Garfield Kwan

australia_beach_garfield_croppedPh.D. Candidate |

Garfield is a 5th year Ph.D. student in the Tresguerres lab. Originally from Hong Kong, Garfield moved to Los Angeles at the age of 7. He then moved to San Diego to complete a BS in Marine Biology at UCSD. During his undergrad, Garfield first realized his love for marine biology can be actualized in the Sandin lab. Ever since that fall quarter of his 1st year, Garfield has been pursuing other research experience and has worked on the ecology of biofuel (Jon Shurin Lab, UCSD, San Diego), Atlantic Mackerel’s population dynamics (Jon Deroba, NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Wood’s Hole), Waste & Storm Water Reclamation (UCI PIRE, University of Melbourne, Australia), and the physiology of market squid embryos (Levin Lab, SIO, San Diego). Garfield received the NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship (2011 – 2013) and was accepted into the UC LEADS program, where he mentored a score of undergrads in pursuing their first research experience. After starting up a tutoring program and spending a year to tutor former refugee families in City Heights, Garfield returns to SIO to begin his doctoral study.

Research Interest:

  • Physiology of aquatic organisms
  • Effects of acid/base stress on neural pathways
  • Mechanisms in otolith calcification

Garfield’s research interest is on the physiological responses of fish to hypercapnic stress (e.g. ocean acidification). He is currently focusing on elucidating the mechanisms and proteins involved in otolith calcification.

Garfield volunteers for the local San Diego Science Fair and with Ocean Discovery Institute to teach and snorkel with students from the City Heights community. Garfield also runs a website called Squidtoons ( to illustrate scientific research through illustrated comic.

Garfield is funded by the San Diego Fellowship and the NSF GRFP.

Selected Publications: