Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Alana Sherman
Electrical Engineer

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
7700 Sandholdt Road
Moss Landing, CA 95039
Phone: (831) 775-1780
Fax: (831) 775-1646
email: alana

My Role at MBARI

As an Electrical Engineer in the Instrumentation Group at MBARI, my primary responsibility is to develop scientific instruments and underwater vehicles to increase our understanding of the world's oceans. During my time at MBARI, I have worked on a wide variety of projects in collaboration with chemists, geologists, marine biologists, and ecologists. In addition to designing, building, and testing new instrumentation, I follow my equipment out to sea where we routinely deploy and service them. Below are some links to a few of the projects I have worked on:

Educational Background

  • B.S., Mathematics, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1995
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering,University of California, Berkeley, 2000
  • Ph.D., Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley/UCSF, 2003


Smith, K.L., Jr., H.A. Ruhl, M. Kahru, C.L. Huffard and A.D. Sherman 2013) Deep ocean communities impacted by changing climate over 24 y in the abyssal northeast Pacific. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 110: 19838-19841.

Smith, K.L., Jr., A.D. Sherman, T.J. Shaw and J. Sprintall (2013) Icebergs as unique Lagrangian ecosystems in polar seas. Annu. Rev. Mar. Sci. 5: 269-287.

Smith, K.L., Jr., A.D. Sherman, T.J. Shaw, A.E. Murray, M. Vernet and A.O. Cefarelli (2011) Carbon export associated with free-drifting icebergs in the Southern Ocean. Deep-Sea Research Part II 58: 1485-1496.

Sherman, A.D., B.W. Hobson, P.R. McGill, R.E. Davis, M.C. McClune and K.L. Smith, Jr. (2011) Lagrangian sediment traps for sampling at discrete depths beneath free-drifting icebergs. Deep-Sea Research Part II 58: 1327-1335.

Sherman, A.D. and K.L. Smith Jr. 2009) Deep-sea benthic boundary layer communities and food supply: A long-term monitoring strategy, Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 56: 1754-1762.

P.R. McGill, A.D. Sherman, B.W. Hobson, R.G. Henthorn, K.L. Smith, Jr. 2009) Initial Deployments of the Rover: an Autonomous Bottom-Transecting Instrument Platform. Journal of Ocean Technology. Vol. 4, No. 2: 50 – 66.

Cruise Participation

I have been lucky enough to participate in many research cruises with MBARI scientists on both the R/V Rachel Carson and the R/V Western Flyer. I have also been lucky enough to participate in expeditions to the Arctic, the Antarctic, and the Sargasso Sea.

Here are some pictures taken at sea:

Antarctic tabular iceberg in the Weddell Sea.

Arctic sunrise and MiniROV deployment with
Dale Graves and Charlie Paull.

The Benthic Rover at Station M on a unusually calm day.
Photo by C. Buchner.
Henry Ruhl and I double check our checklist
on the back deck of the R/V Western Flyer.
Last updated: Jan. 02, 2014