others in the area.

Marine geology - Roger Larson, professor of oceanography, is a marine geologist studying plate tectonics who can comment on the science behind underwater earthquakes and the formation of tsunami waves.

Mental health care - James Campbell, director of the URI Counseling Center, has extensive experience counseling victims of man-made and natural disasters, including the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the crash of the Egypt airliner. He can address the psychological impact on victims and aid workers, as well as the importance of recognizing and respecting cultural differences during counseling.

To contact any of these experts, please call the URI News Bureau at 401-874-2116 or email Dave Lavallee at or Jan Wenzel at