Merryl Alber is a Professor in the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Georgia and the Director of the UGA Marine Institute on Sapelo Island. She is the Lead Investigator of the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems Long Term Ecological Research program, which is focused on the effects of climate change and human activities on salt marshes and estuaries. She also founded the Georgia Coastal Research Council, which seeks ways to improve communicatin between scientists and coastal managers. Alber received a B.S. in Botany and Zoology from Duke University and a Ph.D. from the Boston University Marine Program.