The Team

Interested in joining our team or collaborating with us? Just drop us a line here.

Principal Investigator


Bastian Bentlage, PhD
Bastian studied zoology, biological oceanography, and ecology in Germany before pursuing a PhD in evolutionary biology at the University of Kansas. He spent four and a half years as a postdoc at the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institution in the DC Metro Area before joining the faculty of the Marine Laboratory in Guam in 2016. Bastian is mostly interested in understanding patterns and processes of marine biodiversity evolution. Being able to see coral reefs quite literally from his office window, his research efforts have broadened to the local and global stressors affecting coral health.

ResearchGate   Google scholar

Postdoctoral Scholar

Gaurav Shimpi, PhD
Gaurav received his PhD in Germany, and then moved back to India for while to study coral resilience and invertebrate biodiversity. Since then, he decided to join us and help build up our laboratory infrastructure. He pursues questions in cnidarian evolution and resilience, primarily focusing on the mitochondrial contribution to coral resilience.

ResearchGate   Google scholar   Twitter

Research Associates

Colin Lock

Screen Shot 2023-01-25 at 11.00.48 AM

After 2 years of working with the government and NGOs in the Philippines, Colin obtained his Master’s from UoG where he used coral transcriptomics to examine metabolic changes as coral’s undergo micro-fragmentation. As a full-time research associate, his current research focuses on using metabarcoding, flow cytometry, gene expression, and Symbiodiniaceae culture to examine physiological shifts in corals and their endosymbiotic algae in response to environmental stressors. In his free time he enjoys technical diving, kitesurfing, climbing, mountain biking, and spikeball.


Graduate Students (MS)

Colin Anthony

Screen Shot 2023-01-25 at 11.34.35 AMColin has a unique background in writing, photography, and design. He uses these skills in conjunction with flow cytometry and metabarcoding to reveal acclimation patterns of coral-associated photosystems. In addition to his coral work, Colin enjoys asking questions about jellyfish ecology and evolution, primarily using citizen science and open-source programs. During his freetime, Colin enjoys snorkeling, listening to live music, and playing spikeball with his friends.

ResearchGate   Twitter   Website

Therese Miller

IMG_1096Therese came from Florida after studying marine invertebrate taxonomy and biodiversity with Dr. Gustav Paulay. She is a resilient lab scientist and strong swimmer working to reveal bacterial microbial shifts in pollution-associated corals. She has also maintained her interest in invertebrate systematics. She spends her free time swimming on the reefs with mantas, playing the flute on the beaches during sunset, and paddle boarding to see pods of dolphins during sunrise.

Carlos Alberto Tramonte


After growing up in South Florida, Carlos joined the Davies Marine Population Genomics Lab at BU to further his love for coral biology. After graduating from Boston College, he shifted focus to the pacific at the Unibetsedåt Guåhan for his Masters. He uses different molecular, ecological, and genetic approaches to better understand ecological succession and resilience of Guam’s coral communities. He recently received the prestigious NSF GRFP and is an emerging hispanic researcher excited to follow through with a PhD. During his free time, Carlos enjoys sunset surf sessions, underwater photography, and freediving.

ResearchGate   Twitter

Pablo De la Vega Basurto

Screen Shot 2023-01-25 at 11.05.17 AMPablo previously worked as an engineer, but became interested in biology after getting into mushroom cultivation and beer brewing. Pablo has been pivotal in setting up our microbiology lab and is now pursuing questions in gene expression and metagenomics of coral-associated bacteria. He spends his free time brewing his own beers at home, hunting invasive species on Guam with his local friends, and kitesurfing during the windy season on Guam. He also enjoys diving with his Wife, Ginger, who’s a local dive instructor and UoG marine lab field tech.

Research Technicians

Loreto Paulino Jr.
Loreto is still an undergrad at UoG studying chemistry and math. Yet, he has gained an interest in environmental science and its biological counterparts. Lo is an integral part of the team developing technical protocols, generating data, and maintaining animal cultures.

Undergraduate Students

Anela Duenas
Anela grew up and studied biology on the neighboring island of Saipan. She is now pursuing her undergraduate degree at UoG full time and has been a cornerstone of the Marine Lab the last few years. While she has studied everything from algal systematics to fish life history, she has decided to focus her research on coral reef resilience.

Rebecca Salas


Rebecca joined as a freshman at UoG and is a Guam native. She uses upside-down jellyfish as a model for coral resilience and acclimation. She recently presented her impressive work in Puerto Rico at the SACNAS conference.


Abram Townsend (MS Biology) – Abe studied the population genetics of blue corals, but was also well known for his aquaculture capabilities. He has now moved to the states to work in aquaculture.

Justin Berg (MS Biology) – Justin used metabarcoding and microfragmentation to study the succession of coral-associated microbes (the microbiome) across an environmental gradient. Now a PhD student at University of Hawai’i Mānoa.

Melissa Gabriel (Pharm D) – Transcriptome signatures of critical sedimentation threshold in the reef-building coral Porites lobata.

Jordan Gault (MS Biology; co-advised with Alex Kerr) – Jordan is interested in inferring macro-evolutionary patterns and processes using phylogenetic comparative methods. For his thesis, he used Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood methods to infer the history of photosymbiosis in corals. Now a PhD student in Germany.

Jordan Barcinas (BS Biology) – Used Pulse Amplitude Modulated (PAM) fluorescence to study the stress response of the symbionts in massive Porites corals.

Krystal Palacios (BS Biology) – Genetic barcoding of corals of Guam.

Edriel Aquino (BS Biology) – Used native plants for watershed restoration and assists the lab in collecting environmental monitoring data.

James Fifer (MS Biology; co-advised with Laurie Raymundo) – Investigated the mitigating effects of water flow on the transcriptomic stress response of reef-flat staghorn corals (Acropora pulchra). Now a PhD student in Cell & Molecular Biology at Boston University.

Jennifer Ha (BS Biology) – Genetic barcoding of Guam’s coral diversity with focus on acroporids. Presented her results at the Ocean Sciences meeting in Portland, OR in 2018.

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