New Wave of Talent

Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego continues to lay the foundation for excellence in research and teaching by expanding its ranks of assistant and associate researchers.

Historically, both tenure track professors and researchers have comprised Scripps faculty. While tenure track professors focus on teaching in addition to research, researchers are solely committed to studying ocean, Earth, atmosphere, and associated ecosystems and serving as advisors to graduate students. This balance helps Scripps maintain a robust research portfolio while also promoting a strong educational experience for undergraduate and graduate students. 

A recent recruitment effort at Scripps resulted in several new hires at the assistant and associate researcher levels, all of whom show promise in their ability to establish externally funded, independent research programs at Scripps – a prerequisite to obtaining one of these positions.

“Several of today’s most prominent Scripps scientists and professors began their tenure as students, postdocs, or assistant researchers at Scripps,” said Scripps Acting Director Cathy Constable. “It’s a testament to the quality of this institution that so many have stayed, thrived, and built distinguished academic careers from their Scripps roots.”

New Assistant Researcher Ana Sirovic is on a path to do just that. After graduating from Scripps with a Ph.D. in 2006 and most recently serving as an assistant professor at Alaska Pacific University, Ana is happy to find herself back at her alma mater as she starts her research career.

“While you are at Scripps, it's easy to take for granted the great resources that are available here, both in terms of the people, with experts in all areas of oceanography just down the hall, and the actual physical resources ashore and at sea,” she said. “The years I spent away made me realize just how unique Scripps is. There are research and collaboration possibilities lurking everywhere and I am very happy to be back, especially after a few cold winters in Alaska, to take advantage of the potential that Scripps offers its researchers.”

Scripps is pleased to welcome these talented scientists whose leading ocean, Earth, and climate research will play an important role in shaping the institution’s second century of discovery.

Adrian Borsa
Assistant Research Geodesist
Maps the surface of the earth to understand fault behavior and its relationship to earthquake and deformation patterns. 

Brad Erisman
Assistant Research Biologist
Studies life history and reproductive biology of reef fishes from Southern and Baja California in order to better manage fisheries and conserve stocks.

Jennifer Haase
Associate Research Geophysicist
Uses GPS to measure density and content of the atmosphere to provide detailed information on the water vapor structure of the atmosphere.

Andrew Lucas
Assistant Research Oceanographer
Analyzes the ocean and its underlying dynamics to help understand ocean processes and manage and protect marine resources.

Marco Octavio Aburto-Oropeza
Assistant Research Biologist
Studies commercially exploited reef fish in the Gulf of California and leads conservation efforts related to Mexican marine protected areas.

Simone Baumann Pickering
Assistant Research Biologist
Studies behavioral ecology of toothed whales, particularly echolocation behavior and detection to species level.

Christopher Pitt-Wolfe
Assistant Research Oceanographer
Studies the interaction between large-scale ocean circulation and climate trends.

Ana Sirovic
Assistant Research Oceanographer
Investigates the habitat preferences of blue whales and uses passive acoustics to model their habitat in the Southern Ocean.

Ariane Verdy
Assistant Research Oceanographer
Studies the dynamics of marine ecosystems, especially biological-physical interactions of plankton and species coexistence.

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