Dr. Sarah N Giddings, Assistant Professor

Dr. Giddings started as an Assistant Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in January 2014 in the Integrated Oceanography Division. She has built her Environmental Fluids and Coastal Oceanography Laboratory including a wonderful research team and established research projects locally in Southern CA and beyond. Additional information on Dr. Giddings including a current CV, publicationseducation & training, and teaching & outreach experience can be found here. A fun interview and video highlighting the Giddings’ lab work was published by SIO in early 2016!


 Duncan Wheeler, PhD student

Duncan Wheeler joined the lab in summer 2019 after completing his first year as a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Duncan received a Bachelor of Science in Physics from MIT before joining SIO. While studying physics, his research included using optics to improve solar cells and exploring x-ray emissions from atoms. Duncan is working as a PhD student on a project looking at the physical dynamics that lead to oxygen drawdown in low-inflow estuaries and the biological response. After interning at the MIT Washington, D.C. office, he became interested in interdisciplinary research bridging social sciences and science and is excited to explore how the physics he is studying in estuaries affects those living nearby.

Lauren Kim, PhD student

Lauren is currently a PhD student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and is co-advised by Sarah Giddings and Mark Merrifield. Broadly, she is interested in coastal ocean processes and their interactions with land. Her first chapter focuses on the morphodynamic responses of a dune-backed beach during high-energy storm conditions in the Outer Banks, NC. Originally from Los Angeles, she received her BS in physics with a minor in physiology from Cal Poly, Pomona in 2017. In fall of 2017, she began the physical oceanography program at Scripps and received her MS in oceanography in 2019.



Dr. Emily Lemagie, postdoctoral researcher

Dr. Lemagie is a postdoctoral scholar at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She received her PhD in Physical Oceanography at Oregon State University in 2018 and worked as a postdoctoral scholar at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution before joining the Giddings lab group. Emily’s research investigates the physical and biological linkages and transport pathways in both estuarine and coastal environments on immediate to climatic timescales. She has focused on estuarine residence time, river plume dynamics, and across-shelf exchange in order to determine the immediate and long-term effects of event to climate-scale changes on coastal ecosystems. Currently she is studying the importance of remote oceanic forcing on estuarine exchange flow across the estuarine parameter space.


Dr. Elizabeth Brasseale, postdoctoral researcher

Elizabeth Brasseale joined the Giddings lab as a postdoctoral scholar in September 2020. She models water quality as a function of pollutant decay and sinking using regional ocean models as part of the U.S. Coastal Research Program. Previously, Elizabeth studied estuarine-shelf interactions and larval transport of marine invasive species in the Pacific northwest during her doctoral studies at the University of Washington, advised by Parker MacCready.



Dr. Alma Carolina Castillo Trujillo, postdoctoral researcher

Alma Carolina is a postdoctoral researcher at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She received a Bachelor of Science in Oceanography from UABC in Ensenada, México and a Masters and PhD in Physical Oceanography, both from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is now using numerical models and observations as part of the SLOMO project to study the circulation around the Seychelles Islands. She has participated in several educational programs for the Hawaiian and Mexican communities and would like to establish similar outreach in Tijuana and San Diego.



Gilroy_230x280Dr. Angelica Rodriguez, Postdoctoral Researcher

Angelica is a postdoctoral scholar with the Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation at SIO. She holds a B.S. in Physics with Specialization in Earth Science and a minor in Environmental Systems.  In May 2019 she received her PhD in Physical Oceanography from SIO. Broadly, she is interested in the interaction between estuaries and the coastal ocean.  Her doctoral work focused on the impacts of wave-current interaction on small scale buoyant coastal outflows and shoal-channel exchange in San Diego Bay.  During her postdoc, she will be assessing how different meteorological and wave conditions in the San Diego region affect water levels and currents in SD Bay with the goal of informing shoreline protection and adaptation strategies. She will still be involved in work with our lab, creating the linkage between estuarine hydro/wave dynamics and shoreline vulnerability.


former lab members

Harvey_230x280Dr. Madeleine Harvey, PhD graduate

Maddie was a graduate student in the Integrative Oceanography Division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She received a Bachelor of Science from Brown University in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2012. As an avid sailor growing up, her love of the ocean developed at a young age and grew into a desire to study ocean and coastal processes in order to work to devise solutions to the problems facing our oceans and estuaries today. Maddie is interested in using field observations to better understand coastal and estuarine dynamics. Specifically, she plans to research how sediment transport in the surf zone and rivers can impact the morphology and closure of the mouth of an estuary and how the mouth morphology affects physical, chemical, and biological processes within the estuary.


Dr. Isabella B. Arzeno, PhD graduate

Isabella was a graduate student studying physical oceanography at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, co-advised by Dr. Sarah Giddings and Dr. Geno Pawlak. She received a Bachelor of Science in Earth Systems and a Masters of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering, both from Stanford University. She is now using observations to study the interaction of currents with rough bathymetry, on different spatial scales. She is also the lead graduate student on the SLOMO project studying flow around the island nation of the Seychelles. Having grown up in Puerto Rico, Isabella is also consistently engaged in educational outreach to Hispanic communities.


Dr. Jacqueline McSweeney, Postdoctoral Researcher

Jack worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher with Dr. Giddings and Dr. Feddersen on the CSIDE project. She received her PhD at Rutgers University studying sediment dynamics in the Delaware Estuary. She is now doing a postdoc studying inner-shelf dynamics at OSU.




Heitor Schueroff de Souza – UCSD computer science & cognitive science
Heitor was an undergraduate researcher working on expanding upon the model visualization tool, FlowWeaver, originally developed by Neil Banas.

Adrian Urrea – UCSD mechanical and aerospace engineering
Adrian was an undergraduate researcher working on building biosensors to be put onto oysters. The sensors measured the oyster shell gape (how far open it is) to see its response to environmental stressors.

Mia Gonzalez – UCSD electrical engineering, undergraduate researcher
Abhishek Kumar – UCSD computer science & cognitive science, undergraduate researcher

Corey Shono – UCSD chemistry department, undergraduate researcher