Grace Saba
Associate Professor

Full CV | Two Page CV

Research Interests

I initiate diverse, multidisciplinary projects in order to address both small-scale (individual organism) and large-scale (whole ecosystem) questions with ecological, physiological, and biogeochemical implications. My broad research interests are in the fields of coastal marine organismal ecology and physiology, with emphasis on how organisms interact with their environment (physical-biological coupling) and other organisms (food web dynamics and predator-prey interactions), how physiological processes impact biogeochemistry (nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration), and how climate change (i.e., ocean acidification, warming) impacts these processes. I apply multiple techniques and collaborate with physical/biological/chemical oceanographers and physiologists, molecular ecologists, fisheries scientists, ocean observers, and climate modelers. I employ an integrative, mechanistic approach and have strong laboratory and field components in my research.

Short History

I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Aquatic Biology in 2002 from the University of California Santa Barbara, then received my Ph.D. in Marine Science in 2010 from the College of William & Mary at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. I was a post doctoral research associate at Rutgers University from 2010-2012, was promoted to Assistant Research Professor in 2012, and to tenure-track Assistant Professor in 2015.

Teaching Efforts

Prerequisites: 11:628:320; Rutgers REHS Laboratory Safety Training

Description: This course focuses on basic techniques to collect, analyze, and report oceanographic and marine science data with emphasis on biological and chemical variables. This will include interactive lectures, team-based hands-on field sampling, laboratory sample analysis, writing and presenting results, and writing a scientific paper. Teamwork is required for this course. This course will require some travel as well as work outdoors, aboard research vessels, and in the laboratory with chemicals.

Fall 11:628:461/16:712:520 THE BIOLOGY OF LIVING IN THE OCEAN: WATER COLUMN ECOSYSTEMS & PROCESSES (3 cr; Mondays/Thursdays 12:35-1:55)
Prerequisites: 11:628:320, 1 term Calculus, 2 terms General Biology; Recommended: General Chemistry and Physics

Description: The ocean is the majority of Earth and the largest biome on the planet. Processes that occur in the water column are highly dynamic and central to regulating the planet’s biogeochemistry which influences how much oxygen we breath, how many fish exist, and how much oil is available to human’s to extract. This course will cover the processes that regulate the biology of the plankton and fish, which drives the community ecology for ocean ecosystems. This course covers ecological themes such as the acquisition and transformation of energy and materials, population regulation, competition/predation dynamics, population connectivity and marine food webs. The course will also highlight approaches and technologies used to make measurements in the ocean.

Fall/Spring 16:712:605, 606 OCEANOGRAPHY SEMINAR (1 cr; Tuesdays 10:55-12:15)
Prerequisites: 16:712:501, 520 or 522, 540.

Description: Scientific papers are read in order to foster discussion and critical analysis by students of important scientific topics. Papers are selected from all disciplines with an emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, typically with a specific theme each semester. Faculty instructors provide guidance and comment.

Spring 11:628:130 SEA MONSTERS AND WEIRD BIOLOGY IN EARTH’S OCEANS (3 cr; Mondays/Thursdays 12:35-1:55)
Prerequisites: None

Description: We live on an ocean planet. The ocean is full of giant sharks, mythic squids, gargantuan worms, and microbes that shape the planet. Biology is continually adapting and evolving, driven by the environment in which it lives. The ocean encompasses extremes in physical and chemical properties, which have produced weird and unique organisms that live in an environment unlike anything in our human experience. These organisms affect our lives. This class will use the ocean to explore how biology adapts and evolves. We will also explore how the ocean shaped our views of nature, assess how the ocean is changing, and consider how sustainable it will be in the future. Our goal is to increase the biological and ocean literacy of students. The course will be overseen by two faculty, but the course will also include lectures from leading Rutgers scientists who have spent their careers exploring biology in the ocean and will speak on their areas of specialization.