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Stony Brook University -
School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
Joseph D. Warren
Current Lab Members

Devan Nichols
Devan

Devan is the ALES lab research technician working on a New York state-funded project studying ocean indicators to help monitor changes in the NY Ocean Ecosystem. Her responsibilities include preparing the scientific crew for upcoming cruises by updating sampling protocols, leading pre and post cruise meetings, and ensuring that the crew has all necessary supplies to conduct their respective research projects. She is also responsible for collecting, organizing, and analyzing data gathered on board the R/V Seawolf during the four cruises conducted each year. She is primarily focused on fisheries acoustic data, as well as quantifying and identifying the various zooplankton collected on these cruises. Outside the lab Devan enjoys scuba diving, photography, playing soccer, and of course spending time with her cat Darwin.

Marie Todey
Marie Todey
Marie is a MS student who is studying the zooplankton and larval fish found in New York's offshore waters and how these populations have varied over the past 50 years. Outside of the lab, she enjoys SCUBA diving, figure skating, and being outside.
Brandyn Lucca
Brandyn Lucca
Brandyn is a PhD student studying how sound scatters from individual organisms using a combination of computer models, tank-based experiments, and field-collected acoustic survey data.  He has participated in research cruises in the Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, the SE Atlantic Coast of the US, in the California Current, as well as of the coast of New York.
Hannah Blair
Hannah Blair
Hannah is a PhD student interested in marine predator/prey dynamics. She has discovered the wonderful world of active acoustics and is using these remote sensing technologies combined with archival tag data to examine baleen whale foraging on fish and zooplankton. She is currently analyzing data from Cape Cod Bay and will be expanding her study to include whale behavior and prey mapping data from the New York Bight, Chile, and Antarctica. Outside the lab Hannah enjoys kayaking, climbing, skiing, and various other outdoor activities in order to earn the beer at the end of the day.
Team Copepod
Copepod Lab's
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Several undergraduate students at SoMAS are working in my lab helping to analyze net samples from research cruises from all over the world. This work involves the identification and enumeration of zooplankton using a microscope, ID guides, and skill!

Former Graduate Lab Members

Sam Urmy
Sam Urmy
Sam received his PhD in the fall of 2018. His thesis work examined the foraging ecology of seabirds using radar and acoustics. In addition to his thesis work, he also participated in several field projects in alpine, freshwater habitats resulting in two other first-author publications. He is currently a post-doc at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institution.  In his "free time" he enjoys cooking, brewing beer, music, the outdoors, and statistics.
Colin Wirth
Colin Wirth

Colin graduated with his MS degree in August 2018. He used passive acoustics to study and track animal behavior, and learning about ecosystems by characterizing their ambient soundscapes. While the most studied sounds in the marine environment are produced by mammals, he believes that sounds produced by less "charismatic" organisms are just as important and far more interesting. His thesis contained 3 chapters on the acoustic environments of coral reef sites in Jamaica, and artificial reefs as well as sea grass habitats in NY.
Brandyn Lucca
Brandyn Lucca
Brandyn graduated with his MS degree in the fall of 2016 with a thesis quantifying marine biomass across large spatial and temporal scales using non-invasive remote sensing techniques. He then joined the lab as a PhD student focusing on improving our ability to assess zooplankton and fish biomass using active acoustics.
Maija Niemisto
Maija Niemisto
Maija graduated with her MS degree in 2016 which examined Hudson River ecology using the combination of acoustic technology and an historic sailing ship. The Hudson River Sloop Clearwater sails daily with an echosounder mounted to her hull which continuously collects biological information. This multi-year acoustic survey of the entire navigable portion of the Hudson River estuary will provide a WEALTH of data on fish and zooplankton distribution throughout the waterway. She also gave birth to her second child a month after her defense. She currently works for the NY Department of Environmental Conservation as an Education Specialist at the Norrie Point Environmental Center.
Kaylyn Becker
Kaylyn Becker
Kaylyn was a graduate student at SOMAS working in my lab. She is interested in using acoustics to study biological and ecological relationships in the ocean. She will be measuring the acoustic properties of Humboldt Squid and Pacific Hake in hopes of improving the acoustic scattering models for both species. She finished her MS degree in December 2013 and is currently an environmental consultant in Houston, TX.
Joy Smith
Joy's picture
Joy was a graduate student at SoMAS working in my lab. Her thesis work involved collecting material property measurements on live zooplankton in the Bering Sea.  While on the boat, she spent some time helping process and sort pollock. She defended her Master's Thesis in August of 2010 and is currently a doctoral student in Germany.
Krissy Forman
Krissy's picture
Krissy was  a Master’s student at Stony Brook University and am interested in using acoustics to look at different biological aspects of the ocean. I am conducting a data analysis of Antarctic zooplankton populations collected through acoustics and net samples. I also am collecting local invertebrates and measring their material properties to improve acoustic models of these animals. Krissy defended her Master's thesis during the summer of 2008.

Former Undergraduate Lab Members


Kayla Hartigan
Kayla Hartigan

Kayla Hartigan recently graduated from Stony Brook University and is currently working as a research assistant/technician in the lab. This summer she was analyzing acoustic data recorded in Jamaica during Stony Brook's Tropical Marine Ecology class to see if there were diel changes in snapping shrimp clicks, which make up most of the background noise in tropical environments. She also recorded individual scallops in the lab to isolate their “coughs” and compared them to recordings done in seagrass beds in Shinnecock Bay to see if there were any changes in the scallops' behavior and if their “coughs” could be distinguished over ambient background noise.


Michaela Miller
Michaela Miller
Michaela is a undergraduate research laboratory assistant and currently in her fourth year at Stony Brook University studying marine vertebrate biology. She is pleased to learn how to distinguish between various zooplankton, and especially proud of her ability to not go cross-eyed while looking through a microscope. If she's not in the lab, you could catch Michaela traveling to exotic places, reading a Dan Brown book, or daydreaming about working with sea otters in the future. In fact, there is a 100% chance that, if you run into her, she is thinking about how absolutely adorable sea otters are.
Maria Andersen
Maria Andersen
Maria is an undergrad senior at Stony Brook University studying Marine Vertebrate biology as well as working as a research assistant in the lab. Over the summer of 2014, she worked with graduate student Sam Urmy as his research assistant in a Common and RoseateTern colony on Great Gull Island to study the foraging ecology of seabirds through radar and acoustics. During her time on the island, she also worked for the Museum of Natural History as a field assistant for the project leader, Helen Hays. Outside of the lab, Maria is a starbucks enthusiast and avid longboarder  who feeds her hobbies with the cries of long lost meal points and time that should have been spent studying.
Hui Sin Tran
Hui Sin Tran
Hui Sin Tran is a recent graduate of Stony Brook University and currently works as a research assistant in the lab. She is currently working on identifying and counting zooplankton samples retrieved from the Antarctic cruise. Other tasks include preparing samples for counting and data analysis. Hui Sin has a weakness for dogs, enjoys reading fiction and a penchant for those who can time travel.
Emily Markowitz
Emily's picture

Emily is a Stony Brook undergraduate and research assistant in the lab. She will be assisting on our Summer 2012 cruise out of Newport, OR to help study the acoustic properties of Humboldt Squid and Pacific Hake. In the lab, Em has been studying the morphology of the Humboldt Squid, preparing density and measurement protocols for the trip, and analyzing and identifying zooplankton samples from previous cruises to the Antarctic Peninsula. She also likes long walks on the beach, romantic candle-lit dinners and curling up in front of a warm, crackling fire with a hot... steamy... cup of ramen.

Sam Silvestri
Sam's picture

Sam is an undergraduate research laboratory assistant in the lab. She is in her third year at Stony Brook University studying marine vertebrate biology. She has been honing her skills and aiding the lab's efforts through zooplankton counting and identification, taking density measurements, and preparing various lab protocols. She greatly looks forward to examining the diverse Antarctic zooplankton samples in the lab! Sam also thoroughly enjoys piña coladas and getting caught in the rain, as well as the occasional cheeseburger in paradise.


Steph Mincieli
Steph's picture

Steph is an undergraduate research laboratory assistant in the lab during 2011 and 2012. She is a senior at Stony Brook University and was supposed to write a short bio for the lab web page but didn't, so instead I got to choose her picture and write this section. Steph had a great time on our recent cruise especially when she got to do experiments on small larval fish and squid eyes.


Melissa Mazzocco
Melissa M's
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Melissa was a Stony Brook undergraduate who was a research assistant on our 2010 and 2011 cruises to the Antarctic Peninsula. She also worked in my lab analyzing zooplankton samples before and after the cruises. She performed numerous tasks on the trip including: chlorophyll filtration of water samples, processing of zooplankton net tows, identification and measurements of zooplankton morphometry, and the measurement of zooplankton density relative to seawater (i.e. she was very busy).
Katie Wurtzell
Katie's picture
Katie was an undergraduate at Cornell University who was a research assistant on our 2010 and 2011 cruises to the Antarctic Peninsula. She performed numerous tasks on the trip including: chlorophyll filtration of water samples, processing of zooplankton net tows, identification and measurements of zooplankton morphometry, and the measurement of zooplankton density relative to seawater (i.e. she was very busy). She analyzed these data as part of her undergraduate thesis and is now in graduate school at the University of Maine.
Jasmine Valentin
Joy's picture
Jasmine is a graduate student at SoMAS with Demian Chapman who worked in my lab during the summer of 2009 identifying and enumerating the zooplankton caught in our net tows from this past spring's field work in Cape Cod / New England.
Allison Sowa
Joy's picture
Allison was an undergrad at Stony Brook and a veteran of the 2009 MAR 388 Tropical Marine Ecology course in Jamaica where she discovered that tropical fish and corals are neat, but nowhere near as interesting as zooplankton. She is assisting with the analysis of net tow and hydrographic samples from our field work in Cape Cod / New England. She finished her undergraduate degree and is currently working as a research assistant at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center
Team Dolphin 
eric's pic
Several students have working in my lab to study underwater sounds. Eric (shown at left working on some soldering) helped to construct a passive acoustic recorder. Other students are analyzing several months worth of recordings from a rescued dolphin that was rehabilitated at the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation. We are working with Rob DiGiovanni and others at the foundation to see if the dolphin's vocalizations varied with time, stimulus and other factors.  

There are lots of sounds to be listened to and analyzed so if you are interested in this project, please let me know.
Lauren Bohrer
Lauren's picture
Lauren was a summer student in the 2008 REU program at Stony Brook University. She currently attends Coastal Carolina University. Her research project involves examining gas production by submerged aquatic vegetation. These data are important for developing acoustic models of the scattering from seagrasses, as well as biologically and ecologically important for the animals that live in, beneath, and amongst the seagrass meadows.
Rachel Goodale
Rachel's picture
Rachel and Emily were Team Ctenophore and worked on ctenophore  and other zooplankton abundances in the local bays of Long Island as part of a SCERP project. They measured feeding rates for ctenophores as well as how their abundance changed over the course of the summer. Rachel is continuing her studies at Stony Brook University, while Emily has moved on to the Univ. of Massachusetts (Go Red Sox !).
[Summer 2007]

I am also looking for students interested in continuing and expanding this research project.
Emily Olesin
Emily's picture
Libby Beckman
Libby's picture
I am a recent graduate of Harvey Mudd College and plan to continue on to graduate school in ecology in the near future. However, before pursuing further education, I am taking some time to explore different aspects of ecology, like acoustics, through direct research experience. This winter I am investigating the impact of biological and physical factors on the distribution of Antarctic Krill around Livingston Island, Antarctica. To do this, I identify krill patches from acoustic survey data and look for patterns in the distribution. [Fall 2006 - Spring 2007, Libby is currently in the Sierra Nevada Mountains conducting bird research.]
Joy Smith
Joy's picture
I'm a senior marine science major at Coastal Carolina University who has wanted to be a marine scientist since the age of five. Now I'm fulfilling that dream! I'm interested in using acoustics to understand water column ecology and how physical properties may influence the surrounding biology. The project I worked on in the lab during the summer of 2006 includes measuring the density of different zooplankton groups and the speed at which sound travels through their bodies. Both measurements will be used acoustically to more accurately estimate the population of zooplankton in a given area. [Summer 2006]

Joy's research has resulted in an upcoming publication in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America ! Congratulations Joy.

Joy escaped for a year and worked for the Navy Oceanographic office, however her love of zooplankton was strong and she has returned to New work and is now a graduate student working in my lab.
Jordan Mertes
Jordan's picture
I am begining my senior year in the physics program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and minoring in geology. During the summer of 2006, I worked in the field of Acoustic Oceanography here at Stony Brook Southampton. My work focuses on detecting the photosynthetically caused backscatter fluctuations within the water column caused by eelgrass and phytoplankton, and getting a real nice tan. In the future I plan to become a professor in some field of oceanography or geoscience. [Summer 2006]
Alexandre Nicolas
Alex's picture

A French student at the Lycee Louis le Grand, Paris , I have completed my first year in Higher Education,. I study Maths and Physics and I am due to take examinations to enter an Engineering School (“Grande Ecole”) at the end of next year. Beside my study, I am also interested in reading and doing sport.

During the summer of 2006, I was involved in a two-month long REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) program. My research program deals with acoustics and its application to Marine Science. My first objective is to construct an array of transducers that can be immersed in seawater. Thereafter I shall run some experiments so as to determine the backscatter of some aquatic species under different angles of orientation and for various frequencies. The final aim of those experiments consists in being able to exploit field data thanks to the results they have provided us with. [Summer 2006]

Elissa Ford
Elissa's picture
Elissa was a student at Southampton College who worked in the lab for the 2003 and 2004 summers. She used an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler and a CTD to conduct bathymetric, hydrographic, and physical oceanographic data in the Long Island Southern Shore Estuary system as part of a project funded by NY Sea Grant.  In addition, she collected field measurements of the scattering from submerged aquatic vegetation and collected samples of eel grass.  Elissa and Stephanie were in charge of all field operations during summer 2004. [Summer and Academic Year 2003 - 2004]
Stephanie Grassia
Stephanie's
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Stephanie was a student at Southampton College who worked in the lab for the 2004 summer. She used an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler and a CTD to conduct bathymetric, hydrographic, and physical oceanographic data in the Long Island Southern Shore Estuary system as part of a project funded by NY Sea Grant.  In addition, she collected field measurements of the scattering from submerged aquatic vegetation and collected samples of eel grass.  Elissa and Stephanie were in charge of all field operations during summer 2004. [Summer and Academic Year 2004-5]




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