Dr. Alexandra Phillips
Post-Doctoral (NSF) Fellow
Alex is a postdoc in the NOISE lab working on sulfur cycling of organic matter in lakes and oceans in collaboration with the University of Minnesota Large Lakes Observatory. She hopes this fundamental research on her favorite under-appreciated element will advance our understanding of modern and ancient nutrient cycling. She has a PhD in geochemistry from Caltech and a BA in Biology from the College of Creative Studies. When she isn't running a mass spec or collecting samples on a boat, you can find her enjoying the Santa Barbara sunshine - climbing, swimming, running, or biking.
Lena (she/hers) joined the NOISE lab in September 2019. She is interested in learning about sulfur cycling, carbon storage and microbial-mediated preservation of organic matter in low-oxygen environments such as coastal vegetative habitats and oxygen minimum zones (OMZs). Lena holds a M.S. in Geology from UC Davis where she worked with Dr. Tessa Hill to investigate the sources of organic matter to seagrass sediments in estuaries in California using bulk sediment geochemistry. She received her B.A. in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Wesleyan University (CT) in 2016. Lena can usually be found outside climbing, running or hiking.
Molly (she/hers) joined the NOISE Lab in September 2021. She studies sulfur cycling and organic matter sulfurization in low-oxygen zones, such as Santa Barbara Basin, and in sinking marine particles. Her research aims to better understand the microenvironments in which organic matter sulfurization can occur, which has applications to determining the magnitude of the effect of organic matter sulfurization on carbon burial. She received her B.S. in Geochemistry and Environmental Science and Engineering from Caltech in 2021. In her free time, you can find Molly running, swimming, or baking.
Visiting Ph.D Student
Caio (he/his) is a visiting PhD student from Brazil (Sept 2021 – Aug 2022). He received a B.A. in Geology from UFRRJ – Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and an M.S. in Geochemistry from UFF – Universidade Federal Fluminense in 2019. Caio's research uses sedimentary sulfur biogeochemistry (both organic and inorganic fractions, along with isotopes) to understand variations in local redox conditions and bottom water oxygenation on both glacial-interglacial and millennial time scales. Currently, he is investigating sediments from the western-equatorial Atlantic and the consequences of different sedimentary regimes and organic material accumulation rates on their sulfur biogeochemistry. Caio's hobbies include watching horror series and movies, playing video games, and solving Rubik’s cube.
Megan joined the NOISE lab January 2021. She is currently studying pyrite morphologies and sulfur isotope records in the Monterey Formation, which will help us understand how these unusual, organic-carbon-rich rocks formed. Specifically, Megan's research applies her background in biology to investigate the pyritization and fossilization of sponge spicules, connecting these processes with the sedimentary sulfur cycle using microscopy and maps of sulfur isotopes by SIMS (Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry). In her free time, Megan can be found jamming to a random assortment of music while cooking food for unplanned movie binges.
Imanol Ulloa Gutierrez
Imanol is a UC LEADS scholar pursuing a degree in Aquatic Biology and a minor in Earth Science at UCSB. His research investigates the chemistry of organic sulfur in extractable bitumens from Ocean Anoxic Event 2 (~94 million years ago). During his free time, he likes to draw, paint ,and go for walks along the Coal Oil Point Reserve.
Zephyr (she/hers) joined the NOISE lab in July 2021. She is pursuing a B.S in Earth Science with an emphasis in Geology. Her research investigates the viability of deep sea storage of organic carbon in agricultural residue as a climate change mitigation technique. In the future she hopes to continue to use the subjects that she is passionate about to find creative solutions to the climate crisis. In her free time Zephyr can be found outside cycling, running or hiking.
Jordan (he/his) is a first year undergraduate student who joined the NOISE Lab in April 2022. He is currently pursuing a degree in Chemistry within the College of Creative Studies. His research involves studying sulfur cycling and organic matter sulfurization in low-oxygen zones. His hope is to learn more about research methods for carbon sequestration so he can create an independent project of his own. When time permits, he enjoys watching baseball games, playing spikeball, and trying new food.
Melea (she/hers) joined the NOISE Lab in November 2021. She is pursuing a B.S. degree in Earth Science with an emphasis in Geophysics. Her research consists of understanding sulfur cycling and carbon storage in coastal marshes and mangroves by using cyclic voltammetry and porewater analysis in sediment and organic matter. Melea is originally from San Diego and loves to spend her free time at the beach, surfing, and shopping at local thrift stores.