Rutgers Institute of Marine and Coastal Science (IMCS) added two new faculty members this summer, Ben Horton, an internationally recognized scientist on sea-level and global change, and Kim Thamatrakoln, who joins as a new research faculty member.
Horton’s interests are in understanding and integrating the mechanisms that have determined sea-level changes in the past so humanity will be better prepared to understand the potential changes in the future. This helps bridge the gap between short-term instrumental measurements and long-term geological reconstructions and geophysical predictions. To this end, he has developed, tested and validated a new approach that uses microfossils to quantitatively reconstruct former sea levels. By applying this approach his work has led to new knowledge, predictive models of sea-level, and informed societal and economic coastal managers. Horton has also been named a Fellow of Geological Society of America, a prestigious award that recognizes leaders in the field for their distinguished contributions to the geosciences.
Thamatrakoln’s research focuses on understanding the molecular, physiological and biochemical strategies that have contributed to the ecological success of eukaryotic marine phytoplankton. As passive drifters, unicellular photoautotrophs require sophisticated cellular mechanisms for sensing and responding to rapid changes in their dynamic environment and she is interested in understanding the underlying molecular basis for these responses both in laboratory cultures and in the environment.