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 first-year Biology Master’s student studying the aggregation and TEP production of the marine pico-cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus marinus, as well as the effect that heterotrophic bacteria may play in such aggregation.

Ultimately, I’m interested in exploring the mechanisms by which pico-phytoplankton contribute to the ocean’s biological carbon pump.

Kassandra Dudek


I am a second-year Environmental Life Science PhD student. I am currently interested in 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.

Jazmine Russell


I am a second year Sustainability Master’s student interested in human-ecological-technological systems and how climate change may impact them. Specifically, my research is focused on investigating Arizona reservoir water quality to better project trends under an uncertain climate future and to develop improved water quality monitoring techniques.  I utilize both in-situ water quality data generated through field sampling and remotely sensed reflectance data to gain a more nuanced spatial and temporal understanding of water quality.

Daniel Jasso-Selles


I am a senior aiming to get a Bachelor’s in Microbiology. I started in the Neuer lab in late 2015. Currently, I am studying a keystone arctic diatom called Melosira arctica. This abundant algae has to survive a wide array of conditions as the seasons change. Experiments are being run on how this diatom adapts to varying salinities and temperatures found in its natural habitat. With this knowledge we can gain a better understanding of arctic sea ice ecology.

Kevin Roy


I joined Dr. Neuer’s lab in the fall of 2015 and started as a volunteer. Now, I am a SOLUR apprentice and currently working towards a Bachelors in Microbiology. Currently, I am working with Bianca Cruz to investigate how heterotrophic bacteria affect the aggregation of the marine pico-cyanobacteria Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus. This will help uncover a bit of the complexity behind the biological carbon pump and provide insight into the intricate interactions between marine microbes. In future endeavors, I would like to learn more about how to increase the aggregation of these cyanobacteria to sequester more carbon, find the feasibility of how this can impact the biochemistry of the biological pump, and the potential as an alternative energy source.

Catrina Shurtleff


I am an undergraduate student with two semesters until I earn my bachelor’s degree in Microbiology. As a member of Dr. Neuer’s lab, I have been maintaining cultures and helping with on-going experiments which focus on the interactions between phytoplankton and their environment, 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.

Luis Romero


I am a CGCC alumni and current ASU Microbiology undergraduate, with a particular interest in environmental microbes. With my experience spanning from soil microbes to general mycology and now marine microbiology, I hope to take these skills and use them to discover novel interaction between microbes, their environments, and other organisms. I hope to one day be able to use this knowledge to improve these communities and our overall understanding of their interactions. Currently, I help maintain the various cultures of phytoplankton at the Neuer Lab’s collection, as well as assist in isolating marine heterotrophic bacteria from pico-phytoplankton aggregates — in hopes to better understand more about the mechanisms of aggregation of these phytoplankton, and their role in carbon cycling in the Earth’s oceans.

Past Members


Dr. Francesca De Martini

Dr. Wei Deng

Dr. Jessica Amacher

Dr. Stephanie Wilson

Dr. Andres Cianca

Dr. Peer Helmke

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

Brittany Held

Cora McHugh

Demetra Hamill

Logan Monks

Frank Keck

Nate Muñoz

Holly Celaya

Maira Nieto