Science and engineering mentors

MBARI’s diverse staff brings a wide range of expertise in oceanography and engineering to its many research projects. A core group of engineers and scientists set the direction for MBARI’s research initiatives. These principal investigators also serve as mentors to postdoctoral research fellows and research specialists.

Jim Barry, Marine Ecologist
Animal biology, seafloor ecology, deep-sea communities, effects of ocean change

Kelly Benoit-Bird, Acoustical Ocean Ecologist
Pelagic ecology, animal behavior, acoustic technology development, and system integration

Jim Birch, Instrumentation Group Leader
Bioengineering, autonomous instrumentation, ocean molecular biology applications, systems integration

David Caress, Software Engineer
Seafloor mapping and imaging, sonar data processing, autonomous vehicles, marine geophysics

Francisco Chavez, Biological Oceanographer
Biological oceanography, primary productivity, El Niño, effects of climate variability on ocean productivity, seasonal and interannual variability in the California Current System, harmful algal blooms

Steve Haddock, Marine Biologist
Bioluminescence (molecular to oceanographic scales), gelatinous zooplankton of the deep-sea and open ocean, next-generation sequencing, bioinformatics, phylogenetics, and diversity

Ken Johnson, Chemist
Biogeochemistry, chemical sensors, biogeochemical profiling floats, chemical sensor arrays

Kakani Katija, Principal Engineer
Bioinspired design, ecomechanics, biological fluid dynamics, in situ instrumentation, machine learning, autonomous vehicles

Charles Paull, Geologist
Submarine canyons, neotectonics, permafrost, fluid venting, and geohazards

Bruce Robison, Midwater Ecologist
Midwater ecology, undersea technology, deep-water biology, biology and ecology of Monterey Canyon, oceanic biodiversity, oceanographic research vessels

John Ryan, Biological Oceanographer
Ecology of plankton, fish, and mammals, integration of remote and in situ sensing technologies

Chris Scholin, Molecular Biologist
Molecular probes, ecogenomic sensors, harmful algal blooms, toxic algae

Alana Sherman, Electrical Engineer
Scientific instrumentation, autonomous vehicles, seafloor imaging systems

Ken Smith, Marine Ecologist
Deep-sea community ecology, climate change and the deep-ocean carbon cycle, ecology of Antarctic ecosystems, deep-ocean technology

Yui Takeshita, Chemist
Coastal biogeochemistry, autonomous chemical sensors, benthic flux, physical chemistry of the marine inorganic carbon system

Yanwu Zhang, Senior Research Engineer
Autonomous underwater vehicles, signal processing