Richard Lo Pinto

Richard Lo Pinto

Professor of Biological Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences

Contact Information


  • Intro to Marine Biology
  • The Human Environment
  • Molecules Cells and Genes


  • Physiological Ecology
  • Ecotoxicology
  • Coral Reef Food Chains


  • BS, Iona college
  • MS, Fordham University
  • PhD, Fordham University

Academic Profile

Now adopted by 38 countries, Dr. Lo Pinto’s approach to, and advancement of today’s most environmentally sensitive systems for water pollution analysis and control began with research at Fairleigh Dickinson University on the Hackensack River and estuary, commonly known as the Hackensack Meadowlands. Noticing that the operational basis for the pollution control systems of the United States seemed inconsistent with his own field observations and lab research, he developed and then demonstrated the value of multiple species bio-assays for the two major causes of marine and freshwater degradation, toxicity, and eutrophication. In addition, and responding to the absence of organisms able to reduce the effects of pollution in estuaries, he pioneered the introduction of oysters to mitigate eutrophic conditions in the Meadowlands estuary. The national TV and media coverage that received initiated today’s $70-90M annual enterprise of using oysters to restore biological balance to estuaries, and to eventually increase the availability of edible oysters.

With recognition of his work by a NJ State Commission and then by the US EPA, Lo Pinto was appointed assistant to the Director of the EPA’s “Office of Analysis and Evaluation” (Washington DC) to advance the use of multi-species bioassays for pollution analysis and control.  This was followed by an appointment in Europe to head the ‘Program on Biological Testing of Effluents and Receiving Waters’ for the OECD (Paris), an international organization of industrialized countries wanting to improve the quality of their own marine and freshwater ecosystems.  These countries unanimously adopted and implemented the proposed system, with very positive outcomes.  As one local example, before implementing these systems, the Hackensack estuary’s water quality could support only 3 species of fish.  Today it supports 37 fish species, and the improved water quality has made the Hackensack River and Estuary a popular recreational resource as well as a favored place to reside.

In the private and public sectors, Lo Pinto has consulted with a wide variety of industries and governments to address their most troublesome water quality/water pollution problems.  His research has been presented at scientific meetings in the United States, Canada, and Japan; in Italy, invited by the scientific arm of the European Union (Ispra); in Eastern Europe, invited by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Pecs), and the Slovak Academy of Sciences (Bratislava); in Romania, as Plenary speaker at the 18th International Conference on Chemistry and Chemical Engineering;  and in China invited as Session Chair, 5th Int’l Congress on the Environment. 

Lo Pinto’s present focus is helping students realize their own potential to achieve fulfilling careers by thinking creatively about what they are now learning.  Much of our present understanding of both the environment and of human health is not set in stone, and there are many areas that will benefit from novel thinking and new approaches. His current research interest is on how best to address the massive Sargassum-related pollution problem and concomitant public health problem responsible for millions of dollars lost annually by people and countries that border the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

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