Michael S Rappé

Research Professor
Rappe_profileHawaii Institute of Marine Biology
School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology
University of Hawaii at Manoa

Email: // Twitter: @mikerappe

Sarah Tucker

Graduate student, DSCF1033Marine Biology Ph.D program

Email: // Twitter@sjtucker13

Sarah’s CV

I’m interested in the dynamics of marine microbial ecology, evolution, and population biology. I am currently involved in cultivation experiments and genomic-based investigations to assess population characteristics of the free-living bacterial lineage, SAR11. SAR11 is one of the most abundant organisms on Earth and has one of the smallest genomes of any free-living organism. Along with characterizing the genetic variation that may distinguish ecotypes among sympatric SAR11 populations, I am also interested in exploring the evolution of SAR11’s reduced genome using phylogenomic approaches. My past research projects included assessing the diversity and biogeography of planktonic marine ciliates, cryptic diversity of grouper fish in the Indo-Pacific, and ecomorphological plasticity of trophic structures in the invasive European green crab.

Clarisse Sullivan

1239038_3417803540101_416337424_nGraduate student, Biological Oceanography M. S. program

Email: // Twitter: @cssullivan17

Clarisse’s CV

I’m currently a Biological Oceanography graduate research assistant at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. For my master’s thesis, I will be doing bioinformatic analysis of DNA sequence datasets from the deep subseafloor environment. I will also be participating in a research cruise to North Pond in the Atlantic Ocean in 2017 to collect crustal fluids from borehole observatories. My previous research included microbial DNA amplification and sequence analysis at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Science and RNA gene expression analysis at Mystic Aquarium in Stonington, Connecticut.

Elizabeth Monaghan

Picture1Graduate student, Marine Biology M. S. program


Monaghan, Elizabeth CV

I am interested in microbial biogeography and how microbial communities adapt to diverse systems. For my Master’s thesis, I will be completing a high throughput cultivation experiment using previously cryogenically preserved samples in order to explore the utility of cryopreservation of seawater samples for later cultivation studies. Demonstrating that preserved and frozen seawater samples can be utilized for cultivation experiments would allow for samples collected and preserved at distant sites before transport back to the laboratory. My past research includes exploring reef macroalgal photophysiology on Little Cayman island and examining viral infection of hydrothermal vent microbial communities from the Juan de Fuca ridge.

Kelle Freel


Postdoctoral researcher

Email: // Twitter@KC_freel

Kelle’s CV

I enjoy studying the diversity, distribution and population dynamics of microbes, especially of the marine variety. At Scripps Institution of Oceanography, I completed my thesis work on the closely related species within the marine actinomycete genus Salinispora. I then studied bacteria inhabiting acid mine drainage sites before jumping into the microbial eukaryotic world using genomes and phenotypic profiles to study the intra- and interspecific diversity of yeasts. I am currently on a project to thoroughly investigate the genomic level population dynamics of SAR11 ecotypes. I am also a contributor to The Molecular Ecologist.

Shimi Rii


Postdoctoral Fellow

Email: // Twitter: @shimirii // Website:

Shimi’s CV

My research interests lie in how the biodiversity of marine phytoplankton and protists relates to ecosystem function in open ocean and nearshore reef environments. I conducted my PhD thesis work on the diversity and productivity of photosynthetic picoeukaryotes in the North and South Pacific Subtropical Gyres. I am currently a Smithsonian Postdoctoral Research and Science Education Fellow and am working to bridge active research programs with experiential science education for high school and undergraduate students. I will be working to determine the dynamics of phytoplankton with SAR11 ecotypes in Kāne‘ohe Bay, and utilize our produced data to develop a bioinformatics education module to be used by the HIMB Education Program. I believe that increasing science literacy in the general public is crucial, and I promote effective science communication through various methods with the Science Communicators ‘Ohana.

Lab alumni