Hasti is from Phoenix, Arizona and currently holds a B.S. in Biology, with two certificates in Computational Life Sciences and Biomedical Research from Arizona State University. She is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Dr. Cameron Thrash’s lab, working on an experimental evolution project with Pelagibacterales (SAR11). She is broadly interested in the methods in which microorganisms evolve to extreme changes in their environment, like those imposed by climate change, and how this research can apply to astrobiology.
Teagan is from Staunton, Virginia and currently holds a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Virginia. He has previously worked with Dr. Lawrence Band on modelling land use change implications on distributed biogeochemical cycling. Teagan is now working with Dr. Melissa Guzman in the Ecological Data Science lab and is interested in how various computational tools can be used to effectively plan marine conservation areas and manage multiple conflicting uses. He hopes his research will be useful to policymakers to improve biodiversity in sensitive areas and increase the wellbeing of threatened marine populations.
My research interests are centred on the complex, dynamic, and paramountly important relationship between marine phytoplankton and Earth’s climate system. As an erstwhile software engineer, I gravitate heavily toward computational and data-driven methodologies.
Ph.D. Candidate in David Caron’s protistan ecology lab. BS in Marine Biology, UC San Diego (2017). I combine molecular and imaging techniques with trophic transfer experiments to explore questions of protistan ecology and their role in the open ocean carbon cycle.
I received my B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University before pursuing my Ph.D. here at USC with Andrew Gracey and Sergey Nuzhdin (MCB). My research focuses on genomic approaches to selective breeding of commercial bivalve species for resilience to climate change and sustainable aquaculture.
I am a PhD candidate in the Gracey and Nuzhdin labs. In 2018, I graduated with a BS in Biology and Minor in Evolutionary Anthropology from Duke University, where I studied epigenetics. At USC, my PhD dissertation investigates the temporal physiology of giant kelp (circadian and aging), primarily utilizing transcriptomics. I also dabble in genomics, enzymatic assays, and microscopy. This is basic science research, building foundational knowledge which can be applied to sustainable aquaculture and kelp forest restoration.
Cheung, Yan Yin Jenny
My preferred name is Jenny. I am working with Dr. Melissa Guzman as a Ph.D. student at the University of Southern California. I completed my MPhil with Dr. Hongbin Liu at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. I studied how climate change and nutrient input (such as water pollution) affect the phytoplankton abundance in an urbanized estuarine using machine learning algorithms. For my Ph.D. research at USC, I focus on applying statistical and computational methods to connect ecological theories to biodiversity data. My interest includes metacommunity theory, food web ecology, satellite remote sensing technology, and data science.
I’m Catie, and I’m a PhD student in the Webb lab studying Cyanobacteria microbial ecology and biogeography.
Ph.D. Candidate in the Edmands Lab studying applications of theory and methods from evolutionary biology to aquatic ecotoxicology. I completed my B.S. in Biology (Ecology, Evolution and Conservation) at the University of Washington in 2019.
Di Blasi, Daria
I graduated with a B.S. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics from UCLA in 2022. I am a PhD student in the Fuhrman lab with research interests related to marine viruses and their impact on microbial community structure and biogeochemical cycles.
Jenna is originally from Frankfurt, Germany and received her M.S. in Marine Biology and Ecology from the University of Miami in 2020. Her current research in the CEE Lab is focused on genetic and functional diversity in reef-building corals used for reef restoration. She is especially interested in how coral’s existing adaptive capacity can be leveraged to make restored reefs more resilient to a changing climate.
Dinneen, Mary Kate
I am a Ph.D. student in Dr. David Hutchins’s lab. I got my M.S. in marine biology at Xiamen University, China. My current research mainly focuses on the physiological and molecular impact of ocean warming and iron limitation on marine cyanobacteria, and explores the difference between short-term responses and long-term adaptation in them.
Ph.D. Candidate with James Moffett researching trace metal biogeochemistry, with a specific focus on the offshore transport of redox-active metal species and microbes from hypoxic continental shelves to the interior ocean basin. I completed two cruises in 2021 off of the Oregon coast.
I am from Tucson, Arizona in the Sonoran Desert, where I became passionate about the environment. My research experience spans paleoclimatology, entomology, medical biochemistry, and ocean technology. At USC, I work under Noelle Held studying nutrient co-limitation with plans to get involved in community outreach. Some of my favorite activities are cooking and eating food (especially Korean food), listening to music, and napping.
Maya (she/her) is a Ph.D student in the Cnidarian Evolutionary Ecology Lab, studying under the mentorship of Dr. Carly Kenkel and in collaboration with the Perry Institute for Marine Science. Maya’s research examines phenotypic plasticity (ecophysiology and morphology) of Caribbean reef-building corals in the face of climate change and disease. Maya graduated from Middlebury College in 2020 with a B.A. in Biology and Spanish. In her free time, you may find Maya outside hiking, gardening, or making art.
I obtained my B.Sc. in Microbial Biology at the University of California, Berkeley where I studied the genetics and biogeographical distribution of iodate reduction in marine microbes. After graduating, I spent a short while in industry utilizing HTP techniques to metabolically engineer novel pathways in both yeast and Gram-positive bacteria. I am currently a graduate student in Dr. Cameron Thrash’s lab researching prokaryote community dynamics that maintain seasonal hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico.
Before coming to USC, Eliza obtained her B.A. in Biology from Occidental College, where she studied avian molecular phylogenetics. At USC, she is co-advised by Dr. Suzanne Edmands and Dr. Allison Shultz, who is the curator of Ornithology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. While at USC, Eliza hopes to use genomics as a tool to study wildlife conservation and to inform management decisions aimed at maintaining biodiversity across California.
Adib is originally from Indonesia and he earned his master degree in marine conservation from the University of Tasmania in 2016. He worked as a MPA and Biodiversity officer at Seram Seas at WWF-Indonesia for 1.5 years before working as a lecturer at the Institut Teknologi Sumatera, Lampung Province, since 2018 (currently on leave of absence). He joined CEE Lab with Dr. Carly Kenkel and interested in studying genetics of reef-building corals that have a resiliency to climate change scenario and symbiotic relationship between corals and microalgae to improve coral reef restoration efforts. He is also one of the Fulbright scholars at USC.
I’m a Ph.D student in the Gracey lab and received my B.S. in Marine and Coastal Science from UC Davis in 2020. I am currently investigating the physiological and organismal responses of the Dungeness crab and red sea urchin under exposure to ocean acidification and hypoxia. My goal is to extend this work to some fish species as well!
My name is Daniel Olivares-Zambrano and I am a native of SoCal as I grew up in East LA and Rialto, CA. I am a PhD student in the Marine and Environmental Biology PhD Program at USC. I will be studying the evolution of coral symbiosis under the mentorship of Dr. Carly Kenkel. I recently finished my MS in Biology at CSULA with Dr. Andres Aguilar studying depth based adaptation in rockfish and did my undergrad at CSUMB. In addition to my research, I have devoted my time to being a mentor for undergraduate students as a TRIO Student Support Services mentor at CSUMB for three years and as a Cofounder of the McNair Scholars Alumni Mentorship Program at CSUMB. I enjoy doing research and mentoring students and plan to continue doing it as a career.
Osorio, Danny Alejandro
I am originally from Colombia. I am a PhD student at the Gomez-Consarnau lab. I’m interested in studying bacterial adaptations in response to stress, and the role of photoheterotrophy in marine microbes.
I am a Ph.D student in Dr. Noelle Held’s Lab. I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2021 and previously studied dissimilatory iodate reduction and its associated biochemistry. I fell in love with learning about the microbes out and about in our environment, which takes me here to USC MEB! My current research will utilize proteomic methods to help us better understand nitrogen fixation in our oceans.
Eesha is a PhD student in the Schwartzman lab, where she is studying the evolution of multicellularity in microbes. Her research focuses on understanding the phenotypic and genotypic precursors of multicellularity as well as the trade-offs associated with this process. Additionally, Eesha is interested in exploring the evolution and adaptation of microbes in extreme environments. Prior to pursuing her PhD, she obtained a Master’s degree in Marine Biology from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where she studied deep-sea invertebrates. Apart from her scientific research, Eesha is also passionate about climate policy and advocacy.
I’m interested in the role that heterotrophic bacteria play in regulating global ocean biogeochemical cycles, and how we can better classify them for greater incorporation into Earth System Models.
Kimberly is a PhD student interested in examining vertebrate evolution through morphology, genetics, and paleontological methods. Her current research with Suzanne Edmands at USC and Xiaoming Wang at the L.A. Natural History Museum seeks to explore the evolutionary history of the island fox and its relationship to the mainland grey fox using both fossil and modern samples.
My current research focuses on understanding the distribution pattern and the availability of various B vitamins, a group of essential organic metabolites required by all life forms, in the global surface ocean, I also work to establish the role of B vitamins in shaping phytoplankton dynamics.
MEB graduate student studying the unique applications of kelp, such as being used for biofuels and fertilizers.
Natalie is a Ph.D. student in Dr. Carly Kenkel’s Cnidarian Evolutionary Ecology (CEE) Lab. She is broadly interested in utilizing molecular methods for better understanding how to successfully restore and conserve coral reefs, as well as the intersection between science and policy. Previously, she earned a B.S. in Biology from the University of Dallas, a M.S. in Biology from Texas State University, and worked in the Texas House of Representatives where she focused on energy and environmental policy. In her free time, Natalie loves baking gluten free treats and going to the beach.
Jelani is a Phd Student in the Fuhrman lab interested in using multi-omics approaches to gain insight into how marine microbes, across diverse taxa, respond to abiotic stresses and interactions with the marine virosphere.
Maya’s background is in Astronomy , but she is now pursuing a PhD in Geobiology. This combination is perfect for the field of Astrobiology. Maya’s thesis work focuses on the habitability of Saturn’s moon Titan for acetylenotrophy using planetary science, bioenergetics, and laboratory culturing work. Her co-advisors are Jan Amend (USC) and Morgan Cable (NASA-JPL)