Rachel Diner is a Ph.D. graduate student in the Allen lab studying interactions between marine phytoplankton and bacteria. She earned her B.S. in Biology from the University of Georgia, after which she moved to San Diego to study coastal environmental law and policy at the University of San Diego School of Law, earning her J.D. and becoming a member of the State Bar of California. She later earned her M.S. in Marine Biology from San Francisco State University’s Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies, where she studied the effects of ocean acidification on coccolithophores.

Research Interests:

  • Marine phytoplankton-bacteria interactions
  • Diatom and marine bacteria genetic tool development
  • Diatom DNA replication
  • Interactions between marine microbes, the coastal environment, and human health
  • Metagenomics and transcriptomics

Rachel is interested in studying how marine microbes interact with the environment, with humans, and with each other. Her current research focuses on exploring relationships between marine diatoms and gammaproteobacteria in both the lab and the field. In addition to studying interactions such as competition, cooperation, and horizontal gene transfer, she is interested in how phytoplankton interact with pathogenic bacteria and how these relationships are affected by environmental change, particularly global warming and ocean acidification. She also enjoys learning more about how marine microbes work through the development of molecular tools.

Rachel has been awarded a PIER (Program for Interdisciplinary Environmental Research) Fellowship at SIO (2014-2015), an Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Fellowship (2012-2103), a CSU COAST Student Award for Marine Science Research (2011-2012), and awards to fund research and travel including a Sigma Xi GIAR. She also enjoys science writing, and is a contributor to the ASM Blog “Small Things Considered”.

Selected Publications:

Karas, B.J., Diner, R.E., Lefebvre S.C., McQuaid, J., Phillips, A.P.R., Noddings, C.M., Brunson, J.K., Valas R.E., Deerinck, T.J., Jablanovic, J., Gillard, J.T.F., Beeri, K., Ellisman, M.H., Glass, J.I., Hutchinson III, C.A., Smith, H.O., Venter, J.C., Allen, A.E., Dupont, C.L., Weyman, P.D. (2015). Designer diatom episomes delivered by bacterial conjugation. Nature communications 6 (2015).

Benner, I., Diner, R.E., Lefebvre, S. C., Li, D., Komada, T., Carpenter, E. J., & Stillman, J. H. (2013). Emiliania huxleyi increases calcification but not expression of calcification-related genes in long-term exposure to elevated temperature and pCO2. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences368(1627), 20130049

Diner, R.E., Benner, I., Passow, U., Komada, T., Carpenter, E.J., Stillman, J.H. (2015). Negative effects of ocean acidification on calcification vary within the coccolithophore genus Calcidiscus. Marine Biology 162.6 (2015): 1287-1305.