My research focuses on the physical ecology of microorganisms and on microscale transport phenomena. With specific expertise in fluid mechanics, I use carefully controlled microfluidic experiments to understand how physical forces and chemical signals shape the behavior of microorganisms, particuarly in the ocean. My vision is that understanding microscale biophysical mechanisms is paramount to predicting ecosystem-level dynamics.
The physical ecology and fluid mechanics of microorganisms.
Life at low Reynolds numbers. Continuum dynamics and mathematical modeling.
Engineering Mechanics II: Fluid mechanics for Civil and Environmental Engineers.
Awards and Honors
Paolo Sarpi gold medal for the best School of Engineering student, University of Padova
Winslow Career Development Chair
NSF CAREER grant (Biological Oceanography)
Doherty Professorship of Ocean Utilization
ASLO Lindeman Award for outstanding paper in aquatic sciences under age 35
Milton Van Dyke Award from Division of Fluid Dynamics, American Physical Society
Maseeh Award for Teaching, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Marine Microbial Initiative Investigator Award, Moore Foundation
Stocker R., Seymour J.R., Samadani A., Hunt D.E. & Polz M.F., 2008, “Rapid chemotactic response enables marine bacteria to exploit ephemeral microscale nutrient patches”, PNAS, 105, 4209-4214.
Durham W.M., Kessler J.O. & Stocker R., 2009, “Disruption of vertical motility by shear triggers formation of thin phytoplankton layers”, Science, 323, 1067-1070.
Marcos, Fu H., Powers T.R. & Stocker R., 2009, “Separation of microscale chiral objects by flow”, Physical Review Letters, 102, 158103.
Sutherland K.R., Madin L.P. & Stocker R., 2010, “Filtration of submicrometer particles by pelagic tunicates”, PNAS, 107, 15129-15134.
Ardekani A.M. & Stocker R., 2010, “Stratlets: Low Reynolds number point-force solutions in a stratified fluid”, Physical Review Letters, 105, 084502.
Kindler K., Khalili A. &Stocker R., 2010, “Diffusion-limited retention of porous particles at density interfac