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.
Katie (she/hers) joined the NOISE lab in November 2020. She is currently working on developing a novel isotopic analytical method using stable isotope sulfur-33 to better understand microbial sulfur reduction mechanisms and sulfur isotope deposition in oxygen-deficient marine environments. Katie grew up in Chicago (IL) and graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry from Purdue University (IN) in May 2020. You can catch Katie outside of lab making ultra-specific playlists, painting, or innovating contemporary movement in the studio as a dancer and choreographer.
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.
Cameron (he/his) joined the NOISE lab in July 2021. He is majoring in Environmental Studies B.S. and minoring in Mathematics. He’s currently collecting research on anoxic and sulfidic basins, to see if their properties can be utilized to effectively sequester carbon and lower CO2 levels. Cameron is originally from the San Jose and spends his free time playing volleyball, attempting to learn chess, and making pictures and animations on his computer.
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.
Izzy is pursuing a degree in Environmental Science with a minor and emphasis in Earth Science at UCSB. Her research investigates if agricultural biomass can be used to sequester CO2 in anoxic basins by studying basin biogeochemistry. Izzy can be found tanning on her porch and reading a book after cooking for all of her housemates.