Aswani Volety is the Dean and Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, and Executive Director - Center for Marine Science at University of North Carolina Wilmington. He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Andhra University in India, his Ph. D. from Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, and two graduate certificates from Harvard University. He is the recipient of prestigious fellowships such as the National Academy of Sciences / National Research Council and Fulbright Foundation. He previously worked at the US EPA (Gulf Breeze, Florida) and Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida.
In his current role as Dean and Executive Director, he serves as the chief academic, fiscal and administrative officer for the college, which includes more than 10,000 students in 25 programs and departments including the Center for Marine Science, a full-time faculty of more than 450, and more than 250 part-time faculty and staff, and a budget of nearly $80-100 million. He is responsible for all aspects of curriculum planning and development, faculty and staff evaluation and development, and budget and facilities. In his role as dean, he provides strategic leadership to the college regarding program, department and college growth.
His research focuses on how natural ( e.g., salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, algal biotoxins) and anthropogenic ( e.g., heavy metals, pesticides, perfluorinated alkyl compounds and polyaromatic hydrocarbons) stressors affect marine organisms. He uses shellfish (oysters, clams, mussels, etc. ) as model organisms in examining the effects of these stressors on cellular, biochemical, physiological and ecological responses of organisms, model these responses and provide resource managers with guidance on the environmental management of rivers, estuaries and coastal areas. His research expertise includes host-parasite interactions, pathophysiology, and ecotoxicology of shellfish. Community outreach and engagement, and adaptive management in collaboration with resource managers are significant components of his research.
He has published nearly 80 peer-reviewed publications, and technical reports presented more than 200 conference presentations and received over $13M of grant funding from agencies such as the NSF, EPA, NOAA, and various state agencies as a PI or Co-PI. He is also a reviewer for national funding agencies and numerous scientific journals and received the 2006 Coastal America Partnership Award, a national award bestowed for outstanding protection of coastal resources for engaging public in environmental restoration activities. He has served on various national funding panels such as Sea Grant, NOAA, USDA, EPA, and AAAS. He is the Past President of the Southern Association of Marine Laboratories.