In 2006, Dr. Montagna joined the HRI Team. He focuses on how organisms control and regulate marine ecosystems and coastal environments. This work is critical in guiding resource management decisions. He and his team closely examine bottom-living organisms and the various attributes of water quality. The increasingly important relationships between humans and the environment are considered in detail through his studies as he looks at the environmental flows, nutrients, and the ultimate impact on marine life.
He adapts his research to the real world by building relationships with business and industry. In the fall of 2009, "Shell Bank," the oyster shell recycling program, launched in partnership with local restaurants and the Port of Corpus Christi. Projects such as these recognize the need for cooperation and education of all of the stakeholders.