Our Group

Naomi M. Levine

Assistant Professor

n.levine [at] usc.edu

Bio and Curriculum Vitae


Sara Rivero-Calle

Postdoctoral Scholar

riveroca [at] usc.edu

I am a biological oceanographer with a diverse background, ranging from coral reef ecology to phytoplankton and marine mammals. I am interested in using different tools (ocean optics, satellite remote sensing and time series analysis) to tease apart anthropogenic change from natural variability effects on phytoplankton groups. Some of my recent work includes multi-decadal changes in North Atlantic Trichodesmium and coccolithophore populations, as well as plankton regime shifts. My current research focuses on sub-grid scale variability in phytoplankton populations and its effect on global scale biogeochemical processes.

Sara's website

Xiao Liu

Graduate Student

liu284 [at] usc.edu

I am a Ph.D. student of Ocean Sciences, co-advised by Dr. Naomi M. Levine and Dr. Burt H. Jones. My dissertation research involves addressing the impacts of predicted climate changes on phytoplankton assemblage composition and particulate material export in the ocean using both satellite remote sensing and numerical ecosystem modeling approaches. I am particularly interested in understanding the role that small-scale physical dynamics play on large-scale climate-ecosystem interactions and global carbon cycles.   

Xiao's website

Erin McParland

Graduate Student

mcparlan [at] usc.edu

My research focuses on chemical oceanography and the effects of climate change on biogeochemical cycles. In particular, I am interested in how the multi-stressors of global climate change will impact the future production of the anti-greenhouse gas dimethylsulfide (DMS) and its precursor molecule dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP). Throughout my graduate career I will examine the interactions of planktonic and microbial cycling of the DMS(P) system to determine whether future climate conditions will hinder or propel production of DMS and how these changes will influence marine carbon cycling  and the Earth’s climate.

Elizabeth Teel

Graduate Student

eteel [at] usc.edu

My research integrates physical, chemical, and biological measurements from the San Pedro Channel in order to examine the relationships between environmental dynamics, microbial community shifts, and bacterial carbon cycling. I am using this analysis to investigate the necessity and feasibility of incorporating a dynamic bacterial component into ecosystem models.

Xuening 'Moony' Wen

Graduate Student

Starting Fall 2016

Anna Wright

Undergraduate Student

I am an undergraduate student majoring in Environmental Studies with a minor in Environmental Chemistry. I am working with Erin McParland looking at the production of dimethylsulfide (DMS) by the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi. I hope to continue my research after graduation as a graduate student researching the effects of climate change on marine environments and biogeochemical cycles. 


Positions Available

I am always looking for inquisitive scientists to join my group as graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.  If you are interested, please contact me at n.levine 'at' usc.edu.


For more information and to apply to our gradaute program please go to:

Ph.D Program in Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography

  • Levine Laboratory
  • University of Southern California
  • 3616 Trousdale Parkway
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0371