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Current Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Kim Thamatrakoln
  • Kim Thamatrakoln
    Associate Research Professor
  • Curriculum vitae

  • I grew up in California and received my B.S. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from the University of California, San Diego. My first introduction to academic research was as an undergraduate in a Developmental Neurobiology lab at the Salk Institute. After college, I got a job at a biotech company involved in sequencing the first human genome. It wasn’t long ( 3 months) before I realized I preferred academic research and the freedom and creativity it allowed. So I left industry and returned to academia working as a Research Associate in an immunology lab at Stanford University. I discovered a love for research, but wanted to apply the skills and knowledge I acquired in the biomedical field to an environmentally-related one. After completing a Master’s at Stanford University, I went on to the PhD program at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. I came to Rutgers as a postdoctoral researcher in 2007 and was promoted to Assistant Research Professor 2012.


Chana Kranzler
  • Chana Kranzler
  • Curriculum vitae

  • Chana received her Ph.D. from the Hebrew University where she studied iron bioavailability and transport mechanisms in cyanobacteria under the guidance of Drs. Nir Keren and Yeala Shaked. She joined the Thamatrakoln lab in Sept 2016 and is exploring the role the viruses play in mediating diatom biogeography and silicon biogeochemistry.

Graduate Students

Austin Grubb
  • Austin Grubb
    Ph.D. Student
  • Oceanography (Co-Advised with Kay Bidle)

  • Austin is interested in biomineralization of phytoplankton, phytoplankton physiology, and how phytoplankton interact with their environment, other organisms, and each other. His dissertation work aims to characterize the light-dependent costs and benefits of calcification (i.e. production of calcium carbonate plates) in coccolithophores.

Michael Maniscalco
  • Michael Maniscalco
    Ph.D. student
  • Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at UC Santa Barbara (Co-Advised with Dr. Mark Brzezinski)

  • Mike is interested in understanding the molecular regulation of silicification (i.e. cell wall formation) in diatoms and using these molecular markers as a means toward interrogating silicon stress in natural populations.

Liesl Cole
  • Liesl Cole
    M.S. student
  • Dauphin Island Sea Lab (Co-Advised with Dr. Jeffrey Krause)

  • Liesl is studying the effect of oil spills on phytoplankton physiology. She is specifically interested in the production of transparent exopolymers (the sticky stuff that forms marine snow) by phytoplankton after exposure to oil and dispersants, and its role in facilitating carbon export.

No picture available for Dina AlRoumi
  • Dina AlRoumi
    Ph.D. student
  • Microbial Biology (Co-Advised with Dr. Kay Bidle)

  • Dina is interested in the role that diatom viruses play in mediating diatom bloom termination.


No picture available for Will Biggs
  • Will Biggs
    Lab Technician
  • The role of diatom host-virus interactions in silicon cycling


  • Maeve Hubbard
  • Previous Position: Lab Researcher
  • Nathaniel Kristan
  • Previous Position: Research in Ocean Sciences Intern (Summer 2017)
  • Yui Kurakake
  • Previous Position: G.H. Cook Honors Thesis undergraduate student (2016-2017)
  • Jason Latham
  • Previous Position: Lab technician, 2017-2019
  • James Mack
  • Previous Position: Department of Biology Senior Honors Thesis undergraduate student (2017-2018)
  • Kenza Oualim
  • Previous Position: Aresty Summer Research Intern (Summer 2017)

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Thamatrakoln Laboratory
Rutgers University

Rutgers University
Dept. of Marine and Coastal Sciences
71 Dudley Road
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

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