MEGAMER Investigators, Postdoctoral Scholars and Facility Personnel. Dr Jonathan Zehr is the Facility’s Principal Investigator

Facility Principal Investigator

JonZehrDr Jonathan Zehr
Professor of Ocean Sciences,
University of California, Santa Cruz

Facility Investigators

Dr Raphael Kudela
Professor, Ocean Sciences Department
Tel: 831-459-3290

Dr Chris Edwards
Professor, Ocean Sciences Department
Tel: 831-459-3734

Dr Andrew Moore
Professor, Ocean Sciences Department
Tel: 831-459-4632

Postdoctoral Scholars

Dr Nicole Goebel

Nicole is an ecosystem modeler with an interest in the mechanisms that drive ecological processes and dynamics. She uses laboratory, field, and modeling approaches to investigate biotic and abiotic controls on phytoplankton functions, interactions, and diversity. A hierarchy of modeling approaches utilized includes conceptual, empirical, diagnostic and complex numerical simulations. Her experience investigating phytoplankton dynamics across a range of marine ecosystem types has given her a global perspective on the various factors that drive microbial communities; environments studied include estuarine, fjord, coastal, and open ocean systems that encompass pristine, oligotrophic, upwelling, and eutrophic conditions. Nicole’s strengths lie in the development and novel use of ecosystem models, and data exploration and visualization. Ultimately she uses these methods to improve our understanding of the mechanisms that drive primary ecosystem functions and dynamics.

Dr Julie Robidart

Julie’s research incorporates assay development with the Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) in order to improve the spatial-temporal resolution of our understanding of marine biogeochemical processes. She has developed assays for genes coding for key enzymes as well as enzymes involved nutrient stress and toxicity response, for a variety of organisms important in biogeochemical cycling. Her overarching goal is to provide data to accurately forecast microbial biogeography and biogeochemistry under various oceanographic conditions.

Hajoon Song: Pending

Graduate Students

Phil Heller
Phil’s research objective applies bioinformatics techniques to the study of diel gene expression in marine cyanobacteria. Phil received his BS degree in Electrical Engineering / Computer Science from U.C. Berkeley in 1977. After a career in Silicon Valley as a consultant, author, and speaker, he developed an interest in bioinformatics and entered a PhD program at U.C. Santa Cruz.

Nicole Pereira
Nicole’s research investigates phosphate limitation in a model nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium. She studies the molecular response of C.watsonii to phosphate stress by characterizing transcription of genes regulated by increasing stress. Her work also involves developing new genetic markers to indicate phosphate stress in natural populations of C.watsonii.

Facility Personnel

Brandon Carter
Lab Manager

Brandon is the lab manager of the MEGAMER facility. He divides his time equally between the administrative and technical needs of the facility proper and research associated with the development of molecular biology based pipelines using Fluorescence Assisted Cell Sorting (FACS) to study marine microbes.

Kendra Turk-Kubo
Lab Technician

Kendra’s research for the MEGAMER facility focuses on the development of new quantitative PCR assays that target ecologically-relevant microorganisms in the marine environment, such as Synechococcus. These assays are designed with the intention of being incorporated into the Environmental Sample Processor (ESP).