Ph.D. Oceanography – Applied Ocean Science, June 2015
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, CA
Thesis: “Novel Marine Inorganic Carbon System Sensors for the Anthropocene”

M.S. Oceanography – Applied Ocean Science, December 2010
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, CA

B.S. Chemical Engineering Summa Cum Laude, May 2008
Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA


2020 – present: 2019 – 2020:  Director of the Sandbox: a Scripps Makerspace, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
2017 – 2020:  Research & Development Engineer, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
2015 – 2016:  Environmental Scientist, San Francisco Estuary Institute
2009 – 2015:  Graduate Research Asst., Scripps Institution of Oceanography


· Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation Award (Lead); $15K (2019)
· San Diego Gas & Electric Community Engagement Award (Lead); $7.5K (2018)
· UCSD Institute for the Global Entrepreneur Award (Lead); $1K (2018)
· NSF-OTIC Award 1736905 (Co-Lead PI): Collaborative Research: Self-Calibrating pH Sensors for Autonomous Collection of Climate Quality Data; $567K (2017)
· Helped attract major research donation from Lost Bird Project to fund research which I now lead in Prof. Todd Martz’s lab; $1.25M (2016)
· UC Ship Funds awardee and Chief Scientist (as a Ph.D. Candidate) on-board the R/V Sproul (2014)
· Dissertations Symposium in Chemical Oceanography (DISCO) XXIV Invitee (2014)
· Scripps Student Symposium (S3) award for best talk (2014)
· Scripps student video competition: Best Video in Climate, Ocean, and Atmosphere Program (2014)
· Secured research donation from Scripps Foundation for Science & the Environment; $5K (2013)
· Scripps Community Outreach Program for Education most frequent volunteer (2013 & 2014)
· National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship (2010 – 13)
· Elizabeth Nevius Award & Lehigh University President’s Scholarship (2008 – 09)
· Lehigh University William H. Chandler Prize in Chemistry & Chemical Engineering (2008)


last updated Winter 2020

Bresnahan, P.J., Wirth, T., Martz, T.R., Shipley, K., Rowley, V., Anderson, C., Grimm, T. (2020). Equipping Smart Coasts with Marine Water Quality IoT Sensors. Results in Engineering. DOI:10.1016/j.rineng.2019.100087.

Brewin R.J.W., Cyronak, T., Bresnahan, P.J., Andersson, A.J., Richard, J., Hammond, K. et al. (2020). Comparison of two methods for measuring sea surface temperature when surfing. Oceans. DOI:10.3390/oceans1010002.

Sastri, A., Christian, J.R., Achterberg, E.P., Atamanchuk, D., Buck, J., Bresnahan, P.J., et al. (2019). Perspectives on in situ sensors for ocean acidification research. Frontiers in Marine Science, Ocean Observation, DOI:10.3389/fmars.2019.00653.

Bresnahan, P.J., Martz, T.R. (2018). Gas Diffusion Cell Geometry for a Microfluidic Dissolved Inorganic Carbon Analyzer. IEEE Sensors Journal, DOI:10.1109/JSEN.2018.2794882.

Cyronak, T., Andersson, A.J., D’Angelo, S., Bresnahan, P.J., Davidson, C., et al. (2018). Short-term spatial and temporal carbonate chemistry variability in two contrasting seagrass meadows: implications for pH buffering capacities. Estuaries and Coasts, 41(5). DOI:10.1007/s12237-017-0356-5.

Bresnahan, P.J., Martz, T.R., Almeida, J., Ward, B., & Maguire, P. (2017). Looking Ahead: A Profiling Float Micro-Rosette. Oceanography, 30. DOI:10.5670/oceanog.2017.215.

Brewin, R.J.W., Hyder, K., Andersson, A.J., Billson, O., Bresnahan, P.J., Brewin, T.G., Cyronak, T. et al. (2017). Expanding Aquatic Observations through Recreation. Frontiers in Marine Science, 4(351). DOI:10.3389/fmars.2017.00351.

Kapsenberg, L., Bockmon, E.E., Bresnahan, P.J., Kroeker, K.J., Gattuso, J.-P., Martz, T.R. (2017). Advancing Ocean Acidification Biology Using Durafet® pH Electrodes. Frontiers in Marine Science, Technology Report 4(321). DOI:10.3389/fmars.2017.00321.

Bresnahan, P.J., Wirth, T., Martz, T.R., Andersson, A., Cyronak, T., D’Angelo, S., Pennise, J., Melville, W.K., Lenain, L., Statom, N. (2016), A sensor package for mapping pH and oxygen from mobile platforms. Methods in Oceanography. DOI:10.1016/j.mio.2016.04.004.

Martz, T.R., Send, U., Ohman, M.D., Takeshita, Y., Bresnahan, P.J., Kim, H.-J., Nam, S. (2014). Dynamic variability of biogeochemical ratios in the Southern California Current System. Geophysical Research Letters., 41(7). DOI:10.1002/2014gl059332.

Bresnahan, P.J., Martz T.R., Takeshita Y., Johnson K.S., LaShomb M. (2014), Best practices for autonomous measurement of seawater pH with the Honeywell Durafet. Methods in Oceanography. DOI:10.1016/j.mio.2014.08.003. [Most cited article in Methods in Oceanography as of Dec 27, 2017.]

Martz, T.R., Takeshita, Y., Rolph, R., Bresnahan, P.J. (2012), Tracer Monitored Titrations: Measurement of Dissolved Oxygen. Analytical Chemistry, 84, 290-296. DOI:10.1021/ac202537f.


Bresnahan, P.J., Cyronak, T., Martz, T.R., Andersson, A., Waters, S., Stern, A., Richard, J., Hammond, K., Griffin, J., Thompson, B. (2017). Engineering a Smartfin for surf-zone oceanography, in OCEANS 2017, Anchorage, Alaska, 2017, p. 1-4.

Trowbridge, P., Shimabuku, I., Bresnahan, P.J., Nielsen, K., Largier, J., Sutula, M., Valiela, L., Nutters, H., Wheeler, S., Knight, E. (2017). Summary of Workshop on Monitoring for Acidification in West Coast Estuaries: A San Francisco Bay Case Study. Richmond, CA.

Lorenzoni, L., Telszewski, M., Benway, H., Palacz, A. P., eds. (2017). A user’s guide for selected autonomous biogeochemical sensors. An outcome from the 1st IOCCP International Sensors Summer Course. Contributing author.

Bresnahan, P.J., Jabusch, T., Senn, D., Trowbridge, P., Salomon, M., Novick, E., An empirical investigation of spatiotemporal patterns in dissolved inorganic macronutrients in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta. Chapter in report: Summary and Evaluation of Delta Subregions for Nutrient Monitoring and Assessment Jabusch, T., Bresnahan, P.J., Trowbridge, P., Novick, E., Wong, A., Salomon, M., Senn, D., Eds. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA, 2016.

Bresnahan, P.J., The Mooring Report: June 2016. Vertical variability of dissolved oxygen in San Francisco Bay. SFEI’s water quality science e-newsletter:

Bresnahan, P.J., The Mooring Report: February 2016. El Niño’s effects on San Francisco Bay water quality. SFEI’s water quality science e-newsletter:


· Invited lecturer for two-week summer course: “Instrumenting our oceans for better observation: a training course on biogeochemical sensors,” Kristineberg, Sweden (2015, 19). I delivered four lectures and led three practical, project-based exercises for students designed to teach how oceanographic sensors function and are operated in the field.
· Invited instructor for two-week summer course: “Satellite Remote Sensing Training” (2019). I delivered one week of lectures and spent two weeks assisting students with interactive Python programming for ocean satellite data analysis.
· Designed project-based learning portion of Observational Physical Oceanography with Prof. Fiamma Straneo. Students learned to make an ocean sensor package using open source code and hardware and we contributed to improvements for the GitHub repository (2019).
· Invited instructor for California Science Teachers Association Climate Summit (2018). Worked with professional educators to develop a two-week high school chemistry curriculum focused on climate change and ocean acidification.
· Keynote speaker at Creative Mornings/San Diego event (2018): The Science of Community:
· Teaching assistant for SIO269/179: Instrumental Methods for Marine Science (2014, 15, 17, 18, 19).
· Invited guest lessons for high school environmental science and chemistry classes; High Tech High International and Chula Vista High (2018).
· Invited presentation at Ocean Sciences Meeting and organizer/chair of town hall named “Citizen Oceanography: crowdsourcing ocean data collection in a sea of new technologies” (2018).
· Invited panelist at South by Southwest, Sustainability at Scripps event,’s Spectra conference, Citizens’ Climate Lobby chapter film screening, Scripps Chasing Coral film screening (2018–19).
· Invited presentations at IEEE/MTS Oceans Conference (also session chair), Scripps Institutional Seminar, Scripps Applied Ocean Sciences Seminar, Scripps Marine Chemistry Seminar, La Jolla Rotary Club, Surfrider Foundation Chapter Meeting, Boardroom Show, National Instruments Technical Seminar (2017).
· Invited presentations at ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting, CERF Meeting, Solana Beach Eco Rotary Club, San Francisco Bay–Delta Science Conference, SF Bay Regional Monitoring Program Annual Meeting (2015).


· Mentor/co-mentor four graduate students (including as capstone committee chair for one; 2017–2019).
· Mentored four NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates students (2014–2019).
· Scripps Peers Mentor for two graduate students (2013–14).
· Serve on two university committees: Scripps Makerspace committee (ex officio) and Collaboration of Like-Minded Learners and Builders (COLLAB).
· Proposal Reviewer for Woods Hole Sea Grant (2019).
· Peer reviewer for: Methods in Oceanography, Frontiers in Marine Science, IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering (2016 “Outstanding Reviewer”), PLOS ONE.
· Extensive press relations experience: interviewed for Science Magazine, NPR All Things Considered, BBC Earth, Seeker,, the SonTek Sound Stream and Macrofab Podcasts, and The Liquid Grid, for example (2017–19).
· Co-organizer of “Monitoring for Acidification Threats in West Coast Estuaries: A San Francisco Bay Case Study” (2016).
· Invited panelist at the 2015 Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation’s Quality Control and Management of Biogeochemical Sensors Workshop (2015).
· Judge for high school National Ocean Sciences Bowl (2010–13).
· Invited ocean acidification demos for BE-WiSE (Better Education for Women in Science & Engineering) La Jolla chapter (2010–14).
· Invited ocean acidification demos for Sustainable Surf/Scripps Oceanography collaboration @ The Boardroom Show (2014) & The Mingei International Museum (2014).
· Served as CFO of UCSD’s Entrepreneur Challenge, a student-organized business plan competition, with responsibilities including fundraising ($100K) and event coordination (2010–11).


· NAUI dive certified (advanced diver, Nitrox diver, rescue diver) and small-boat certified
· Proficiency programming in Python, C/C++/Arduino, MATLAB, R, LabVIEW, SolidWorks, MS Office
· Spanish (reading, writing, and basic speaking)
· Field/cruise experience with over ninety days at sea


Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography
The Oceanography Society
Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation
California Estuarine Research Society
Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society
Phi Eta Sigma Freshmen Honor Society