Biography

Dariusz Stramski is a professor of oceanography in the Marine Physical Laboratory division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. He founded the Ocean Optics Research Lab at Scripps in 1997 (see Links).

His research interests are in the areas of ocean optics, optical remote sensing of the ocean, and applications of optical methods in oceanography. Some of the most significant and influential contributions of his research include a wide range of findings about the optical properties of various types of marine biological and minerogenic particles and their roles in ocean optics, a reductionist approach to the detailed description of the composition of seawater as an optical medium, new approaches and algorithms for enhancing the capabilities of ocean color remote sensing, unique measurements for characterizing wave-focusing of sunlight at near-surface depths in the ocean, as well as advances in measurement methodologies and development of innovative technologies and instrumentation. For instance, Stramski's work has documented the variability in light absorption and scattering properties of many types of marine microorganisms including bacteria and various phytoplankton species as well as various types of mineral-dominated particulate assemblages. He pioneered the application of satellite remote sensing of ocean color for estimating the concentration of particulate organic carbon in the surface ocean. His contributions related to ocean color remote sensing also include inverse models for estimating seawater inherent properties from ocean reflectance and development of approaches for assessing phytoplankton community composition from satellite observations. His studies of light absorption resulted in improved methodology for measuring the particulate absorption coefficient and improved models for partitioning the absorption coefficient of seawater into phytoplankton and non-phytoplankton components. His work on focusing of light by sea surface waves provides a unique resource of quantitative information on the highest naturally-occurring concentrations of solar energy on Earth. Some of his work involving radiative transfer modeling provided novel insights into the extremely low-light environment within the ocean mesopelagic zone. In recent years Stramski’s lab has developed a new technology for counting and sizing submicrometer particles. This technology has been commercialized and has broad applications in various research areas and industrial sectors.

Born in Poland, Stramski received an M.S. with honors in oceanography (1978) and a Ph.D. in Earth sciences (1985) from the University of Gdansk. He also received a Polish degree of habilitation in oceanography from the Polish Academy of Sciences (2002) and a title of Professor in Earth sciences presented by the President of Poland (2014). Prior to joining the Scripps faculty (1997), Stramski held a research position at the Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences (1978-1988), a postdoctoral research position at Laboratoire d’Océanographie in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France (1986-88), a visiting scientist position at Université Laval in Québec, Canada (1988-1989), and a research position at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles (1989-1997). For a number of years he has served as Coordinator of the Applied Ocean Science Curricular Program at Scripps.

Stramski is the recipient of the Maurycy Rudzki Prize from the Polish Academy of Sciences for studies of light fluctuations in the sea, Antarctica Service Medal presented by the National Science Foundation, the US Coast Guard Arctic Service Medal, and the NASA Group Achievement Award for the outstanding accomplishments by the Impacts of Climate Change on the Ecosystems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment (ICESCAPE) Team. He also received French Government and UNESCO Fellowships to conduct his postdoctoral research in France. In 2014 he was elected a Distinguished Fellow of the Kosciuszko Foundation Collegium of Eminent Scientists, which honors eminent scientists of Polish origin and ancestry for outstanding scientific achievements. In 2017 he was elected a Foreign Member of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union, the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, The Oceanography Society, and has been a member of the first NASA PACE Science Team. He has served as Associate Editor of Limnology and Oceanography, Editorial Board Member of Oceanology, and Guest Editor of the special issue "Outstanding Topics in Ocean Optics" in Applied Sciences. He has served as Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator for over 40 research projects and has participated in numerous national and international oceanographic expeditions on research vessels from the US, Poland, France, Germany, and Russia (former Soviet Union). He is the author or coauthor of over 100 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals.

In 2014 Stramski with Scripps colleagues from his lab co-founded a company MANTA Instruments Inc. (see Links) to commercialize new instrumentation for counting and sizing nanoparticles in liquid suspensions. This effort resulted from work conducted in his lab under an NSF Major Research Instrumentation award and this novel technology has been patented.