Mohammad Sedarat

Mohammad Sedarat
White Abalone Outplant Site
Point Loma, CA
photo by Katie Sowul

Mohammad is a second-year Ph.D. student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, and a member of Professor Jennifer Smith’s Lab. Before beginning graduate school at Scripps, Mohammad earned a Bachelor of Science degree in marine biology at UC San Diego and conducted fisheries research at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Mohammad’s current research explores the effects of long-term and interannual climate change on giant kelp across spatial scales. This research is part of the development of a giant kelp recovery program capable of informing global efforts in this field. The knowledge gained from this examination is also crucial for dealing with endangered species, especially for white abalone population restoration, which is the focus of his work with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

As a marine ecologist, Mohammad places strong emphasis on field technique and observation. Mohammad regularly participates in days-long to month-long seagoing research that often spans topics across physical and biological oceanography. This research experience reinforces Mohammad’s ecological sense of place, especially in terms of marine conservation in a rapidly changing environment. Since his AAUS certification at Scripps as an undergraduate in 2014, Mohammad has logged over 570 scientific dives along coastal California, the Adriatic Sea, and the Indian Ocean. These dives involve a range of underwater work, primarily within local kelp forests and seagrass beds, including ecological surveys, experiments, and instrument deployments. Beyond his field work along California and the Channel Islands, Mohammad periodically collaborates on projects with relatively remote study sites. In 2018, Mohammad worked with Carnegie Museum of Natural History to conduct the first systematic underwater fossil survey of an Early Cretaceous dinosaur locality in Croatia. Mohammad joined Scripps researchers for diving work in Seychelles in 2018 and 2019, during which the team deployed and serviced instrumentation to identify seasonal patterns in currents and water properties in order to predict local ocean conditions that impact fisheries, navigation, and ocean safety. As a member of the Scripps Diving Control Board, Mohammad is passionate about the university’s field program and serves as a resource for student divers and their field research.