UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

Marine Science

Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Marine Science
Division of Mathematical, Life, and Physical Sciences
Life Sciences Building Room 4314
Telephone: (805) 893-2979
E-mail: marinegp-gradasst@lifesci.ucsb.edu
Website: marinegp.ucsb.edu
Program Chair: Libe Washburn


The Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Marine Science offers studies leading to the master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees in marine science. This program recognizes the intrinsic interdisciplinary nature of modern marine science and the necessity for cross-disciplinary, graduate-level training through a program which brings together many marine faculty located in nine departments on the UCSB campus. These include the departments of Anthropology; Chemistry and Biochemistry; Chemical Engineering; Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology; Earth Science; Geography; Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology; Mechanical Engineering, and the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. All participating faculty maintain strong marine-oriented research programs which accommodate students from both the Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Marine Science and their own individual departmental graduate programs.

The program emphasizes the understanding of the ocean as an integrated system. Research areas in the program currently under active investigation include biological, chemical, and physical oceanography, marine geochemistry, marine geology and geophysics, marine biology, paleoceanography, ocean optics, and remote sensing, and ocean engineering. Some students focus on a particular disciplinary area for their research (e.g., biological oceanography, marine geology, physical oceanography, etc.), but enter the program because they seek a broader training in marine science than can be provided within the framework of traditional departmental programs. Others complete interdisciplinary dissertations involving expertise in two or more sub-disciplines within marine science.

The program accepts students with a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in a biological or physical science, engineering, or mathematics. In addition to program requirements, candidates must meet university degree requirements found in the chapter “Graduate Education at UCSB.” Master’s and doctoral candidates in the program must be registered as full-time students in classes in the participating departments or in Interdepartmental Program classes. Individualized programs of instruction can be undertaken by students enrolled in the program and interdisciplinary research is greatly facilitated by the breadth of faculty available as advisors and thesis committee members.


Applicants may apply for either the M.S. or Ph.D. degree program. The M.S. program is small and oriented toward research. An M.S. degree is not required to enter the Ph.D. program. In addition to fulfilling all university requirements for admission to graduate status, described in the chapter “Graduate Education at UCSB” the applicant will normally hold a bachelor’s degree in a biological or physical science, engineering, or mathematics. Such a degree should include at least one year each of calculus/statistics, chemistry, and physics. Applicants are required to submit the UCSB application for graduate admission, official undergraduate transcripts, three letters of recommendation from individuals who can best assess the applicant’s academic and research potential, and the General Test (verbal, quantitative and written) of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Students should take the GRE as early as possible in the fall prior to applying to insure that scores arrive by the December 15 application deadline. Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take either the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. Exceptions to this requirement will be considered for those students who have completed an undergraduate or graduate education at an institution whose primary language of instruction is English. The minimum TOEFL score for consideration is 550 when taking the paper-based test (PBT) and 80 when taking the internet-based test (IBT). The minimum IELTS score for consideration is an Overall Band Score of 7 or higher. TOEFL or IELTS scores must not be more than two years old at the time of application to UCSB. Applicants should specify their general areas of interests within marine science on their application and provide a clear and focused statement of purpose. Applications will be reviewed and directed to appropriate faculty within the program for consideration. Applicants to the program must be accepted by a major professor with whom they wish to work and who has agreed to supervise the student’s graduate training and thesis research. No student will be admitted without a faculty sponsor. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to contact individual faculty in the program directly. For more information on how to choose a faculty sponsor applicants may visit the website at marinegp.ucsb.edu or inquire to the Marine Sciences Program for assistance. Applications are considered for fall admission only and should be received with all supporting materials by December 15.


Department of Anthropology
Shankar Aswani, Ph.D., University of Hawaii, Associate Professor (fisheries/maritime anthropology and marine resource management, sea-tenure regimes, foraging strategies of traditional fisherman, Insular Pacific [Soloman Islands, Tonga, Hawaii])
Susan C. Stonich, Ph.D., University of Kentucky, Professor (human dimensions of global environmental change, coastal zone development, especially aquaculture and tourism, Latin America and Asia)

Department of Chemical Engineering
Frank Doyle, Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, Professor (biosystems analysis and control, biomedical control systems synthesis, application of advanced control schemes to nonlinear, multivariable, constrained industrial processes; characterization of process nonlinearity for control-relevant design)

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Alison Butler, Ph.D., UC San Diego, Professor (bio-inorganic chemistry of the marine environment, biological role of vanadium, acquisition of transition metal ions by marine microorganisms)

Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology
Mark A. Brzezinski, Ph.D., Oregon State University, Professor (biological oceanography, elemental cycling, phytoplankton ecology)
Craig A. Carlson, Ph.D., University of Maryland, Professor (marine microbial ecology, bacterioplankton, dissolved organic carbon, marine biogeochemistry)
Peter M. Collins, Ph.D., University of London, Professor (endocrinology, hormonal regulation in vertebrates)
Gretchen E. Hofmann, Ph.D., University of Colorado, Professor (marine animal physiological ecology)
Sally J. Holbrook, Ph.D., UC Berkeley, Professor (population ecology, marine vertebrate predation and competition)
Robert S. Jacobs, Ph.D., Loyola University, Professor (pharmacology, cellular and molecular mechanism of action of marine natural products and toxins)
Armand M. Kuris, Ph.D., UC Berkeley, Professor (parasitology, marine ecology, crustacean biology)
Sally MacIntyre, Ph.D., Duke University, Professor (physical and biological oceanography and limnology, bio-physical coupling, mixing, water column microstructure)
John M. Melack, Ph.D., Duke University, Professor (limnology, biogeochemistry, wetland ecology)
Roger Nisbet, Ph.D., University of St. Andrews, Scotland , Professor (theoretical population ecology, marine toxicology)
Barbara B. Prezelin, Ph.D., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Professor (phytoplankton physiology and productivity, regulation of marine photosynthesis, bio-optical modeling)
Russell J. Schmitt, Ph.D., UC Los Angeles, Professor (marine community ecology and population biology, consumer-resource interactions; marine invertebrates and reef fishes)

Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
Kathleen Foltz, Ph.D., Purdue University, Associate Professor (cellular and molecular biology, marine invertebrate development)
Daniel Morse, Ph.D., Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Professor (molecular genetics, biochemistry, marine biology, developmental biology)
William C. Smith, Ph.D., UC Santa Cruz, Professor (chordate embryogenesis and morphogenesis, developmental genetics of marine urochordates)
Tony De Tomaso, Ph.D., Washington University School of Medicine, Associate Professor (self/non-self recognition and the evolution of immunity; stem cell and developmental studies of regeneration; ecological and evolutionary impacts of allorecognition on larval settlement behavior)
J. Herbert Waite, Ph.D., Duke University, Professor (protein chemistry, biomolecular materials in marine invertebrates, adhesive proteins)

Department of Geography
David Carr, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Associate Professor (population (migration, fertility), health, environmental change, deforestation, rural development, Latin America)
Tommy Dickey, Ph.D., Princeton University, Professor (atmosphere-ocean &upper ocean mixing; turbulence & internal waves)
Catherine Gautier, Ph.D., University of Paris, Professor (earth radiation budget and cloud processes, radiative transfer and remote sensing, global climate processes and earth system science)
Joel Michaelsen, Ph.D., UC Berkeley, Professor (climatology/meteorology, climate change, marine resources, temporal and spatial statistics)
David Siegel, Ph.D., University of Southern California, Professor (physical and bio-optical oceanography, numerical modeling, turbulence, air-sea interaction and theoretical ecology)
Libe Washburn, Ph.D., UC San Diego, Professor (bio-physical interactions, submesoscale ocean processes, turbulence and mixing, air-sea interaction, and marine pollution)

Department of Earth Science
Jordan F. Clark, Ph.D., Columbia University, Professor (hydrogeology)
David W. Lea, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology—Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Professor (chemical oceanography and paleoceanography)
Lorraine E. Lisiecki, Ph.D., Brown University, Assistant Professor (climate of the last 5 million years, using mostly marine records)
Bruce P. Luyendyk, Ph.D., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Professor (tectonics, geophysics, paleomagnetism)
Alex Simms, Ph.D., Rice University, Assistant Professor (sedimentology, quaternary science, coastal responses to climate, sea-level, and other changes)
David L. Valentine, Ph.D., UC Irvine, Associate Professor (biogeochemical cycling, bicrobially mediated transformations in marine sediments and waters)
Syee Weldeab, Ph.D., University of Tübingen, Germany, Assistant Professor (paleoclimatology, paleoceanography, monsoon history, marine geochemistry)

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Frederic Gibou, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, Associate Professor (computational mathematics, modeling and simulations, and interface problems)
Eckart Meiburg, Ph.D., University of Karlsruhe, Professor (fluid mechanics, computational fluid dynamics)

Bren School of Environmental Science and Management
Christopher Costello, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, Associate Professor (environmental regulation and natural resource management with a particular emphasis on information, its value, and its effect on management decisions. Topical interests include biological diversity, introduced species, regulation of polluting industries, and marine policy)
Trish Holden, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, Professor (environmental microbiology, coastal and estuarine bacterial ecology, soil microbiology)
Bruce Kendall, Ph.D., University of Arizona, Associate Professor (applied ecology, quantitative ecology with emphasis on population dynamics of organisms)
Hunter Lenihan, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Associate Professor (community, conservation, and restoration ecology, fisheries oceanography, polar and deep-sea biology, adaptive management of marine resources)
Oran Young, Ph.D., Yale University, Professor (environmental institutions/regimes, fisheries management, protection of marine mammals, offshore oil and gas development, compliance and enforcement, impacts on coastal communities and polar regions)

Emeriti Faculty
James F. Case, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, Professor Emeritus (bioluminescence, neurobiology)
James P. Kennett, Ph.D., Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, Professor Emeritus (paleoceanography, marine geology)
Wilbert J. Lick, Ph.D., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Professor Emeritus (oceanography and limnology, applied mathematics)
Ken C. Macdonald, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Professor Emeritus (marine tectonics and magnetism)
Raymond C. Smith, Ph.D., Stanford University, Professor Emeritus (biooptics, remote sensing)
Robert K. Trench, Ph.D., UC Los Angeles, Professor Emeritus (coral reef biology; biochemistry, physiology, and phylogenetics of symbiosis)

In addition to the regular faculty, the following researchers work with the Marine Science Program:
Carol Blanchette, Ph.D., (Marine Science Institute)
Jenifer Dugan, Ph.D., (Marine Science Institute)
Charles Jones, Ph.D., (Institute for Computational Earth System Science)
Milton Love, Ph.D., (Marine Science Institute)
Stéphane Maritorena, Ph.D., (Institute for Computational Earth System Science)
Norman Nelson, Ph.D., (Institute for Computational Earth System Science)
Carter Ohlmann, Ph.D., (Institute for Computational Earth System Science and Marine Science Institute)
Gail Osherenko, J.D., (Marine Science Institute)
Uta Passow, Ph.D., (Marine Science Institute)
Langdon Quetin, Ph.D., (Marine Science Institute)
Robin Ross, Ph.D., (Marine Science Institute)
Rachel Simons, Ph.D., (Marine Science Institute)
Alison Whitmer, Ph.D., (Marine Science Institute)