Dr. Rachel Diner

Joint Postdoctoral Researcher

Rachel is a Joint Postdoctoral Researcher with SCCWRP’s Microbiology Department and the J. Craig Venter Institute in La Jolla. She received her Ph.D. in marine biology from the University of California, San Diego, her M.S. in biology from San Francisco State University, her J.D. from the University of San Diego, and her B.S. in biology from the University of Georgia.


Ph.D., Marine Biology, University of Southern California: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego, CA, 2019
M.S., Biology, Concentration: Marine Biology, San Francisco State University, Romberg Tiburon Center, Tiburon, CA, 2013
J.D, Law, Emphasis: Coastal Environmental Law and Policy ,University of San Diego School of Law, San Diego, CA, 2009
B.S., Biology, Minor in Anthropology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA,. 2006

Areas of Expertise

Rachel Diner is a scientist who investigates coastal human microbial pathogens using DNA sequencing and genomics techniques. Her current research examines the presence and community composition of marine and terrestrial human pathogenic bacteria in coastal waters and in oysters. She is also investigating the diversity, distribution, and horizontal transfer of virulence and antibiotic resistance genes among pathogenic bacteria in coastal environments.

Professional Experience

Research Fellow, J. Craig Venter Institute, 2014-2019
Graduate student researcher, San Francisco State University, 2011-2013 and University of California, San Diego 2014-2019


Diner, R. E., Noddings, C. M., Lian, N. C., Kang, A. K., McQuaid, J. B., Jablanovic, J., Espinoza, J. L., Nguyen, N. A., Anzelmatti, M. A., Jansson, J., Bielinski, V. A., Karas, B. J., Dupont, C. L., Allen, A. E., and Weyman, P. D. (2017). Diatom Centromeres Suggest a Mechanism for Nuclear Gene Acquisition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(29), E6015-E6024.

Diner, R.E., Bielinski, V.A., Dupont C.P., Allen, A.E., Weyman, P.W. (2016) Refinement of the Diatom Episome Maintenance Sequence and Improvement of Conjugation-based DNA Delivery Methods. Frontiers in Biotechnology and Bioengineering. 4,65. doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2016.00065
Diner, R. E., Schwenck, S. M., McCrow, J. P., Zheng, H., & Allen, A. E. (2016). Genetic Manipulation of Competition for Nitrate between Heterotrophic Bacteria and Diatoms. Frontiers in Microbiology, 7, 880. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00880
Cavole, L.M., Demko, A.M., Diner, R.E.*, Giddings, A., Koester, I., Pagniello, C.M.L.S., Paulsen, M-L., Ramirez-Valdez, A., Schwenck, S.M., Yen, K.Y., Zill, M.E., Franks, P.J.S. (2016). Biological Impacts of 2013-2015 Warm-Water Anomalies in the Northeast Pacific: Winners, Losers and the Future. Oceanography 29(2), 273-285. http://dx.doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2016.32. * all authors were equal contributors to this article.
Karas, B.J., Diner, R.E., Lefebvre S.C., McQuaid, J., Phillips, A.P.R., Noddings, C.M., Brunson, J.K., Valas R.E., Deerinck, T.J., Jablanovic, J., Gillard, J.T.F., Beeri, K., Ellisman, M.H., Glass, J.I., Hutchinson III, C.A., Smith, H.O., Venter, J.C., Allen, A.E., Dupont, C.L., Weyman, P.D. (2015). Designer diatom episomes delivered by bacterial conjugation. Nature Communications, 6, 6925, doi: 10.1038/ncomms7925

Diner, R.E., Benner, I., Passow, U., Komada, T., Carpenter, E.J., Stillman, J.H. (2015). Negative effects of ocean acidification on calcification vary within the coccolithophore genus Calcidiscus. Marine Biology, 1-19, 1287-1305. doi: 10.1007/s00227-015-2669-x

Benner, I., Diner, R. E., Lefebvre, S. C., Li, D., Komada, T., Carpenter, E. J., & Stillman, J. H. (2013). Emiliania huxleyi increases calcification but not expression of calcification-related genes in long-term exposure to elevated temperature and pCO2. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 368(1627), 20130049.

Selected Presentations and Conference Proceedings

Diner, R.E., Dupont, C.L., Allen, A.E., Weyman, P.D. “Horizontal transfer of foreign DNA from bacteria to diatoms and autonomous maintenance based on GC content.” Ocean Sciences Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii- February 2017.

Diner, R.E., Allen, A.E. “Genetic manipulation of competition for nitrate between heterotrophic bacteria and diatoms.” Ocean Sciences Meeting, New Orleans, LA- February 2016.

Diner, R.E., Karas,B.J., Lefebvre, S.C., McQuaid, J.M., Allen, A.E., Dupont, C.L., Weyman, P.W. “Development of Replicating Plasmids Delivered to Diatoms via Bacterial Conjugation.” Molecular Life of Diatoms Conference. Seattle, WA. July 2015.

Diner, R.E.. “Variable negative effects of ocean acidification in the coccolithophore genus Calcidiscus.” Master’s Thesis Oral Defense, Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies. December, 2014.
Diner, R.E. and Stillman, J.H.. “Ocean Acidification: CO2’s effect on our marine environment.” Marin Conservation League Waters and Watersheds Committee Meeting. September 2013. Invited Talk.