Current Members

Susanne Neuer

Susanne Neuer

Susanne Neuer’s research bridges biogeochemistry and plankton ecology and is focused on the biological carbon pump, its relationship to plankton community composition and surface productivity, the role of Saharan desert dust and deep particle advection.

Neuer has participated in more than 25 cruises, five as chief scientist. Her research group has published articles on the biological carbon pump and nutrient budgets of the eastern and western subtropical Atlantic. They have applied DNA-based molecular techniques to help decipher the contributors to particle flux. Her group also studies the role of sea ice organisms in the carbon cycle of the Arctic.

She teaches oceanography, ecology, environmental life sciences and marine biology.  Read Susanne’s CV

Bianca Nahir Cruz



I am a third-year Environmental Life Sciences PhD student exploring the mechanisms by which pico-phytoplankton contribute to the ocean’s biological carbon pump. My research interests also involve the microbial ecology of sinking particles.

Kassandra Dudek


I am a fourth-year Environmental Life Science PhD student. I am pursuing research on how anthropogenic pollutants, namely microplastics, at the ocean surface impact microbial community composition and function, or vice-versa.  I am also interested in how phytoplankton aggregation enhances the export of microplastics, which act as an artificial microbial reef, from the surface layer and how that enhancement could impact carbon cycling.

Catrina Shurtleff


I am a Research Technician with a BS in Microbiology. I have been maintaining the lab’s in-house phytoplankton culture collection, and have been conducting experiments on the interactions between pico-phytoplankton and their environment (clay minerals, heterotrophic bacteria), as well as their potential contribution to the biological carbon pump. I hope to explore how pico-phytoplankton aggregates form differently in axenic and xenic conditions, as well as what mechanisms may lead to these differences.

Hunter Kleinschmidt


I am a first-year Environmental Life Sciences PhD student interested in the mechanisms by which microorganisms influence and persist in “extreme” environments. My research will capture this through the study of psychrophilic plankton from the Arctic. My research interests also involve exobiology and finding candidate species for extraterrestrial ecosystems.

Past Members



Dr. Francesca De Martini

Dr. Wei Deng

Dr. Jessica Amacher

Post-docs and Visiting Scholars:

Dr. Stephanie Wilson

Dr. Andres Cianca

Dr. Peer Helmke

MS and Undergraduates:

Jazmine Russell

Megan Wolverton

Kyle Kinzler

Ian Anderson

Ben Brugman

Brian Eddie

Shikha Gupta

Gwendolyn Hoenicke

Kate Meltzer

Becky Mestek

Alexis Pasulka

Alissa Rickborn

Philip Tarrant

Tyler Sawyer

Ali Freibott

Amy Hansen

Marissa Ivie

Mark Wiener

Kimberly Mohabir

Cora McHugh

Demetra Hamill

Frank Keck

Nate Muñoz

Holly Celaya

Maira Nieto

Luis Romero

Daniel Jasso-Selles

Jonathan Durkin

Celeste Delaune

Tyla Kanteena

Patricia Ibalo

Makena Diller

Daniel Johnson

Nisha Velu

Kevin Roy

Samantha Brozak