Current Members

  • Michael Latz, Principal Investigator. Ph.D. in Marine Biology, UC Santa Barbara.
    Research: Bioluminescence of marine organisms.
  • Brittany Sprecher, NSF Postdoctoral Fellow. Ph.D. in Marine Microbiology, University of Connecticut.
    Research: Origin of green fluorescence in dinoflagellates.

Adjunct Members

  • Shengqiang Cai, UCSD Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Harvard University.
    Research: Mechanics and chemistry of soft materials including synthesized polymers and biological tissues.
  • Alex Groisman, UCSD Department of Physics. Ph.D. in Physics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel.
    Research: Microfluidic approaches in biology and chemistry.
  • Melissa Carter, Scripps Coastal Phytoplankton Group. M.S. in Marine Science, University of San Diego.
    Research: Coastal phytoplankton of the California coast and Caribbean.
  • Jim RohrNational Marine Mammal Foundation (deceased). Ph.D. in Fluid Mechanics, UC San Diego. Formerly a physicist at the Space and Warfare Systems Center Pacific, San Diego.
    Research: Flow stimulation of bioluminescence.
  • John FrangosLa Jolla Bioengineering Institute. Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, Rice University.
    Research: Effect of mechanical forces on mammalian cells.

Artists in Residence

  • Erika Blumenfeld, Artist in Residence 2000, 2010. Internationally exhibiting artist and Guggenheim Fellow with a BFA in Photography from Parsons The New School of Design.
    Project: Photography and videography of bioluminescence presented at CARBON 12 exhibition in Paris, France, 2012.
  • Glenn Kaino, Artist in Residence 2013. LA artist with an MFA from UC San Diego.
    Project: Bioluminescence Wishing Well for Glow Santa Monica art festival September 28, 2013.
  • Iyvone Khoo, Artist in Residence 2014. London-based artist with an MFA from Central Saint Martins, University of Arts London.
    Project: ‘Ara Lucidas‘, glass sculpture and video projection, presented at GLASSTRESS GOTIKA 2015, Venice, Italy.
  • Iyvone Khoo, Artist in Residence 2015.
    Project: Video and photography for Infinity Cube installation at the Birch Aquarium of Scripps during 2017-2018.
  • Jack Smith, Artist in Residence 2016. London communication design student.
    Project: “Luminescymatics“ and Waves of Light article.

Past Members

Postdoctoral Researchers

  • Jenny Lindström, 2015-2017. Ph.D. in Zoophysiology, University of Gothenberg, Sweden. Research: Characterization and evolution of signaling proteins involved in the regulation of dinoflagellate bioluminescence. Currently an Analyst at the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management.
  • John Stires, 2014-2017. Ph.D. in Chemistry, UC San Diego. Research: Relationship of dinoflagellate cell mechanical properties and physiological mechanosensitivity, using bioluminescence as a reporter system.
  • Dimitri Deheyn, 1996-2004. Ph.D. Free University of Brussels, Belgium. Research: Bioluminescence assays in ecotoxicology. Currently Research Biologist at Scripps Oceanography.
  • Lilian Busse, 2003-2004. Ph.D. Technical University of Berlin, Germany. Research: Long time scale changes in phytoplankton biodiversity. Currently Vice President of the Germain Environmental Agency.
  • Sara Lindsay, 1996-1998. Ph.D. in Ecology, University of South Carolina, Columbia. Research: Visual basis of luminescent camouflage behavior in a midwater shrimp. Currently Professor of Marine Science at University of Maine, Orono.

Graduate Students

  • Mariska Beekman,  M.Sc. Biological Sciences 2016, University of Amsterdam. Research: The involvement of heterotrimeric G proteins in the dinoflagellate bioluminescence signaling pathway. Currently a PhD student at Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands.
  • Aaron Hartmann,  Ph.D. 2014. Research: Effects of environment and life history strategy on coral reproductive success. Currently a research scientist at Harvard University.
  • Kelly Jin. M.S. Biology 2012. Research: Calcium regulation in the signaling pathway for dinoflagellate bioluminescence. Currently a scientist at the Allen Institute for Brain Science, Seattle, Washington.
  • Melissa Roth. Ph.D. 2010. Research: Coral fluorescence and its potential as an indicator of coral health. Currently a research scientist at University of California Berkeley.
  • Elisa Maldonado Greene. Ph.D. 2009. Research: Effect of environmental conditions on grazing and growth of echinoderm larvae. Currently Director Office of Undergraduate Research at University of San Diego.
  • Kimberly Hoyt. M.S. 2009. Research: Metal contamination of marsh plants in San Diego County.
  • Kim Thamatrakoln. Ph.D. 2006. Silicon transporter proteins in diatoms. Currently a research scientist at Rutgers University.
  • Peter von Dassow. Ph.D. 2003. Research: Regulation of bioluminescence in the dinoflagellate Lingulodinium polyedrum. Currently a scientist at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile.
  • Andrew Juhl. Ph.D. 2000. Effect of fluid shear on dinoflagellate growth, physiology and toxin content. Currently a Research Professor at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.
  • Jennifer Nauen. Ph.D. 1998. Biomechanics of two aquatic defense systems. Currently an Associate Professor at University of Delaware.