Who we are

Roderick Anderson

Executive Director

Roderick Anderson forwent completing his Ph.D at UMass Amherst in the Department of Anthropology, in order to launch Pioneer Valley Coral & Natural Science Institute. His dissertation research as a socio-cultural anthropologist focuses on Afro-American civic leadership, civil society, social movement theory, critical theory, political economy and the African Diaspora. These research interests emerged out of his experiences of attending high school in New Britain, CT.; his time in the U.S. Air Force Reserves (Westover Air Force Base – Sgt. Security Police); ten years as a social worker for the State of Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families; and eleven years of teaching in higher-ed. He utilizes these varied experiences to engage the intersections of institutional and structural power relations of race, gender and class. This unique background brings together firsthand knowledge and practical experiences that engage complex issues at the regional and international level. As the executive director of PVCNSI, he offers the planning and diagnostic skills of a social worker together with the analytics and stratagems learned while he was in the military.


Ljiljana Rajic

Chief Science Officer

Ljiljana (Lily) Rajic’s study area is environmental chemistry with a focus on understanding and utilizing  electrochemical processes to remove contaminants from environmental media such as soil and groundwater. She earned her PhD in Environmental Chemistry in 2010 at the University of Novi Sad, Republic of Serbia, and joined Northeastern University in 2013 as a Postdoctoral Fellow and later as an Associate/Senior Research Scientist. Currently, she is working on developing electrochemical groundwater remediation technologies. As a result, she has published more than 30 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals. In addition, she was engaged in Research Translation activities for the PROTECT Center (NIEHS funded), which has led to collaborations with local organizations in water protection as well as environmental justice. She developed materials to serve as a resource to the public by raising awareness of various environmental exposure routes and ways to minimize the risks they pose to human health. Lily was also a part of a Northeastern diversity program  aimed to support students in their pursuit of research in the environmental health and engineering fields. The program specifically aims to involve students from groups dis-proportionally affected by environmental health problems with limited engagement in leadership and other effective roles that contribute to solving environmental injustice issues.


Britt Ruhe

Financial Advisor

Britt has a MBA from Mass Amherst Isenberg School of Management and has years of experience working with non-profit and for-profit organizations with commitment to socially responsible organizational development. Britt’s expertise include strategic leadership of start-up and early stage organizations, furthering organizational missions through growth-oriented leadership, strategic fiscal management, and powerful coalition building. 

Miguel Angel Pacheco Jr.

Assistant Director of Operations

Miguel holds a bachelor degree in both graphic and visual arts. However, he has a passion for growing and studying corals, which is how he has spent time doing over the last 15 years. Miguel has also been working on his own reef aquariums as well as for private clients.

Currently, he is interested in the scientific research and preservation of coral reefs.

Christopher Maschi

Operations Manager

Chris has a strong background in Aquatic Systems Management which is centered on establishing balanced captive marine habitats with a focus on sustainability. Chris’s work in Aquatic Systems Management  focuses on maintaining a balance between availability and demand to avoid negative impact to our natural ecosystems.

As a Veteran of the Armed Forces, Chris’s expertise is in project and personnel management.

Sergey Medvedev​

Science Education Associate

Sergey has a BS from Rodger Williams University, where he majored in Marine Science with a minor in Business Management.

He has 10 years of experience in marine science research and high school teaching.

Board of Directors

Economic Advisory Board

2018 Interns