Pierre is an M.S. student in the Sandin lab. Originally from Egypt, he received a B.S. in Pure Math and Computer Science from the American University In Cairo in 2000, and spent time working in media and telecommunications, mostly building digital media libraries, before returning to academics.
Growing up by the Red Sea and an enthusiastic diver, he is interested in how reef communities are shaped by their environment. As a masters student, his research interests relate to spatial reef patterning with regard to physical forcings.
Hailing from the Golden state of California, Calvin is a Master’s candidate completing his degree under supervision by Professor Stuart Sandin. He transitioned to the SIO graduate program after completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology at UCSD. His Master’s thesis will focus on interspecific coral competition at Palmyra Atoll. In particular, he is interested in the relationship between a coral colony’s ability to grow and its surrounding spatial competitors. Because Calvin has a keen interest for coral husbandry, he currently aids the Sandin Lab team to maintain the wet lab coral nursery.
Sho is a first year Masters student under Dr. Sandin in the Biology department’s BS/MS program. He grew up in Thousand Oaks, California where he developed an early appreciation for the marine environment and for research. He received his undergraduate degree in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution at UCSD in the spring of 2016. While volunteering in the lab as an undergraduate student, Sho developed an interest in coral growth patterns and the intricate morphologies of colonies that follow. As a masters student, his current research focus involves the use of two dimensional photomosaic imagery combined with up and coming three dimensional photogrammetry to study the life history tradeoffs of coral growth strategies. Specifically, he is interested in studying the interspecific and intraspecific variation of coral extension rates, the tradeoffs of morphology and surface area to volume ratio on growth dynamics, and the implications of these dynamics on future coral communities.
Corinne is a first year Masters student in the Marine Biology BS/MS contiguous program at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. While receiving her undergraduate degree in Environmental Systems at UCSD, Corinne became a volunteer in Dr. Stuart Sandin’s lab where her projects focused on digitizing and identifying corals within the 100 Island challenge’s photomosaic images. For her Masters degree, Corinne’s research interests have turned to the invasion of a corallimorph, Rhodactis howesii, on Palmyra Atoll and potential removal and mitigation strategies to stunt its expansion throughout Palmyra’s near pristine coral reefs. When not in the lab, Corinne enjoys diving, hiking, cooking, and salsa/bachata dancing.
Chris is a Staff Researcher in the Sandin Lab. Growing up locally in San Diego; Chris opted to stay local and attended UCSD, where he completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology (Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution), a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, and a minor in Marine Science. During the research portion of his minor, Chris found the Sandin Lab as a group that shared common research interests. This led to the pursuit and completion of Master’s degree in Biology. His research focused on the growth effects on juvenile rockfish when presented with predator stimuli. Chris is also an experienced field marine biologist having logged over 250 dives on SCUBA at 38 islands across the tropical Pacific.
Nicole graduated from UCSD in 2014 with a B.S. in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution and a minor in Marine Science, and just recently completed her Masters degree. Her M.S. research investigated the use of time series photomosaics taken on Palmyra Atoll. With these mosaics, she looked at how the brooding and spawning reproductive strategies of corals influence various aspects of the juvenile population including abundance, survivorship, and spatial distribution. Nicole is now well-versed in the role of juvenile population dynamics on overall community structure. Outside of the lab Nicole enjoys diving, hiking, and horseback riding.
Currently, she has transitioned to a staff researcher position in the Sandin Lab and joined the 100 Island Challenge team to assist in the data management, coordination, and processing of these large images, in addition to the collection of large-scale imagery. Find more information about the 100 Island Challenge here.
Beverly is a second year doctoral student and also the newest member of the Sandin lab. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania with a BS in Biological Sciences, and a BA in English Writing, where she spent much of her time studying aquatic communities with the Relyea lab (University of Pittsburgh; Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology). While there, she conducted research on the effects of eutrophication on sexual traits in amphipods, sex differences in foraging preferences of aquatic invertebrates, and the role of carotenoids in amphibian resistance to infection by chytrid fungus, as well as assisted with various projects in ecotoxicology and community ecology. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, she spent two years as the laboratory manager for a molecular neuroscience lab (Sibille Lab; University of Pittsburgh Medical Center), where she investigated differential gene expression in depression and aging in human brain tissue, lead pre-clinical studies of novel compounds for the treatment of anxiety and depression, and was involved in large-scale genetic studies designed to determine the relative contributions of biological modulators (such as DNA variants) to molecular brain aging. She is thrilled to unite her love of field and experimental biology with her passion for ecological theory and marine ecosystems.
Coral reef community ecology
Trophic ecology and food webs
Coral reef fisheries
Fish mating systems and life histories
Beverly’s current research interests include the trophic ecology of coral reef fishes, and how food webs are structured on coral reefs across anthropogenic and oceanographic gradients. She is particularly interested in how foraging niche shifts contribute to speciation and biodiversity of fishes on reefs. Additional interests include using fish gut microbiomes to better understand fine-scale differences in the diets of reef fishes, as well as factors governing the structure of coral reef microbial communities in fish hosts.
Noah Ben-Aderet is a 5th year doctoral student in the Sandin lab. While his master’s research (completed in 2009 at the Inter-University Institute for Marine Science in Eilat, Israel) focused on the effects of high CO2 conditions on the photosynthetic machinery that powers individual corals, Noah’s primary interests have always been fish, fish populations and the effects of small scale fishing.
In 2004, he graduated from UCSD with a BS in Ecology, Behavior and Evolution and a minor in Political Science. After some traveling, Noah returned to San Diego and worked at Hubbs-Seaworld Research Institute monitoring hatchery-reared white seabass populations off the southern California coast. This led to a position tagging and tracking juvenile thresher sharks in the lab of the late Dr. Jeff Graham here at SIO. After leaving Scripps to pursue his M.Sc. in Israel, Noah returned to San Diego (again) in 2010 to begin his Ph.D. research.
Ecosystem effects of recreational fishing
local effects of small-scale commercial fisheries
movements and habitat usage of large predatory fishes and elasmobranchs
Noah’s current work focuses on several aspects pertaining to southern California populations of yellowtail (Seriola lalandi): characterizing the recreational fishery which targets them, tracking their inshore and offshore seasonal movements and quantifying their offshore spawning habitat and behaviors. The eventual goal is to use the techniques developed during this yellowtail project to ask similar questions about migratory coral reef predators.
Marlene was born and raised in Chicago, IL, where she later received her B.S. in Biology from Northeastern Illinois University. As an SIO graduate student, she briefly worked in a marine mammal acoustics lab before happily settling into the coral reef ecology lab. Marlene is now a doctoral candidate studying the link between the ecology of complex coral reef systems and the human societies that depend on reef resources. Using primarily models, her dissertation employs a complex systems approach to generate a dynamically grounded multi-scale understanding of 1) demographic patterns of coral colonies, 2) emergent patterns of coral reefscapes, and 3) the behaviors of coupled human-reef fishing societies. Results are far-reaching in coral reef conservation efforts aimed at acknowledging and learning from the diversity of coupled human-seascape relationships across the globe. In the long-term, Marlene plans to use her work to stimulate increased correspondence between mathematical modeling and field experiments, as well as between science and tropical coastal communities committed to environmental justice. Marlene’s scholarly awards include fellowships from NSF, the Ford Foundation, UCSD’s San Diego fellowship program, and UCSD President’s Dissertation Year program. She is also a member of the Bouchet Graduate Honor Society.
As a Mexican American scientist, woman of color, wife of a hard-working previously undocumented immigrant, proud daughter of inspiring working-class parents and graduate student mother of two, she remains compelled to maintain connections with marginalized communities. She does so through involvement with grassroots organizations, including Peace and Dignity Journeys, which advocates for human and indigenous rights, and serving as keynote speaker for school-wide assemblies and the STEM Dare to Dream: Get Educated Latina Conference. Marlene remains invigorated by the prospect of continuing to inspire youth into science, while empowering them to dismantle barriers and define themselves and their lives (and she has done so through Reality Changers). She is also a member of the Ethnic Studies/SIO Colectivo, which collectively teaches a UCSD required Diversity, Equity and Inclusion course called “The Science & Critical Analysis of Environmental Justice” and co-administers the Environmental Justice seminar series which dissects how research intersects with problems of colonialism and capitalist accumulation, and their attendant effects on power, inequality, exploitation, race, gender, class, citizenship, and nation.
Coral reef community ecology
Nonlinear and spatial dynamics
Marlene’s dissertation is titled “Linking Spatio-temporal Coral Reef Dynamics to Coastal Human Societies”. The motivation is to understand the link between the fundamental ecology of coral reef systems, one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet, and the human societies that depend on reef resources. The vast majority of coral reefs and their associated human societies are complex nonlinear systems, also known as social-ecological systems, valued by independently motivated stakeholders, e.g. government managers, ecologists, anthropologists, economists, and local communities. Consequently, conservation programs are mainly informed by discipline-focused single-mechanism correlational studies, whether empirical or model-based, with limited attention to fundamentally integrating reef dynamics. She taps into an interdisciplinary complex systems approach that uses a comprehensive dynamical framework to characterize not only the coral reef system, but the nature of the connection with different human societies (e.g. modern market based fishery and a traditional subsistence-based fishery).
Lindsay is from Southern California and graduated from UCSD in Environmental System – Ecology, Behavior, & Evolution in 2010. During undergrad, she conducted a senior project under Dr. Jeff Graham at Scripps, investigating the movement and behavior of leopard sharks (Triakis semifasciata) and their impacts on local eco-tourism. As a volunteer in the Sandin Lab, she started a study investigating age and growth of young-of-the-year lionfish from Belizean reefs. In her position as staff researcher, she coordinated the Toxins in Tuna study, investigating the spatial distribution of modern persistent pollutants (flame retardants, PCBS, and pesticides) in yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) across the entire globe. Through this project, she traveled across the globe to collect and process tuna fillets to find linkages between anthropogenic activities and pollutants in seafood.
Currently, she has reprises her role as a staff researcher and joined the 100 Island Challenge team to assist in the collection of large-scale imagery, logistics, and distillation of data. Find more information about the 100 Island Challenge here.
small-scale and artisanal fisheries management
spatial patterns and movement of reef fish
invasive species ecology and management, with a focus on the invasive lionfish (Pterois volitans)
Kate is a fifth year Ph.D. student in the Sandin lab. Kate’s dissertation is on coral community dynamics and recovery mechanisms in the central Pacific. She is interested in coral regrowth and the limits of surviving climate change in areas of the world less influenced by humans.
She received her Bachelor’s degree in biology from Bennington College in Vermont and studied abroad at James Cook University in Australia. Previously, she has worked on shark movement (Bimini Biological Research Station, Bahamas), elasmobranch sensory research (Shedd Aquarium, Chicago), public aquarium impacts on conservation (undergrad thesis), the biogeochemistry of coral stress (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts), and mushroom coral everything (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia).
Kate is also interested in science narrative design. In her “spare” time, she tells stories about science using video, animation and graphics. She received an NSF IGERT grant in 2013 to pursue science communication during her ecology PhD.
Coral population dynamics
Coral fluorescence and green fluorescent protein (GFP)
Clinton obtained his undergraduate degree in Ecology Behavior and Evolution at UCSD before conducting his Masters thesis at Scripps with Dr. Smith, where he completed a global analysis of coral reef herbivorous fish populations. During and following his graduate work, Clinton has worked as a staff researcher and has contributed his database management, taxonomic and quantitative skills to a number of lab projects; in this capacity Clinton has also conducted extensive field work in Hawaii, the Central Pacific and Brazil. His current work, as a staff researcher, focuses on the collection and processing of benthic photo-mosaic images, which form the basis of a larger team effort that is seeking to study and understand the spatial ecology of coral reefs.
Brian is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Scripps working in Dr. Stuart Sandin’s Lab. Originally from San Diego Brian moved to Hilo, Hawaii to complete an undergraduate degree in Marine Science at the University of Hawaii. Shortly after graduation Brian began working for the NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystems Division in Honolulu where he spent 10 years working as a NOAA Research Biologist conducting surveys throughout the Pacific. To date Brian has visited over 85 islands, spent 650 days at sea, and more than 730 hours underwater conducting scientific research. In 2005, Brian completed a Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) through the Center of Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at SIO. Brian’s MAS work focused on studying the marine biodiversity of Cocos Island, Costa Rica using SCUBA and the research submersible DeepSee.
Ecology of coral reef fishes
Coral reef fisheries
Mesophotic coral ecosystems
The overarching goal of Brian’s Ph.D. research is to identify metrics necessary for rebuilding and maximizing reef fisheries in the tropical Pacific. To accomplish this goal he uses data collected from across the tropical Pacific to identify consistent changes in fish assemblage structure associated with fishing and examine how predators affect the dynamics of lower-trophic level species. Current research includes performing targeted fish collections required to obtain much needed life-history characters used to estimate the stock size, stock condition, and fisheries productivity of the most abundant coral reef fishes in the tropical Pacific.
Brian’s was awarded the NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) to address some of the most pressing challenges facing coral reef fisheries management.
Originally from France, Yoan spent his MSc years modeling the endosymbiotic relationship found within scleractinian corals through a collaborative project between the Aix-Marseille University and the University of California, Santa Barbara where he was advised by Erik Muller and Roger Nisbet. Because he questioned himself about the mathematical origins of modeling results, he chose to conduct a PhD thesis focused on model complexity analysis under the supervision of Jean-Christophe Poggiale and Melika Baklouti at the Aix-Marseille University.
Yoan is a post-doctoral researcher in Dr. Sandin’s lab. He is a mathematical modeler with a strong background in statistic, theoretical ecology and coral reef ecology. He is passionate about transforming the observation of specific patterns in useful and applicable knowledge using mathematical models and advanced statistical approaches. Finally, he enjoys designing and implementing complex systems analysis approaches.
I am a quantitative ecologist with specific interests in the population and community ecology. My research addresses questions in which ecology can most effectively inform marine management. What have been the impacts of human activities on marine ecosystems? How have changes in the structure of these ecosystems affected their functioning, especially related to important ecosystem services? Finally, how can ecological insights best be applied to develop creative and effective solutions to marine management problems? Much in the same way that an engineer provides informed solutions to practical commercial problems, an ecologist can provide informed recommendations for the protection and sustained use of natural resources. I firmly believe that novel and fundamental ecological discoveries are yet to be learned, and that such discoveries hold promise to enhance current management strategies. My research focuses largely on the ecology of coral reefs, with the goal of finding effective management and restoration approaches for this imperiled ecosystem.
University of California: San Diego, B.S. Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution
Princeton University, Ph.D. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology