Graduate Students

Rucha Wani

Rucha joined the Berelson Lab in Fall 2021. She received a Bachelor’s in Marine Science at the University of Delaware, and is now pursuing a PhD in Ocean Science. Before starting at USC, she studied patterns of anthropogenic acidification in the open ocean. At USC, she is looking at the calcium carbonate cycle and hydrography around the Cocos Ridge. Additionally, Rucha is studying how carbon sequestration through ocean alkalization will impact the ecosystem. She hopes to improve our ability to detect and understand changes in the inorganic carbon cycle.

Matthew Quinan

Matt is a PhD candidate in Earth Sciences who joined the Berelson Lab in 2021. He studied geology as an undergraduate at Colgate University and received a Master’s degree in Marine Science and Oceanography from Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at FAU where he studied the degradation of organic contaminants in marine sediment under different redox conditions. Here at USC he is studying the cycling of silica in the sediment of the Cocos Ridge, calcium carbonate cycling in sandy continental shelf sediment, and the fate of DDT+ contaminants in the sediment of the Southern California Bight.

Thaomy Vo

Thaomy joined the Berelson lab as a PhD student in 2023. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. As an undergraduate, she studied the effects of ozone exposure on the emissions of pine trees. At USC, she will be investigating air quality in and around urban trees to determine which are best suited for urban environments.


Nick Rollins

Nick Rollins is Professor Berelson’s longtime technician and lab manager. With his Mechanical Engineering background Nick has designed and built numerous ocean sampling and analysis apparatuses and put them to work both at sea and in the lab. Nick is fluent in Matlab and Python and writes a wide range of code including instrument control, data analysis, and modeling. When Nick isn’t in the lab you will probably find him at the beach surfing

Lab Alumni

Jaclyn Pittman-Cetiner– Project Vesta 

Abby Lunstrum– Yale Carbon

Sijia Dong– Caltech

Adam Subhas– WHOI

Caty Tems– Weber State

John Fleming– Center for Biological Diversity and Law

Laurie Chong– Lawrence Berkeley Lab

Tim Reidel– UT Austin

Lisa Collins– Santa Monica College


Emma Johnson– Geological Sciences

Maryana Bonilla-Yanez– ENST