Scholar Spotlight

MatsuzakiYoshitaka Matsuzaki

Dr. Yoshitaka Matsuzaki is a Visiting Scholar from Japan. He has been fascinated with the ocean since childhood having been born and grown up in a coastal town. In Japan Dr. Matsuzaki works for a governmental research institute measuring ocean currents and water quality along the coastal areas. At UCSC Ocean Sciences, he is carrying out research in coastal engineering. Dr. Matsuzaki is using numerical simulation model to simulate ocean current and water quality of Tokyo Bay. He is attempting to simulate the coastal three dimension structure of current, salinity, and water temperature using an assimilation technique. Dr. Matsuzaki hopes to master this technique while at UCSC. It is his goal to apply the knowledge to predict water quality conditions, to prevent environment and water pollution along the coastal areas of Japan. Dr. Matsuzaki enjoys coming to work every day into a welcoming environment where he can concentrate on his research. His supervisor and co-workers are kind and smart. His memorable moment at UCSC is when he first arrived being awestruck by the setting and the natural beauty of campus.



Siddharth NarayanSiddharth
Position: Postdoctoral Fellow
Department: Ocean Sciences
Home Country: India

What is your major field of research and your role at UCSC?

My major field of research is coastal engineering and flood risk management. As the post-doctoral fellow for the Lloyd's Tercentenary Research Foundation, I focus on exploring the use of natural coastal ecosystems like marsh and mangrove wetlands to help reduce flood risk for vulnerable coastal populations in the US and elsewhere. 

Along with project leads Prof. Michael W. Beck here at UCSC and Dr. Jane Carter Ingram at Wildlife Conservation Society, I am now working with insurance agencies to examine the value of these ecosystems as natural defences and explore ways to incorporate them into policy and practice. Specifically, I will be working closely with our team, including colleagues at Risk Management Solutions (RMS), a leading global risk modelling company, to quantify the extent to which coastal wetlands reduce flood risks to properties from hurricanes.

What inspired you to enter your field?

I discovered coastal engineering as a subject during my under-graduate degree in civil engineering and have been hooked ever since, fascinated by the complex interactions that occur between physical, natural and human systems at this transition zone between land and water. From childhood, I have had a desire to help protect our natural environment, and I see this field as the perfect opportunity to combine these passions. 

What do you enjoy most about your current position?

The opportunity, as a civil engineer, to work with very different disciplines like ecology and finance, in a fascinating field of research, to ultimately help value and preserve our natural ecosystems.

What has been your most memorable moment at UCSC so far?

Bagel Friday at the Long Marine Lab where I am based, and volleyball on the beach with some of the LML folk!

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments, personally and professionally? 

I actually consider my rather nomadic career so far as my greatest accomplishment! I have studied - and built up a network of close friends - in India, continental Europe, the UK and now the USA, and I value this highly.

What advice do you have for international students interested in attending UCSC?

To allow themselves a few months to find their feet and settle in. Santa Cruz is a very easy and friendly city to move to; UCSC has beautiful campuses in the redwoods and at LML, and there is something to do for everyone here :).

How does your work raise awareness of global perspectives?

By working on globally relevant issues - coastal risk and coastal ecosystems, and by doing this work in several countries like the USA, India, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, I hope to contribute as much as I can to raising awareness of pressing issues around appreciating and conserving our natural ecosystems, and understanding the services they provide to human beings.


Ghada AbdelmageedGhada
Position: Visiting Scholar
Department: Chemistry & Biochemistry
Home Country: Egypt

What is your major field of research and your role at UCSC?

My major field is applied physics and I currently work on perovskite solar cells research. I work at UCSC as a visiting scholar in a collaboration between the Departments of Chemistry and Physics.

What inspired you to enter your field?

The need for a clean and sustainable energy.

What do you enjoy most about your current position?

That I can give 100% of my time to doing research.

What has been your most memorable moment at UCSC so far? 

My first day on campus. I was surprised by it's breathtaking beauty.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments, personally and professionally?

Personally, making new best friends. Professionally, the opportunity to work with and learn from inspirational mentors and well respected scientists.

What advice do you have for international students interested in attending UCSC?

Never give up on your dreams and enjoy the cultural diversity of Santa Cruz.

How does your work raise awareness of global perspectives?

My work is devoted to understanding the reliability and performance of perovskite solar cells which have recorded unprecedented progress in photovoltaics over the last few years. In today's world, the need for clean energy is higher than ever and perovskite solar cells are promising.


Flora CordoleaniFlora
Position: Project Scientist
Department: Ocean Sciences
Home Country: France

What is your major field of research and your role at UCSC?

I am developing a life cycle model to assess the impact of water management and climate change on the dynamics of California Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon populations. Through the use of acoustic telemetry tagging experiments and mark-recapture models I am also working on estimating the survival of spring-run Chinook salmon smolts during their outmigration towards the ocean. Finally I am interested in the use of otoliths isotope analysis to investigate the different life history strategies expressed by spring-run Chinook juveniles.

What inspired you to enter your field?

I was born and grew up in a big city in the south of France, on the Mediterranean Sea, and I have always been interested in the interaction between humans and the marine environment.

What do you enjoy most about your current position?

I enjoy working in collaboration with several scientists from various origins (state, federal agencies ...). I love learning every day new aspects of salmon dynamics and unique features.

What has been your most memorable moment at UCSC so far? 

When me and some co-workers went to trap salmon smolts last spring. 

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments, personally and professionally? 

I succeeded in earning a Phd in a field that I love. I have successfully moved to another country and found a very interesting job. I am surrounded by a loving family and friends that share an important part of my life.

What advice do you have for international students interested in attending UCSC?

Find a community here that will help you feel at home.

How does your work raise awareness of global perspectives?

My work is essential for the management and conservation of an emblematic, endangered species in California.


Leiguang Wang
Position: Visiting Scholar
Department: Literature
Home Country: China

What is your major field of research and your role at UCSC?

My major is contemporary literature and cultural studies. I am a visiting scholar at UCSC.

What inspired you to enter your field?

The rapid social development in China and the guidance of my tutor.

What do you enjoy most about your current position?

I have much time to do what I like.

What has been your most memorable moment at UCSC so far?

First seeing the giant redwoods.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments, personally and professionally? 

In the Spring Festival of 2015, my article “The Notes of a Doctoral Student Returning Home” was spread in the media, and caused many people’s discussion.

What advice do you have for international students interested in attending UCSC?

Master driving skills before you come here, because UCSC is in the mountains.

How does your work raise awareness of global perspectives?

I think if you want to know about the world today, you should know America and China.


Ely Bergo de Carvalhoely
Position: Post-Doctoral Scholar
Department: Environmental Studies
Home Country: Brazil

What is your major field of research and your role at UCSC?

I graduated with a degree in History from the State University of Maringa (1999), master's (2004) and doctorate (2008) in History from the Federal University of Santa Catarina. I am an assistant professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais - UFMG. I direct the graduate program in Environmental History, the History of Science and Technology, and the History of Brazil. I am now conducting post-doctoral research at UCSC.

What inspired you to enter your field?

To produce a better future.

What has been your most memorable moment at UCSC so far?

When I saw the beautiful campus and the concern for sustainability on campus.

What advice do you have for international students interested in attending UCSC?

Enjoy the social life in the UCSC.

How does your work raise awareness of global perspectives?

My methodological strategy will be a comparison of Brazilian material with the equivalent in the United States. The central question is not how environmental education is present in textbooks of history, but an understanding of how historians incorporated or did not incorporate the natural world in their narratives, and political and environmental implications of such representations.


Hervé Grabahervé
Position: Assistant Researcher
Department: Physics
Home Country: France

What is your major field of research and your role at UCSC?

I work at the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics (SCIPP). I am developing the future sensors that will be used in our experiments—satellites or medical imaging devices. We do everything from conception to manufacturing and testing. It is a lot of fun!

What inspired you to enter your field?

I was always passionate how our world functions. How do trees grow, buildings stand, planes fly? All are governed by the underlying laws of physics. Studying and working in physics was natural for me, and I have always wanted to improve our understanding of how things work, in order to make them work even better.

What do you enjoy most about your current position?

The large scale of the projects we are involved in. The experience and knowledge you can find in my lab. I have the luck of working with worldwide renowned experts in the field.

What has been your most memorable moment at UCSC so far?

Getting successful results on the first sensor designed here. It was great to see it live!

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments, personally and professionally? 

Personally, meeting my future wife and getting engaged. Professionally, becoming a doctor in Physics and getting to work in this field.

What advice do you have for international students interested in attending UCSC?

Never stop believing. With hard work everything becomes possible!

How does your work raise awareness of global perspectives?

We are working hard to gain a better understanding of how things work on the infinite small scale today. I believe the sensors we are designing will have major repercussions in helping doctors diagnose diseases in the future.


Natalia Diaz Rodrigueznatalia
Position: Research Fellow
Department: Computer Science
Home Country: Spain

What is your field of research and your role at UCSC?

Visiting scholar, focusing on Computer Engineering and Artificial Intelligence.

What inspired you to enter your field?

The novelty of the technical field, its fast evolution, and the potential and power it has to change the world for better.

What do you enjoy most about your current position?

The closeness of the campus to the innovation happening in Silicon Valley, and the richness of the city.

What has been your most memorable moment at UCSC so far?

Being able to see whales just from the beach, and deer, raccoons and mountain lions on campus.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments, personally and professionally? 

The connection with inspirational people with whom I develop professionally and personally.

What advice do you have for international students interested in attending UCSC?

UCSC is located in one of the top campuses in U.S. The diversity and cross collaboration is a highlight.

How does your work raise awareness of global perspectives?

My work's ultimate goal is to achieve Ambient Assisted Living through Artificial Intelligence and Ambient Intelligence. I try to apply my research to every-day problems.


Indranil ChakrabortyIndranil
Position: Postdoctoral Researcher
Department: Chemistry and Biochemistry
Home Country: India

What is your major field of research and your role at UCSC?

My role is to perform my own research project and help graduate and undergraduate students in their respective research projects in Inorganic Chemistry, Medicinal Inorganic Chemistry, Organometallic Chemistry, X-ray Crystallography, Supramolecular Chemistry, and Electrochemistry.

What inspired you to enter your field?

From college life onward, various metal organic complexes with their origin and plethora of colors really inspired me to pursue research in this field.

What do you enjoy most about your current position?

Working with new compounds and teaching and interacting with my junior colleagues about research and science.

What has been your most memorable moment at UCSC so far?

Accomplishing a research project with my partner Sam, which took us one month of continually working from 4:30 am in the morning.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments, personally and professionally? 

My current research, which is directed towards development of photochemotherapeutics. These metallo drugs have a huge potential to combat various cancers that are otherwise resistant to most commonly used chemotherapeutics. Personally to get my best friend Sam, who is also my very able junior partner.

What advice do you have for international students interested in attending UCSC?

It is a most favorable place to do research, and also have some fun.

How does your work raise awareness of global perspectives?

Several of publications on our current research on photochemotherapeutics got highlighted in various places which highlight major drug discovery research globally.