Daniel Yee | PhD Candidate | dpyee@ucsd.eduP1140250
Daniel is a 5th year PhD student in Marine Biology originally from Hacienda Heights, CA (East-East-Los Angeles). He received his joint BS/MS in Human Biology/Biology and minor in Environmental Studies from UCSD. Daniel’s interest in marine biology was sparked while studying abroad at the University of Quensland in Brisbane Australia. Upon returning to UCSD he volunteered aboard a CalCOFI cruise where he was first introduced to phytoplankton and their role in global primary production. This experience led him to conduct his master’s research on light dependent modeling of phytoplankton growth in the lab of Dr. B. Greg Mitchell (SIO). Daniel returns to SIO following four years of industry experience at Synthetic Genomics Inc. where his research focused on improving photosynthetic efficiency in microalgae  for producing algal biofuels. In his free time, Daniel enjoys surfing, biking, traveling, brewing and drinking beer.
Research Interests:
  • Phytoplankton physiology
  • Cellular pH sensing
  • Photosynthesis
  • Algal biotechnology
At Synthetic Genomics, Daniel worked on a project to improve improve photosynthetic efficiency by screening and identifying the effects of manipulating molecular regulators of photosynthesis. This work is embodied in a US patent entitled, “Algal Mutants Having a Locked-In High Light Acclimated Phenotype”. Going into his PhD research, he plans to study the role of pH sensing by soluble adenylate cyclases (sAC) in mechanisms such as photosynthesis, carbon concentrating mechanism (CCM), and silicification in diatoms.
Daniel has been awarded the Scripps Fellowship (2014-2015) and previously awarded the NSF East Asia and Pacific Summer Institute Fellowship (2009), and China Science and Technology Exchange Center Summer Research Stipend (2009).

Bethany Shimasaki | M.S. Student | bshimasa@ucsd.edu

Bethany Shimasaki obtained her B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of California, San Diego and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Marine Biology at SIO. Her research is focused on characterizing the role of soluble adenyl cyclase (sAC) protein and how it might be involved in the uptake of CO2 and photosynthesis in marine diatoms. Bethany was born and raised in Seattle, Washington and spent much of her time in the San Juan Islands in Northern Washington exploring tide pools and watching wildlife. She’s previously volunteered at the Seattle Aquarium as a marine science and exhibit interpreter. This grew her interest and led her to pursue a career in marine science. On top of that, she has been working as a marine naturalist on whale watching boats in the San Juan Islands for the past 5 years. While at UCSD, Bethany volunteered briefly in the Sandin Lab, helping with various studies on coral diversity and ecology, and in the Kurle Lab, studying rattlesnake diets using isotope sampling. She also assisted Dr. Robert Otis (Ripon College, WI) in collecting and processing behavior data on a population of killer whales in Washington state known as the Southern Residents as part of a 27 year-long continuous field study.  Bethany became involved in the Tresguerres lab as a volunteer under PhD candidate Daniel Yee after developing an interest in marine phytoplankton and microbiology through various classes she took.


Cameron Hassibi | Master’s Student | chassibi@ucsd.edu

Cameron Hassibi attained his B.S. in Environmental Systems: Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution at UCSD, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in marine biology studying glycogen levels in bleached and healthy corals. Born and raised in Long Beach, California, Cameron first discovered his passion for environmental preservation as an education volunteer at the Aquarium of the Pacific. He was also involved in projects to reintroduce the Olympia oyster to the greater Long Beach Bay and to restore sea grass habitats in Newport Bay. Cameron became involved in the Tresguerres Lab as a volunteer under Ph.D. candidate Lauren Linsmayer.


Shane Finnerty | M.S. Graduate | sfinnert@ucsd.edu

Shane Finnerty finished his B.S. in Marine Biology at UCSD. Shane is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in marine biology – characterizing ionocyte distribution in larval white seabass. Raised partly in both Monterey California, as well as the greater Seattle area of Washington state, he spent his summers exploring the intertidal and kelp forests of the West Coast. Before his start at Scripps, Shane worked in the biology department of Santa Barbara City College as an assistant lab technician while working on his transfer to UCSD. During this time, he worked also as an exhibit interpreter at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s Sea Center, as well as a docent at the Hollister Ranch Tide Pool School, educating students on marine life of the California Coast, and the importance of protecting our natural ecosystems. With an interest in teleost fishes, Shane entered the Tresguerres Lab as a volunteer under Ph.D. candidate Garfield Kwan, studying the cellular mechanisms involved in biomineralization of fish otoliths.


Cristina Salmerón | Post-doctoral Researcher | crsalmeronsalvador@ucsd.edu

Dr. Cristina Salmerón is a Spanish postdoctoral Researcher in the Tresguerres Laboratory. She studies the physiological mechanisms for sensing acid/base (A/B) variables and its downstream regulatory pathways in fish. Cristina completed a BSc in Biology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) that included a research internship at the Center for Marine Animal Recovery (where she also volunteered during her spare time).  She then completed a MSc in Aquaculture at the University of Barcelona (UB); part of her research was conducted at the Scottish Oceans Institute at the University of Saint Andrews (UK). Cristina then did her Ph.D in Aquaculture at the UB, where she focused her research in the role of leptin and ghrelin on adipose tissue and studies on muscle proteolysis in fish.

Research Interests:

  • Fish physiology and cell homeostasis regulation.
  • Marine biology conservation.
  • Stem cells research.
  • Aquaculture
Cristina is interested in understanding the sensing mechanisms and associated signalling pathways involved in maintaining cellular A/B homeostasis in teleost fish. Her current research investigates some potential chemosensing enzymes such as the soluble Adenylyl Cyclase (sAC), and its responses under different A/B conditions. Cristina is interested in the relation between these A/B sensing mechanisms and energy homeostasis and cell survival, and ultimately on their relevance for predicting organism responses to environmental stress such as the Ocean Acidification.

Mikayla Ortega | M.S. Graduate | mjortega@ucsd.edu

Mikayla completed her Master’s of Science in Marine Biology. She completed her undergraduate studies at San Diego State University (SDSU), majoring in Biology and double minoring in Psychology and Geological Sciences. During her third year there she spent four months abroad studying at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji as a recipient of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. It was there she found confirmation for her interests in the marine sciences through her participation in coral ecology studies and pacific dolphin behavioral studies. She spent time volunteering for the Birch Aquarium and worked closely with the organization San Diego Refugee Tutoring at Ibarra Elementary. During her final year at SDSU she connected with the Tresguerres lab and participated in the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, focusing her studies on the soluble adenyl cyclase (sAC) protein and its presence in leopard sharks. She continued her work with leopard sharks by participating in senior undergraduate off-campus research opportunities through SDSU. It was through this experience she decided to join the Tresguerres lab as an official graduate student. She has since shifted gears and is now focusing on research related to coral physiology.

Research Interests:

  • coral physiology
  • mechanisms involved in calcification and photosynthesis
  • regulation of intracellular pH



Lauren Linsmayer | Ph.D. Graduate | llinsmay@ucsd.edu

Lauren is a 3rd year PhD student in the Tresguerres Lab. She arrived at Scripps after completing a joint BS/MS program at Stanford University in the interdisciplinary Earth Systems program. At Stanford, she spent several summers interning for Dr. George Somero’s comparative physiology lab at the Hopkins Marine Station, where she completed her Honors Thesis research on the physiology of an invasive mussel (paper here: http://aquaticcommons.org/6603/). This is where her interest in studying the physiology of marine organisms developed, and why she joined the Tresguerres Lab.

Research Interests:

  • eco-physiology of marine organisms (how environmental changes affect the physiology of organisms, which in turns influences their ecology)
  • coral physiology, particularly metabolism and oxidative stress
  • diurnal influences on coral physiology (eg. Photosynthesis and respiration)
  • circadian rhythms and how environmental stress affects these cycles
  • metabolomics and proteomics

Lauren has been working on optimizing metabolic enzyme assays to measure activities of key aerobic and anaerobic metabolic enzymes and linking changes in metabolism during day and night to other physiological changes.

Lauren is a co-founder of the Scripps/UCSD-based Interdisciplinary Forum on Environmental Change (SIO 296), a graduate student-led initiative to enhance interdisciplinary research efforts and collaborations across disciplines and binationally (collaborators include COLEF in Tijuana). Her interests in policy took her to the UN climate change conference in Poland in November 2013, where she spoke on a panel about ocean acidification to an audience of political delegates. She helped found a Scripps/UCSD group called Ocean Scientists for Informed Policy (link: www.oceanscientists.org) with the aim of improving science communication to policy-makers and improving the public’s understanding of the role of the ocean in climate change.


Megan Barron | Ph.D. Graduate | mebarron@ucsd.edu

Megan Barron is a 6th year Ph.D. student in the Tresguerres lab. Megan grew up in Spotsylvania, Virginia and attended the University of Virginia (UVA), where she received her Bachelor’s (BS) degree in Biology and a minor in French. As an undergrad, she completed two semesters of independent research, and was also a member of UVA’s synthetic biology team. Megan enjoys teaching, and helped co-teach a seminar in Synthetic Biology and peer teach Introductory Molecular Biology labs. After graduation, she briefly interned abroad before moving to San Diego in the fall to begin her doctoral study. In her spare time, Megan enjoys playing the ukulele (poorly), running (slowly), and backpacking/camping.

Research Interests:

  • mechanisms for sensing acid/base disturbances
  • regulation of intracellular pH
  • physiology of marine invertebrates (corals & oysters)
  • mechanisms behind calcification
  • potential harmful and beneficial impacts of Ocean Acidification

She is currently studying the physiology of corals. Her project investigates the genes and proteins that may be involved in acid/base sensing, intracellular pH regulation, and calcification. Through her project, she hopes to better understand and predict the capacity of these marine calcifiers to handle projected changes in ocean chemistry.  Her focus is on soluble Adenylyl Cyclase (sAC), a bicarbonate-sensing enzyme that converts ATP into cAMP and may be involved in pathways affected by Ocean Acidification.

While at SIO, Megan has tutored local high school students and has mentored a middle school student through the SPAWAR/GetMagic collaboration (a program that encourages girls who are interested in STEM fields). She also assists with the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB), training local teams in preparation for the Grunion Bowl and providing assistance during the competition itself. However, her favorite volunteer experiences involve giving aquarium tours to visiting kids- they go absolutely crazy at the tide pool “touching” tank and it’s hillarious.

Megan has been awarded the UCSD / SIO Regents Fellowship (2011 – 2012) and the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (2012 – 2015).


Taylor Smith | Undergrad Volunteer | t1smith@ucsd.edu

Taylor Smith was born in Switzerland and grew up in New York, but spent most of her summers in California. She first learned of Scripps during Sea Camp in middle school, and contacted Dr. Jeff Graham in high school to carry out independent research on juvenile leopard sharks. She then moved to the west coast to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology at the University of California, San Diego. She is currently a 4th year undergraduate volunteering in the Dr. Semmens’ and Dr. Tresguerres’ lab.

Taylor is currently working with PhD candidate Garfield Kwan to study the cellular processes for biomineralization in otolith sac epithelium of various fish species. She is also working on an independent study analyzing the feeding behavior of manta rays through the Faculty Mentorship Program as well as collaborated on a manta ray social behavior project under PhD candidate Joshua Stewart.


Jinae RoaJinae Roa | Post-doctoral Researcher | jnbroa@ucsd.edu

Jinae Roa, a native of southern California, received her BS from the University of California, Santa Barbara, before going on to work on her Master’s thesis at California State University, Long Beach. While at Long Beach she studied muscle physiology of marine fishes, specifically how size, gender, population size, fishing pressure, and water temperature affected the muscle composition of California sheephead, Semicossyphus pulcher. She is currently a PhD student in the Tresguerres Lab at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Research Interest:

  • Mechanisms for acid/base sensing and regulation in elasmobranch fishes
  • Physiology of marine fishes

At SIO her research utilizes molecular, cellular, and whole-animal biology to investigate physiological responses associated with changes in intracellular and blood pH. She is currently investigating cellular mechanisms responsible for acid/base sensing and regulation in leopard sharks. Jinae utilizes molecular, cellular, and whole-animal biology to investigate physiological responses associated with changes in intracellular and blood pH.

She is currently funded by the NIH Training Grant in Marine Biotechnology (2013-2015) and has been awarded the San Diego Fellowship (2011-2013) and the California State University Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar (2010-2011).


Katie Barott  | Post-doctoral Researcher | kbarott@ucsd.edukatie

Dr. Katie Barott is a postdoctoral scholar in the Tresguerres lab studying coral physiology and symbiosis. Katie completed her BS in Zoology and her BS in biochemistry and molecular biology at Michigan State University. After graduating she moved to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where she worked as a Research Assistant studying microbial oceanography. She then moved to San Diego to complete her PhD as part of the joint program in biology between UCSD and SDSU. Katie’s PhD work focused on the role of bacteria in competition between corals and benthic algae. 

Research Interests:

  • Coral physiology and pH regulation
  • Interactions between corals, benthic algae, and microbes
  • Response of reef organisms to human impacts, particularly ocean acidification
  • Metagenomics

Katie is interested in understanding how corals interact with other organisms on the reef, from fellow macro-organisms competing for space on the benthos down to their endosymbiotic algae and bacteria. Her current research investigates some of the molecular mechanisms that influence coral symbiosis with their algal endosymbionts, with a particular focus on the role of pH regulation. She is also interested in how environmental factors such as human activity affect coral interactions and survival on the reef.

Katie has been awarded the NSF Ocean Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (2012 – 2014), the NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship (2012, declined), the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Fellowship (2011), and the NSF GRFP (2007 – 2010).


Jörn Thomsen | Post-doctoral Researcher | joernthomsen@geomar.dejorn

Jörn Thomsen was a postdoctoral scholar in the Tresguerres lab. Jörn received a diploma in Biology from Kiel University, Germany in 2009. In his PhD studies at GEOMAR, Germany, he investigated the ecophysiology of marine bivalves in an acidified ocean by combining laboratory and field studies. This field of research was extended in a first postdoctoral phase which focused on adaptation potential. His stay at SIO was funded by a scholarship by the German academic exchange service (DAAD). The research investigated the localization and mechanisms of ammonia excretion in mussels.

Research Interests:

  • Ecophysiology of marine invertebrates
  • Mechanisms of ammonia excretion and acid-base regulation in marine bivalves
  • Impact of global change (ocean acidification, desalination, and warming) on marine biota
  • Acclimation and adaptation to environmental stress


Yuzo Yanagitsuru | Undergrad Volunteer | yyanagit@ucsd.eduyuzo

Yuzo Yanagitsuru is a 4th year undergraduate volunteer in the Tresguerres lab. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s in biology: ecology, behavior, and evolution as well as a Bachelor’s in earth science. Yuzo wants to know everything about fish and is especially interested in fish biomechanics. In the past, Yuzo worked in Jeff Graham’s lab on mudskipper respiration physiology and its implication for the evolution of tetrapods. He also worked at the acclimation of mudsuckers to aerial exposure. He is also working at Scripps’ Marine Vertebrate Collection as a curator assistant. Yuzo is currently working with flatfish and the difference between the gills exposed to the water and the gills exposed to the sediments.

Yuzo also wants to research the biomechanics of fish behavior and functional morphology, particularly in fish locomotion because of its application in biomimetics for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) which could be used for deep sea research. I am also interested in providing research opportunities for undergraduates and high schoolers in the future. He will be applying for graduate school in fish biomechanics labs for Fall 2015. However, above all else he hopes to teach a fish biology class at the university level.

Yuzo is currently funded by the David Marc Belkin Memorial Research Scholarship.


Jenny Tu | M.S. Graduate | jetu@ucsd.edu

Jenny Tu is a 2nd year M.S. student co-chaired by Dr. Deheyn and Dr. Tresguerres. Originally from Fremont, California, she moved to San Diego to complete her Bachelor’s degree in human biology at University of California, San Diego. As an undergraduate, Jenny developed her research in the Deheyn lab at SIO. Her project was primarily focused on characterizing the mechanism behind the bioluminescence capability of the mucus secreted by a marine worm, Chaetopterus sp. She tested the effecJennyt of physico-chemical conditions (pH, temperature, and salinity) and dose responses of various chemicals (metals, oxidizers, and reducers) in order to identify the key components that affect bioluminescence. Towards the end of her undergraduate project, Jenny showed evidence that the control of light production results from the balance between inhibitor and activator processes. 

Research Interests:

• Light Production, such as fluorescence and bioluminescence

• Climate Change, particularly ocean acidification

• Comparative Physiology

• Acid/Base Regulation

• Carbon-concentrating Mechanisms

• Cnidarians & Coral reefs

Jenny’s research studies the effect of ocean acidification—both acute and chronic—on the abundance of vacuolar proton pumps, reactive oxygen species, and green fluorescent proteins in the cnidarians Acropora yongei and Anemonia majano.


Sidney Perez | M.S. Graduate | soperez@ucsd.edu

IMG_2697Sidney is a 1st year Master’s student in the lab. She grew up in the small town of Menifee, California before attending college at UCSD.  She began participating in undergraduate research as a freshman with her involvement in the program: Initiative to Maximize Student Diversity (IMSD) in Science.  Through this program Sidney participated on projects involving drug discovery efforts toward the treatment of hookworm, as well as exploring the neuronal effects of alcohol on fetuses exposed to alcohol in utero.  In 2011 she took a chance toward change and travelled to Australia for   a Marine Biology program in which she conducted field experiments on a coral reef flat. It was this period in which she realized her fascination with corals.  She returned to the U.S. in search for a lab that focused on coral physiology and was thrilled to discover the Tresguerres lab. In 2013 Sidney graduated from UCSD with a BS in Biochemistry & Cell Biology and she is now pursuing her MS in Biology through UCSD.

Sidney is also a graduate intern at UCSD’s Environmental Affairs department in which she organizes efforts to reduce the University’s water usage and monitors the campus’ storm drains for ocean pollutants.  She hopes to integrate her degrees and experience with environmental affairs to pursue a career in environmental compliance.

In her spare time, Sidney enjoys staying active and enjoying the San Diego sun.

Research interests:

  • Regulation of intracellular and extracellular pH, particularly in the process of calcification in corals
  • The effects of anthropogenic stresses (especially, ocean acidification) on corals

Sidney’s current project involves the characterization of proteins in the early life stages of coral development.  She is exploring proteins potentially involved in the initial calcification process when a coral larvae first settles, metamorphoses into a polyp and begins to rapidly calcify in order to establish itself as a new colony.  Elucidating this process may have implications for understanding how corals will respond to ocean acidification.


Lara Jansen | Undergraduate Volunteer | ljansen@ucsd.eduLara

Lara Jansen is a 4th year undergraduate volunteer in the Dr. Shurin’s and Dr. Tresguerres’ lab. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Environmental Systems (Evolution, Behavior, Ecology). Originally from Livermore, California, she hopes to finish her Bachelor’s degree and pursue research in aquatic ecology, ecosystem ecology, and conservation biology.

She is currently working on a collaborative project with Professor Martin Tresguerres,and Professor John Shurin to study a special lake up in the Sierras. This lake gets regular injections of huge amounts of CO2 due to a CO2 seep underneath it. From this lake they collected a common family of zooplankton, Daphnia. As a control they also collected Daphnia from a lake of similar size and elevation, lacking CO2 inputs with one species in common with the CO2 lake. Lara is currently running acute CO2 exposure experiments where both populations are raised in ambient and high CO2 (a level derived from the uppermost range of the CO2 injected daily at the lake). Survivorship and fecundity in both the P1 and F1 generation are measured. Lara and her lab are testing to see if there is significant difference in the tolerance between the lake populations, the species and most importantly the lakes and CO2 levels. She is also looking for potential differences in metabolic rate between these two populations under the two CO2 levels using a microrespiration system to measure Oxygen consumption over time. 

Lara is currently funded by the Ledell Family Endowed Research Scholarship.


Jason Ho | M.S. Graduate | ho.hanjie.jason@gmail.com


Jason Ho was raised in Cupertino, California in the heart of the Silicon Valley, but moved south to complete his Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). In the Tresguerres lab, his research project focused on screening derivatives of pure, marine natural products in order to identify and characterize a novel activator of the soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC) enzyme and aid research on signal transduction pathways. With the support of the Tresguerres lab, Jason graduated from UCSD in December 2013 with a Master of Science degree in Biology.

Jason currently remains in San Diego as a Research Associate for a small biotech firm called InhibRx, LLC. He now dedicates his research efforts toward developing therapeutic antibodies to combat various types of cancer tumor cells. In his spare time, Jason enjoys catching up with his friends from the Tresguerres lab, taking advantage of San Diego’s flourishing craft beer community, and indulging in a number of hobbies ranging from swimming and hiking to painting and sewing.


Corey Jew M.S. Graduate | cjjew@uci.educorey

Corey Jew received a Masters of Science in Marine Biology from SIO in 2013 under the mentorship of Jeffrey Graham and Martin Tresguerres. Corey was born and raised in San Francisco, CA and attended UC San Diego, where he received a B.S in General Biology with a minor in Economics. During his undergraduate career, Corey worked at SIO under Dr. Graham studying respiratory physiology in air-breathing fishes. This worked carried on as a research assistant and graduate student. Corey’s work has included modeling Paleozoic atmospheric conditions on early vertebrate performance by running mudskippers on a treadmill (video), tracking the response to environmental hypoxia in fish by acclimating long-jawed mudsuckers to aerial exposure, and documenting spiracular air-breathing in Polypterus (video).

Corey is now a Ph.D student at UC Irvine in the laboratory of Dr. James Hicks (http://compphys.bio.uci.edu/hicks/Comparative_Physiology/Welcome.html) comparing respiratory patterns in amphibious and non-amphibious polypterids during aerial exposure.