People

Lead Principal Investigator

Paul FalkowskiDr. Paul G. Falkowski, Distinguished Professor                                                                                                                                                      

room: 318D
e-mail: falko@marine.rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-3426
Research Interests: Biogeochemical cycles, photosynthesis, biological oceanography, molecular biology, biochemistry and biophysics, physiological adaptation, plant physiology, evolution, mathematical modeling, symbiosis.


Faculty Members

Dr. Kay BidleDr. Kay Bidle, Professor

room: 305C
e-mail: bidle@marine.rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-3467
Research Interests: Microbial ecology, phytoplankton physiology and mortality, virology, molecular evolution and ecology, biogeochemistry, ecosystem processes, the structure and function of microbial food webs; To elucidate, using molecular biology and biochemistry techniques, cellular strategies whereby phytoplankton and marine bacteria react to their changing environment (e.g. nutrient stress, blooms) and, in the process, shape ecosystem dynamics and biogeochemistry in the upper ocean.


Maxim GorbunovDr. Maxim Gorbunov, Associate Research Professor

room: 309A
e-mail: gorbunov@marine.rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-3455
Research Interests: Biological oceanography, coral reefs, biophysics and physiology of photosynthesis, photoreceptors, benthic ecosystems, ocean optics, relationship between physical and biological processes in the ocean, global biogeochemical cycles, remote sensing.


Dr. Oscar SchofieldDr. Oscar Schofield, Distinguished Professor

room: 318C
e-mail: oscar@marine.rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-3436
Research Interests: Phytoplankton ecology and physiology. Ocean technologies. Impact of climate change on ocean ecosystems.


Dr. Grace Saba, Assistant Research Professor

room: 316
e-mail: saba@marine.rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-3466
Research Interests: Coastal marine organismal ecology and physiology, with emphasis on how organisms interact with their environment (physical-biological coupling) and other organisms (food web dynamics and predator-prey interactions), how physiological processes impact biogeochemistry (nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration), and how climate change (i.e., ocean acidification, warming) impacts these processes. DMCS Main website:  http://marine.rutgers.edu/main/grace-k-saba Lab website: http://marine.rutgers.edu/main/saba/home


Dr. Orly Levitan, Assistant Research Professor
view my cv

room: 205A
e-mail: levitan@marine.rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-3421
Research Interests: Biological oceanography, microbial and molecular ecology, phytoplankton, biogeochemistry, nitrogen fixation, photosynthesis, biofuels.


Dr. Kimberlee ThamatrakolnDr. Kimberlee Thamatrakoln, Associate Research Professor

room: 305A
e-mail: thamat@marine.rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-3464
Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms of programmed cell death in phytoplankton.

 


Research Associates

Dr. Linda Godfrey, Research Associate

room: 205F
e-mail: godfrey@marine.rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-3410
Research Interests: Evolution of the nitrogen cycle over geological time; light stable and radiogenic isotope geochemistry; development of paired Hf-Nd isotopes as paleoceanographic tracers; hydrogeology and paleoclimate of the Atacama Desert and Southern Altiplano.


Post-doctoral Associates/Fellows

Dr. Karen Grace V. Bondoc, Post-doctoral Associate

room: 303B
e-mail: karen.bondoc@marine.rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-6555
Research Interests:  Marine microbiology and oceanography, Behavioral ecology, Biophysics, R programming, Statistical modeling, Marine toxins, Harmful algal blooms, Marine invertebrate ecology, Science communication.


Dr. Ben Knowles, Post-doctoral Associate

room:
e-mail: bk434@marine.rutgers.edu, ben.knowles@rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-34
Research Interests: How host density and growth affect viral decision-making and what conditions favour more or less aggressive viral infection strategies.


Dr. Dawei Li, Post-doctoral Associate

room: 303B
e-mail:  dawei.li@rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-3486
Research Interests: Earth system  modeling, biogeochemical processes

 


Dr. Joshua Mancini, Post-doctoral Associate

room: CABM Room 112 and DMCS 318E
e-mail: jm2285@marine.rutgers.edu
phone:  (440) 781-8098
Research Interests: Josh became fascinated with de novo protein design during his Ph.D. tenure under Prof. Leslie Dutton at the University of Pennsylvania. It was here that he was introduced to the ability of de novo proteins to interface with metals and organic cofactors in cells.  Josh has decided to intertwine computational and combinatorial de novo protein design to elucidate design principles of early enzymes as well as build novel catalysts for useful chemistry.


Dr. Manjula Mummadisetti, Post-doctoral Associate

room: 205E
e-mail: manju@marine.rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-3411
Research Interests: Coral Biology, Photosynthesis, Protein structure and function, Mass Spectrometry, Biochemistry, Natural products and their applications, Biofuels, Biomineralization.


 

Dr. Andrew C. Mutter, Post-doctoral Associate

room: 205A
e-mail: mutter@marine.rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-3421
Research Interests:  My research interests are in protein design and electron transfer in biological systems.  I work to make small model proteins that can be engineered to elucidate core design principles for complex biological processes.  My work at Rutgers will be aimed with the goal to understand the formation and evolution of metal centered electron transfer proteins.


 Dr. Jozef NissimovDr. Jozef I. Nissimov, Post-doctoral Associate

room: 305
e-mail: jnissimov@marine.rutgers.edu 
phone: (848) 932-3466
Research Interests:  Microbial ecology and diversity, phytoplankton physiology, primary production, biological oceanography, virology, molecular evolution, host-parasite interactions, genetic expression, genome analysis and comparison, biogeography, phylogenetics and distribution of microbes in space and time, microbes in extreme environments, evolutionary ecology of marine organisms, coral health and disease, and ocean acidification.


Dr. Saroj Poudel, Post-doctoral Associate

room: 303A
e-mail: saroj.poudel@marine.rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-3450
Research Interests: Metalloproteins, Molecular Evolution, Computational Biology, Microbiology.


 Dr. Hagai Raanan, Post-doctoral Associate

room: 303B
e-mail: hraanan@marine.rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-3486
Research Interests: Electron transport proteins, microbial and molecular ecology, cyanobacteria, photosynthesis, photoinhibition, biological soil crusts.



 

Other Staff/Research Members

Beatrice BirrerBeatrice Birrer, Senior Program Coordinator

room: 318
e-mail: bea@marine.rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-3436

 


Liti HaramatyLiti Haramaty, Laboratory/Technical Researcher

room: 305A
e-mail: haramaty@marine.rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-3464
Research Interests: Programmed Cell Death in phytoplankton and its role in bloom demise, and in response to stress and viral infection. Coral bleaching and response of corals and zooxanthellae to stress. The role of apoptosis in coral death after a bleaching event. Phytoplankton Screening for biological activity of novel natural products from marine organisms for potential drug use.


Maeve Eason Hubbard, Laboratory Researcher

room: 305D
e-mail: hubbard@marine.rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-3267
Research Interests: Marine phytoplankton, photosynthesis, carbon concentrating mechanisms, evolution of Rubisco.


Frank NataleFrank Natale, Laboratory Researcher III

room: 305D/201L
e-mail: fnatale@marine.rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-3267 (Flow Cytometry)
Research Interests: Flow Cytometry; Viability of ancient Antarctic ice microbes; Coral/Symbiodinium physiology.

 


Kevin WymanKevin Wyman, Laboratory Researcher

room: 318E
e-mail: wyman@marine.rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-3428
Research Interests: As Lab Manager, my research interest parallels those of the entire group. I help people in the group with technical support, procurement, proper maintenance and use of research instrumentation while also overseeing adherence to proper lab safety procedures.


Graduate Assistants/Students

Ananya AgarwalAnanya Agarwal, Graduate Student

room: 318B
e-mail: ananya.agarwal@rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-3438
Research Interests:  Molecular biology, biofuels, photosynthesis, regulatory pathways in  phytoplankton

 


Kuan Yu Cheong, Graduate Student

room: 318A
e-mail:  kuan.yu.cheong@rutgers.edu  or kc702@rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-6555 or 848-228-9516
Research Interests: The fatty acid composition, ultrastructure, and thermostability of thylakoid membranes in model eukaryotic algae


Ben Jelen, Graduate Student

room: 318A
e-mail: ben.jelen@rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-3439
Research Interests: My research interests lie in the evolution of life’s energy transduction pathways. I am approaching this problem by placing the metal containing enzymes responsible for electron transfer into phylogenetic context. The core redox pathways controlling planetary fluxes of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur (e.g. glycolysis, TCA cycle, oxidative phosphorylation, nitrification, denitrification, photosynthesis and more) are annotated with the genes encoding oxidoreductase enzymes (EC1) necessary for pathway function. Using the gene annotations described, I am mapping these core redox enzymes onto existing prokaryotic phylogenies (Bacteria and Archaea), based on 16S rRNA. Despite documented issues with horizontal gene transfer and phylogenies based on 16S rRNA, this map should give the oxidoreductases evolutionary context. This distribution of redox enzymes across the prokaryotic tree of life will add to our understanding of how they and the electron transfer networks in which they play a critical role have evolved.


Winnie Liu, Graduate Student

room: 318B
e-mail:  wl398@rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-3438
Research Interests:  Photochemistry of minerals

 


 Brittany Schieler, Graduate Student

room: 305
e-mail: schieler@marine.rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-3438
Research Interests: Phytoplankton physiology and molecular biology, phytoplankton/virus interactions in the environment, molecular mechanisms of viral infection


Yonathan Sherman, Graduate Student

room: 318A
e-mail: sherman@marine.rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-3439
Research Interests: Phytoplankton physiology and molecular biology


Christopher Johns, Graduate Student

Major: Biological Oceanography

room: 305D
e-mail:  cjohns89@marine.rutgers.edu
phone: (848) 932-3267
Research Interests: microbial ecology, virology, biogeochemistry, infochemical interactions, impacts of global warming on cell physiology


 

Undergraduate Assistants/Students