Meet the team
Scientific and Engineering Staff
Carol Anne Clayson
Carol Anne Clayson is an air-sea interaction specialist interested in the effects of weather and climate on upper ocean mixing and resulting distributions of microplastics in the upper ocean.
Scott M. Gallager
Scott Gallager is a plankton ecologist interested in biophysical mechanisms controlling population and community structure in the ocean. Physical processes such as upwelling and downwelling, Langmier cells and tidal fronts provide mechanisms for aggregation
Jake Gebbie is a physical oceanographer interested in climate dynamics and the transport of microplastics in the ocean. His interest is to determine the fate of microplastics in the open ocean, especially the subsurface, and also to determine whether microplastics can be used to better understand the physical movement of seawater.
Mark Hahn is a toxicologist whose research seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms by which microplastics and nanoplastics impact the health of marine organisms and humans. The Hahn lab uses a variety of model systems, including zebrafish and Atlantic killifish.
Marine plankton ecologist and Hydrodynamicist
Houshuo Jiang is interested in the interactions between marine plankton and microplastics with a focus on individual behaviors and associated ecological effects.
Chemical Sensors Lab
Anna Michel is an oceanographic engineer whose research focuses on developing and advancing technologies for detecting and identifying microplastics in aqueous environments.
Senior Advisor to the President on Ocean and Climate Policy
Kilaparti Ramakrishna (Rama) has worked extensively with the United Nations, as Head of Strategic Planning at Green Climate Fund; head of the UNESCAP ENEA Office; as Chief of Cross Sectoral Environmental Issues and Principal Policy Advisor to the Executive Director of UNEP. Dr. Ramakrishna also provided secretariat services to the North-East Asian Subregional Programme for Environmental Cooperation (NEASPEC) and was a lead author of the fifth assessment (and many before it) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Rama advises the WHOI Microplastics Team on engagement with international efforts to understand and control plastic waste.
Collin Ward is an environmental chemist interested in how plastics break down in the environment, what they are transformed into, and the timescales that these processes occur.
Sarah Youngs is a chemist whose research focuses on studying both oceanic macro and microplastics. She studies how plastics weather and accumulate metals as well as helps to develop new microplastic sensing technologies.
Students, Research Assistants, and Postdocs
Jordan Pitt is a Ph.D. student in Mark Hahn’s and Neel Aluru’s labs working to understand microplastic and nanoplastic accumulation and impacts in marine organisms.
- Particles on the Move from Oceanus magazine
- Maternal transfer of nanoplastics to offspring in zebrafish (Danio rerio): A case study with nanopolystyrene
- Uptake, tissue distribution, and toxicity of polystyrene nanoparticles in developing zebrafish (Danio rerio)
Anna Walsh is a Joint Program student in Collin Ward’s and Chris Reddy’s labs studying the environmental degradation of consumer plastics by sunlight, with a focus on plastic lifetimes, degradation products, and the effects of additives.
Taylor Nelson is a postdoc in Collin Ward’s and Chris Reddy’s labs investigating the influences and interplay of sunlight and biofilm formations on the degradation products and lifetimes of consumer plastics in marine waters.
Bryan James is a postdoctoral scholar in Chris Reddy’s and Mark Hahn's labs investigating plastic pollution in the marine environment and its impact on marine life and human health. He brings a biomaterials science and engineering perspective to the team.
Communications and Development
Ken Kostel has been a science writer and multimedia producer for nearly 20 years and has worked at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for the past decade. In 2003, he graduated from the Earth & Environmental Science Journalism program at Columbia University. Since then, he has focused on helping scientists tell their stories and given people a behind-the-scenes look at science and exploration in words, images, and video in print, online, and on social media.