web templates free download

My Ph.D.

Ultimately, I'd like to document how corals alter their gene expression in response to environmental stressors.

Press play below to find out why.

How have I been accomplishing this?

By growing corals in tanks at UCSC!

My Progress

No tropical coral culturing facility exists at UC Santa Cruz. Thus in order for me to do this research, I have had to: 1. Create my own culture system 2. Automate tank monitoring  and 3. Collaborate with other experts. Great progress has been made in all of these areas.


Culture System

I now have a 130 gallon coral culture system. It is equiped with high quality pumps, lighting, and filters. This system has been growing coral consistently for the last 6 months. I am currently in the process of automating calcium and alkalinity additions, as well as, setting up experimental tanks.

Tank Automation

Things submerged in saltwater for a prolonged period of time will break! A heater for example could break in the ON position and cause a bleaching event within a few hours. To avoid this, Steven and I created our own water monitoring system that measures pH, Oxygen, Salinity, Temperature, and Oxygen Reduction Potential. It even emails us alerts when parameters change to quickly!


My research requires that I collaborate with other groups. My current collaboration is with Dr. Nancy Prouty and Dr. Curt Storlazzi of the US Geological Survey. Together we will be examining how coastal sediments impacts coral gene expression. Beginning in 2019, I will be working to extract coral RNA and will have this RNA sequenced.

  Our monitoring system

My Supporters

Growing corals in tanks is neither easy or affordable! I've created my entire system from scratch and have been partially supported by a variety of companies and funding agencies.

Academic Funding

I have been supported by many different grants in my research career. The below organizations have all supported my UCSC research on corals.

Commercial Support

Aquarium equipment is EXPENSIVE! I asked many companies if they would consider sponsoring my work (at least in part). I got some really great responses from the following companies.

Follow my Ph.D. progress on Instagram