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 optical approaches for assessing phytoplankton community composition and characteristics of suspended particulate matter. 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 sunlight by sea surface waves provides a unique resource of quantitative information on the highest naturally-occurring concentrations of solar energy on Earth. His work involving radiative transfer modeling resulted in novel insights into the near-surface light fields and low-light environment within the ocean mesopelagic zone. His experimental work at sea provides a wealth of information on light fields and seawater optical properties in various marine environments within the world’s oceans.
In recent years Stramski has led the development of a new technology, referred to as MANTA (Multi-spectral Advanced Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis), for counting and sizing submicrometer particles. This technology has been patented and has broad applications in various research areas and industrial sectors. In 2014 Stramski with Scripps colleagues from his lab founded a company MANTA Instruments Inc. to commercialize new instrumentation based on MANTA technology. This instrumentation (ViewSizer 3000) is now commercially available from Horiba Scientific (see Links).
Born in Poland, Stramski received his M.S. with honors in oceanography (1978) and 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’Oceanographie in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France (1986-88), a visiting scientist position at Universite Laval in Quebec, 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, and The Oceanography Society. He is also a member of the NASA MODIS/VIIRS Science Team and NASA PACE (Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem) Science and Applications Team. His professional activities also include service as Associate Editor of Limnology and Oceanography, Editorial Board Member of Oceanology, Guest Editor of the special issue “Outstanding Topics in Ocean Optics” in Applied Sciences published in December 2018, and numerous expert panels and working groups. He has been a Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator for over 40 research projects and participated in numerous oceanographic expeditions on research vessels from the US, Poland, France, Germany, and Russia (former Soviet Union). He is the author/coauthor of more than 100 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals.