Jules S. Jaffe
Principal Investigator
Dr. Jaffe received a B.A. Cum Laude from SUNY at Buffalo (Physics) in 1973, a M.S. from Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta (Biomedical Information Science) in 1974, and a Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley (Biophysics) 1982. His interests include Image and signal processing science, development of 3-dimensional in-situ sensors for oceanography (optical and sonar). Underwater optical and sonar imaging. Biomedical imaging. Autonomous vehicle development.
Devin Ratelle
Research and Development Engineer

Devin got his start in the Jaffe lab as part of an undergraduate engineering design project. He joined the lab as an engineer after receiving a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UCSD in 2013 and has continued on ever since. His work with the lab includes underwater autonomous vehicles, control algorithm tuning, electrical and mechanical design for underwater imaging systems, and fabrication and assembly.

Or Ben-Zvi
Postdoctoral Scholar
Or joined the Jaffe lab in 2022 moving to San Diego from Eilat, Israel. After exploring the phenomenon of coral fluorescence and corals’ ecophysiology during her previous studies, Or is now working on an underwater chlorophyll a fluorescence imaging system. The Benthic Underwater Microscope PAM (known as the BUMP) will allow her to explore photosynthesis at fine scales such as the relationship between corals and their symbiotic algae. Or has a BSc in Biology, and MSc and PhD in Zoology from Tel-Aviv University, Israel.
Joseph Snider
Project Administrator

Joe uses the tools of virtual reality, neural imaging, and psychophysics to study how humans deal with the noisy, ever-changing, and confusing, environments we evolved in. Through this and his training in computational physics, he has 10+ years of integrating cutting-edge pieces of technology into coherent systems.

Khalil Jackson
Lab Programmer
Khalil got his BA in Computer Science from Dartmouth College in 2019. While in school he worked with a local education and tech start called Treobytes, where he taught the basics of programming and computer literacy to K-12 students. Before joining the Jaffe Lab, he worked with the Power of NueroGaming Center as a game developer. Now he is using his skills from game development and the Unreal Engine to build an interactive Underwater Acoustic Propagation Visualization.
Pichaya Lertvilai

Pichaya has been a student in the Jaffe Lab since 2016. His research focuses on developing imaging platforms for ecological studies. He is currently working on an in situ imaging system for marine microogainsms and a low-cost imaging platform for zooplankton. Originally from Thailand, Pichaya received his B.S. in General Engineering with an Emphasis in Environmental Analysis from Harvey Mudd College, CA. He is currently working towards his PhD in Oceanography, which he is expected to complete in 2021.

Andrew Keller
Mechanical Engineering Assistant

Andrew joined the lab during his undergraduate studies. He received a BS in Mechanical Engineering with a Minor in Marine Science from UCSD in 2023 while building his senior design project under the sponsorship of the lab. He is now pursuing a MS in Mechanical Engineering with a specialization in Applied Ocean Sciences at UCSD while continuing to work on optics, design, fabrication and mechanical design for underwater imaging solutions.

Rafferty Chen
Volunteer Researcher

Rafferty received his BS in Computer Science from UCI in 2022. After graduating, he worked as a Software Engineer at American Specialty Health before starting his MS in Computer Science at UCSD, focusing on Computer Vision and Machine Learning. He hopes to learn about how these fields can contribute to Oceanography research during his time at the Jaffe lab.

Mike Liu
Lab Assistant

Mike joined the lab during his master’s studies. Originally from Taiwan, Mike received his B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from UCSD in 2022. He is currently working towards his Master’s degree in Robotics and Machine Learning with a thesis in Jaffe Lab. His current research revolves around developing machine learning models to identify microorganisms and a low-cost image system for fast-moving plankton.


Alumni of the Jaffe Lab

Name Graduated Dissertation Currently @
Pichaya Lertvilai
2022 Developing imaging platforms for ecological studies  
Camille Pagniello 2021 Applied Ocean Sciences Stanford Unversity’s Hopkins Marine Station
Kevin Le 2020    
Andrew D. Mullen 2018 Underwater Microscopic Imaging & Velocimetry for In Situ Studies of Benthic Marine Environments Georgia Institute of Technology
Eric C. Orenstein 2018 Automated Analysis Techniques for Oceanographic Imaging Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Christian Briseno 2015  Fine-scale spatial and temporal plankton distributions in the Southern California Bight: lessons from in situ microscopes and broadband echosounders University of San Diego
Justin Haag 2014 Design and implementation of optical imaging and sensor systems for characterization of deep sea biological camouflage NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Paul L. D. Roberts 2009 Multiview, Broadband, Acoustic Classification of Marine Animals Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Chad Schell 2003 Advanced tracking algorithms for the study of fine scale fish behavior  
David Zawada 2002 The Application of a Novel Multispectral Imaging System to the in vivo Study of Fluorescent Compounds in Selected Marine Organisms US Geological Survey
Keihan Rafii 1997 An adaptive ultrasonic technique for measuring blood vessel diameter and wall thickness  
Girish Chandran 1996 Signal and receiver design for a multisensor imaging system  
Andy Palowitch 1994 Chlorophyll a spatial microstructure determination from volumetrically reconstructed optical serial sectioned fluorescence images  

Duncan McGehee

1994 A three-dimensional acoustical imaging system for zooplankton observations