Karen Erica Selph


Department of Oceanography                                                 email:

University of Hawaii at Manoa                                               

Honolulu, HI  96822

808 956-7941 (office)                                                    

808 956-9516 (fax)                                     facility website:



San Francisco State University            Biology, emphasis in Marine Biology    B.S. 1985

University of Hawaii at Manoa            Oceanography                     M.S. 1992, PhD. 1999

University of Hawaii at Manoa            Oceanography       Post-doctoral Appt. 1998-2002


Professional History

Associate Specialist, Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii at Manoa, August 2007 to present.

Assistant Specialist, Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii at Manoa, December 2002 to July 2007.

Director of SOEST Flow Cytometry Facility, University of Hawaii at Manoa, December 2002 to present.

Associate Graduate Faculty member, Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii at Manoa, November 2004 to present.

Instructor, Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Fall 2000, 2003/2004 Academic Years to present.  Co-teach biological oceanography graduate core courses (OCN 621 & 626), as well as oceanography methods course (OCN 633).  Note: did not teach in OCN 626 Fall 2010, but did teach in OCN 621 in Spring 2011.

Technical Manager, SOEST Flow Cytometry Facility, University of Hawaii at Manoa,

July 1998 to December 2002.

Post-doctoral Associate, Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii at Manoa, August 2001 to December 2002. M. R. Landry, P.I.


Professional Activities – last 4 years only


1.  Brzezinski, M, S Baines, F Chai, WM Balch, RC Dugdale, JW Krause, MR Landry, A Marchi, CI Measures, DM Nelson, A Parker, KE Selph, P Strutton, AG Taylor, BS Twining and C Beucher.  2011.  Co-limitation of diatoms by iron and silicic acid in the equatorial Pacific.  Deep-Sea Res. II, 58, 493-492.

2.  Kaupp, LJ, CI Measures, KE Selph, FT Mackenzie.  2011.  The distribution of dissolved Fe and Al in the upper waters of the eastern equatorial Pacific.  Deep-Sea Res. II, 58, 296-310.

3.  Krause, JW, MA Brzezinski, MR Landry, SB Baines, DM Nelson, KE Selph, AG Taylor, BS Twining.  2010.  The impact of biogenic silica detritus and large diatoms on Si-cycling in the euphotic zone of the eastern equatorial Pacific.  Limnol. Oceanogr. 55(6), 2608-2622.

4.  Landry, MR, KE Selph, AG Taylor, MR Decima, WM Balch, RR Bidigare.  2011.  Phytoplankton growth, grazing and production balances in the HNLC equatorial Pacific.  Deep-Sea Res. II, 58, 524-535.

5.  Landry, MR, KE Selph, EJ Yang.  2011.  Decoupled phytoplankton growth and microzooplankton grazing in the deep euphotic zone of the HNLC equatorial Pacific.  Marine Ecol. Prog. Ser., 421, 13-24.

 6.  Selph, KE, MR Landry, AG Taylor, EJ Yang, CI Measures, J Yang, MR Stukel, S Christensen, RR Bidigare.  2011.  Spatially-resolved taxon-specific phytoplankton production and grazing dynamics in relation to iron distributions in the Equatorial Pacific between 110 and 140¡W.  Deep-Sea Res. II, 58, 358-377.

7.  Stukel, M, MR Landry, KE Selph.  2011.  Nanoplankton mixotrophy in the eastern equatorial Pacific. Deep-Sea Res. II, 58, 378-386.

8.  Taylor, AG, MR Landry, KE Selph and EJ Yang.  2011. Spatial patterns in    microplankton community structure in the eastern equatorial Pacific.  Deep-Sea Res. II, 58, 342-357.

9.  Buck, K., KE Selph, K Barbeau.  2010.  Iron-binding ligand production and copper speciation in an incubation experiment of Antarctic Peninsula shelf waters from the Bransfield Strait, Southern Ocean.  Marine Chemistry, 122, 148-159.

10.  Brown, SL, MR Landry, KE Selph, EJ Yang, YM Rii, RR Bidigare.  2008.  Diatoms in the desert.  Deep-Sea Res. II, 55, 1321-1333.

11.  Landry, MR, SL Brown, Y Rii, KE Selph, RR Bidigare, EJ Yang, MP Simmons.  2008.  Depth-stratified phytoplankton dynamics in Cyclone Opal, a subtropical mesoscale eddy.  Deep-Sea Res. II, 55, 1348-1359.

12.  Benitez-Nelson, CR and 22 others (inc. KE Selph).  2007.  Mesoscale eddies drive increased silica export in the subtropical Pacific Ocean,  Science 316(5827), 1017-1021.

13.  Hopkinson, BM, BG Mitchell, RA Reynolds, H Wang, KE Selph, CI Measures, CD Hewes, O Holm-Hansen, KA Barbeau.  2007.  Iron limitation across chlorophyll gradients in the southern Drake Passage: phytoplankton responses to iron addition and photosynthetic indicators of iron stress.  Limnol. Oceanogr., 52(6), 2540-2554.


Other Publications: Published Abstracts

1.  Hatta M, MM Grand, KE Selph, B Landing, CI Measures. 2010. Dissolved Iron and Aluminium Distributions in the Western South Pacific Ocean During CLIVAR-CO2 Repeat Hydrography P06 Transect.  Ocean Sciences Meeting, Portland, OR, February 22-26.

2.  Selph, KE, Landry, MR, Measures, CI, Taylor, AG, Yang, EJ, Stukel, MR, Yang, JJ, Christensen, S, Bidigare, RR.  2010.  Eastern Equatorial Pacific Phytoplankton: the Importance of Fe, light and grazing in community structure, Ocean Sciences Meeting, Portland, OR, February 22-26.

3.  Taylor, AG, MR Landry, KE Selph, DA Wick. 2010. Sharp frontal transitions of microbial communities in the southern California Current Ocean Sciences Meeting, Portland, OR, February 22-26.

4.  Buck, KN, KL Roe, KE Selph, KA Barbeau.  2009.  Sources of iron- and copper-binding ligands in natural seawater: results of incubation experiments from distinct marine systems.  ASLO Meeting, Nice France, January 25 – 30.

5.  Brown, SL, KE Selph, S Christensen, RR Bidigare.  2008.  Picoplankton community dynamics across the Western Pacific Warm Pool. Ocean Sciences Meeting, Orlando, FL, March 2 – 7.

6.  Hatta, M, WT Hiscock, KE Selph, JJ Yang, M Zhou, CI Measures.  2008.  Iron fluxes from the shelf regions near Elephant Island in the Drake Passage during Austral-Winter 2006. Ocean Sciences Meeting, Orlando, FL, March 2 – 7.

7.  Noh, JH, DH Choi, CM Lee, KE Selph.  2008.  Autotrophic picoplankton distribution in the Western Pacific – from Chuuk Lagoon to East China Sea. Ocean Sciences Meeting, Orlando, FL, March 2 – 7.

8.  Selph, KE, CI Measures, A Apprill, MT Brown, WT Hiscock, M Hatta, JJ Yang.  2008.  Winter and summer comparisons of phytoplankton and trace metal distributions around the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica.  Ocean Sciences Meeting, Orlando, FL, March 2 – 7.

9.  Selph, KE, S Brown. 2008.  Grazing dynamics of Prochlorococcus. Prochlorococcusfest, 20th Anniversary Colloquium 2008, Cambridge, MA, 30-31 May.

10.  Taylor, A, M Landry, KE Selph.  2008.  Contrasting coastal and offshore phytoplankton communities within the California Current Ecosystem. Ocean Sciences Meeting, Orlando, FL, March 2 – 7.

11.  Selph, KE, MR Landry, RR Bidigare, S Christensen, CI Measures.  2007.  Phytoplankton distributions at 140¡W in the equatorial Pacific: Patterns governed by Fe-limited growth and microzooplankton grazing.  IUGG Meeting, Perugia, Italy, June 2007.


Research Support

Current Research Support

2010: NSF-OPP 0948357, CI Measures (PI), KE Selph (co-PI), Collaborative Research: Modeling and synthesis study of a natural iron fertilization site in the Southern Drake Passage, $140,006, 09/01/09 – 08/31/11.


2009: NSF-OCE 0938473, Y Yamashita (PI), CI Measures (co-PI), KE Selph (co-PI), Dissertations in Chemical Oceanography XXII and XXIII, $280,257, 01/01/10 – 12/31/12.


2009: NSF-OCE 0938474, Y Yamashita (PI), CI Measures (co-PI), KE Selph (co-PI), Physical Oceanography Dissertations Symposium VI and VII, $276,040, 01/01/10 – 12/31/12.


Pending Research Support

2011:  Seagrant – E. Goetze (PI), P. Lenz and K. Selph (co-PIs), Plankton food web dynamics and storm events in Kaneohe Bay, proposed amount: $48,858 (plus $55,626 cost share), 02/01/12-01/31/14.

2011:  NSF-OCE – K. Selph (PI), C.I. Measures (co-PI), Collaborative Research: North Atlantic Blooms and Iron Study (NABIS), $1,204,408, 07/01/12-06/30/16.


Past Research Support

2004:  NSF-OPP 443403, CI Measures (PI) and KE Selph (co-PI), Collaborative Research: Plankton Community Structure and Iron Distribution in the Southern Drake Passage and Scotia Sea, $489,807, 09/01/05 – 08/31/08.


2003:  NSF-MRI OCE 215817, AM-01, KE Selph (PI), MR Landry (former PI), with co-PIs DM Karl, GF Steward, JC Leong, and RR Bidigare, Acquisition of a High Performance Sorting Flow Cytometer for Oceanographic and Marine Ecological Research, $509,299, 09/01/02 – 08/31/06.


2003:  NSF Grant Number 322074 (subcontract from OSU of NSF Biocomplexity), CI Measures (PI) and KE Selph (co-PI), Plankton dynamics and carbon cycling in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean: Control by Fe, Si and grazing, $314,597, 12/01/03 – 11/30/06.


Field Work (2007 to present)

Ross Sea Expedition, Antarctica, Jan-Feb 2011, 30 day cruise from McMurdo Station, Antarctica and return, Chief Scientists: Josh Kohut and Adam Kustka.

FLUxes and ZInc Experiments (FLUZIE), Costa Rica Dome, June – July 2010, 35 day cruise from Puntarenas, Costa Rica and return, Chief Scientist: Michael Landry.

Western Pacific Warm Pool (WP2), January – February 2007, 40 day cruise from Hawaii to Australia, R.V. Kilo Moana, Chief Scientist:  Zackary Johnson.




School of Ocean, Earth, Sciences and Technology Open House 2002, 2003: coordinator for the Oceanography Department exhibits, 2005,2007, 2009: display coordinator and active demonstrator.  This event is geared towards K-12 school children and is open to the general public.

Aloha Bowl, February 2005, 2006 (Grader), 2008 (Science Judge).  Teams from high schools compete in answering questions regarding science, particularly topics related to oceanography and geology.  The winning team competes at the national level.



Undergraduate Research and Creative Projects Symposium, May 2004, April 2007.  Judge.  This symposium consists of talks and posters given by University of Hawaii undergraduate students as part of their honorÕs thesis requirement.

2010 GovernorÕs Awards: Employee of the Year, Manager of the Year, and Team of the Year.  Member of selection committee.



High school science fair judge, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010.  Judge of junior and senior poster and research displays.  In 2006, also judged senior research display from the private high schools.

Pacific Science Symposium, East-West Center, Honolulu, HI, 2002, 2009, 2010 (Moderator), 2006 & 2007 (Judge).  This symposium consists of talks given by Pacific Island high school students regarding science projects and/or research they have completed.



Manuscript Reviewer for the following journals:

Aquatic Microbial Ecology, Continental Shelf Research, Deep-Sea Research I and II, Journal of Marine Systems, Journal of Plankton Research, Limnology and Oceanography Methods, Oceanologia (Polish Academy of Sciences).


Proposal Reviewer for the following programs:

NSF MRI-Instrumentation Proposals, NSF-OCE-Biological Oceanography, NSF-OPP-Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems, NSF-EAR Postdoctoral Fellowships, Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), Netherlands Polar, Programme, Division for Earth and Life Sciences