Dr. Sarah Smith (she/her/hers)

Assistant Professor of Biological Oceanography

Ph.D., Marine Biology         Scripps Institution of Oceanography, CA (2014)
M.S., Marine Science         Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, CA (2009)
B.S. Biology          Santa Clara University, Santa Clara CA (2003)





Dominic Kyle Ypil (he/him/his)

SJSU M.S. Graduate Student - Joined Fall 2023

Dominic Kyle, a 2020 graduate of the University of California Santa Barbara with a B.S. in Biological Sciences, has over two years of industry experience in bioremediation and biogeochemistry. He discovered his passion for biological oceanography through this experience, which led him to join Dr. Sarah Smith's lab. Dominic's research interests focus on studying the effects of anthropogenic pressures on marine environments, particularly in relation to phytoplankton diversity, eDNA, and biogeochemistry. He looks forward to contributing novel ideas to the field of oceanography through his work in the lab.


Hannah McGrath (she/her/hers)

SJSU M.S. Graduate Student - Joined Fall 2022

Hannah graduated with a BA in environmental science with a minor in managerial economics from Colby College in Waterville, ME in 2022. Junior year she had the opportunity to learn from and work alongside Dr. Peter Countway at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences which sparked her passion for phytoplankton ecology, specifically harmful algae blooms (HABs). She continued her passion for HABs during the summer of 2021 in Florida working at the Red Tide Institute under Dr. Cindy Heil. Hannah’s main research interests include marine phytoplankton composition, harmful algal bloom abundance, duration, timing and detection, and science communication.

Hannah is primarily advised by Holly Bowers in the Environmental Biotechnology lab at MLML

Lab Alumni

Hannah May (she/her/hers)

CSUMB REU 2023 Undergraduate Intern

Hannah joined the lab through the Monterey Bay REU Program in Summer 2023 when she was an undergraduate student at Clemson University in Clemson, SC working towards her BS in Biological Sciences with a minor in genetics. She worked on a project using molecular biomarkers in diatoms to indicate nitrogen status in the field. She was thrilled to work in the lab over summer and gained experience with designing primers, running PCR and qPCR, and various other techniques.