Hi there! Sit down and meet the team!

lab members


Dimitri Deheyn : Associate Research Scientist and Lecturer

Dimitri Deheyn

Associate Research Scientist and Lecturer

My research expertise deals with light production and manipulation in organisms, embracing the full range of scientific opportunities, from fundamental exploration and mechanistic description to potential application for biomedical, bioengineering and/or biotechnological applications.

I have received my Ph.D. from the Free University of Brussels (Belgium) in Marine Sciences, with emphasis on Marine Biology; therefore my model organisms are mainly marine (brittlestars, worms, snails, fish), yet I also conduct research with freshwater (fish) and terrestrial species (butterfly, birds).

I have been conducting my research at SIO since 2004.

Noah Martin : Staff

Noah Martin


My research with the Deheyn Lab aims to uncover how octopuses and other cephalopods sense their 3 dimensional environment to modify skin texture for camouflage, with the goal of informing and improving bio-inspired sensing and camouflage technology.

I am currently an Undergraduate at UC Berkeley where I also study octopuses, focusing there on their behavior and personality. I hope to continue to pursue my passion for cephalopods with a PhD at SIO, with the ultimate goal of becoming one of the worlds experts on octopuses. In my free time I enjoy surfing, diving, and playing water polo.

Ethan Staats : PhD Student

Ethan Staats

PhD Student

I'm a Marine Biology PhD student, joining the Deheyn Lab in autumn 2020. I'm an evolutionary and community ecologist with an experience/research background in herpetological conservation, and in species and community responses to anthropogenic change. I completed my Bachelor's degree at Hartwick College in New York, my home-state, and my Master's degree at Virginia Commonwealth University.

I am interested in studying biofluorescence from the proximate (what biological compounds and structures fluoresce, and how do they do it?), to the medial (what organisms biofluoresce, and in what ways is biofluorescence meaningful to organisms that do it, or to sympatric organisms; what does biofluorescence do?), to the ultimate (what behavioral and environmental needs and circumstances select for the evolution of biofluorescence?).

Mara Casebeer : Volunteer

Mara Casebeer


I am a second year undergraduate student at UCSD majoring in Physics with a specialization in Biophysics. Right now I am working on a radiobio project on whether cells communicate with each other via radio frequencies. My research interests are focused on medically relevant problems and systems in biological physics which can be studied through computational modeling and experimental techniques. I'm excited to be a part of the Deheyn Lab and I'm looking forward to working on more projects in the future.