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In Collaboration with: Project Kaisei

project kaisei

The SEAPLEX team: (front row, left to right) Rupert Dubler, Andrew Titmus, Pete Davison, Doug Woodring, Karin Malmstrom, Miriam Goldstein, Darcy Taniguchi, Meg Rippy, and Chelsea Rochman. (back row, left to right) Timbo Stillinger, Jesse Powell, Mario Aguilera, Jim Leichter, Lara Dickens, Matt Durham, and Josh Jones. (Aug. 16, 2009)

The Team

Scientists | Volunteers | Project Kaisei | Communications & Outreach


Miriam Goldstein

Miriam Goldstein (SEAPLEX chief scientist): Miriam is a third year Ph.D. student at Scripps studying biological oceanography. For her thesis work, she investigates the distribution and abundance of plastic debris in the North Pacific Gyre, as well as the potential for plastic debris to impact the distributions of invasive species. She is the principal investigator on the SEAPLEX cruise.

Rebecca Asch

Rebecca Asch Rebecca Asch is a third year Ph.D. student in the biological oceanography program at Scripps. She is dissecting mid-water fishes caught during the SEAPLEX expedition in order to investigate whether these species ingest plastic debris. Her dissertation research examines how climate change affects the seasonal timing of phytoplankton production and the spawning of small, pelagic fishes, such as sardines and anchovies, in the California Current.

Pete Davison

Pete is a fifth year Ph.D. student at Scripps in biological oceanography. His work focuses on a group of vertically migrating fishes called myctophids. He has been on a number of cruises. During SEAPLEX he will be investigating plastics in the guts of these fishes.

Josh Jones

Josh has been working in whale research and conservation for 13 years and has been at the Scripps Whale Acoustics Laboratory for the past six. His research interests are primarily focused on the use of passive acoustic monitoring to detect, identify, and track whales at sea in real-time.

Jim Leichter

Jim is a professor of biological oceanography at Scripps and will be serving as faculty advisor on the cruise. His interests and work are on physical biological interactions in the coastal and open oceans.

Jesse Powell

Jesse is a third year Ph.D. student at Scripps in biological oceanography. He is working to understand the relationships between acoustically derived zooplankton counts and zooplankton net tows. Before starting his PhD career, he worked as a laboratory technician at Scripps where he went on more than 20 research cruises. His interests also include development of oceanographic equipment.

Chelsea Rochman

Chelsea is a Ph.D. student in a joint program between San Diego State University and UC Davis. She is working to better understand the chemical aspects of plastic debris on the marine environment. She is specifically interested in the persistent organic pollutants that adsorb to plastic debris from the water. She is also curious to see if these pollutants transfer into the tissue of organisms upon ingestion.

Darcy Taniguchi

Darcy is a third year Ph.D. student at Scripps in biological oceanography. She is studying the size structure, distribution and composition of phytoplankton and microzooplankton in the California Current. She has been on several cruises to the California Current over the past year.

Andrew Titmus

Andrew Titmus is a graduate student at Hawaii Pacific University. His work involves investigating the amounts and effects of ingested plastics on seabirds in the Pacific. He is particularly interested in the differences in ingested plastic amounts and types for albatross chicks in Hawaii. On this cruise he will be taking surveys of both seabirds and visible marine debris in order to see which species are most likely to occur with high density debris areas.

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Jesse Dubler

Jesse is one of the volunteers onboard this cruise. He recently graduated from UC San Diego with a bachelor's degree in political science with an emphasis in International Relations and is starting graduate school this fall at Monterey Institute for International Studies (MIIS) in Monterey Bay, Calif. His interest in volunteering onboard this cruise comes from his grant-funded project to establish an international clearinghouse on pelagic (open ocean) microplastics which has been developed jointly with Algalita Marine Research Foundation over the past two years.

Meg Rippy

Meg is a fourth year Ph.D. student at Scripps in biological oceanography. Her work involves the movement of pathogenic bacteria in coastal systems. She is going on this cruise to study the effects of plastic debris on bacterial community compositions. She is particularly interested in the role of plastics as a surface for biofilm formers. She will also volunteer with Darcy Taniguchi.

Timbo Stillinger

Tim is a junior at UC Berkley where he studies environmental science. He is originally from the San Diego area and this summer is working with Jesse Powell as research assistant. He spent a semester with the SEA Semester based in Woods Hole.


Project Kaisei

Doug Woodring

doug woodrings Doug is cofounder and project director for Project Kaisei. He is an environmental and technology entrepreneur as well as a water sports enthusiast. Prior to working with startups, he created a framework for a global environmental technology fund at Merrill Lynch in 1998. He is currently working with a variety of renewable energy technologies, including microwind, wave, and for buildings, living vertical green walls.

Annie Crawley

annie crawley Annie is a filmmaker, photographer, writer, and motivational speaker. She founded Dive Into Your Imagination to change the way a new generation views the ocean. She has explored and traveled with a camera in hand from Indonesia to Galapagos, Belize to Papua New Guinea.

Karin Malmstrom

Karin Malmstrom Karin is a sinologist and fluent Mandarin Chinese speaker, has lived and worked in Asia for many years. Her professional careers include photojournalism, strategic communications, brand development, government affairs, the auto, steel, cotton and travel industries, metals and minerals trading, technology transfers, and education.

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Communications and Outreach

Mario Aguilera

Mario is assistant director of communications at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego ( His duties include science writing, media relations and public relations. Prior to joining Scripps/UCSD in 1997, Aguilera worked as a freelance writer and reporter with the North County Times, the San Diego Daily Transcript and The Log newspapers.

Lara Dickens

Lara is a science teacher at Patrick Henry High School in the San Diego Unified School District, and is joining SEAPLEX through the Teacher at Sea program. She has taught physics, chemistry, environmental science, and earth science and is thrilled to be able to bring the SEAPLEX experience back to students and other teachers. She has a degree in environmental engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and a master's in educational technology.

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