Dr. Camille Pagniello

Ocean “MacGyver”
part marine biologist, part physicist, part engineer

Currently a MAC3 Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station.

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About Me

Dr. Camille Pagniello is a MAC3 Posdoctoral Fellow at Stanford Unversity's Hopkins Marine Station. Her research interests lie at the intersection of technology, data science, oceanography, acoustics, animals, conservation and sustainable management of natural resources.

Dr. Camille recently completed her Ph.D. in Oceanography (with a Certificate in Engineering Leadership and a Micro-MBA) at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. For her doctoral research, she used passive acoustics and optical imaging to identify the sounds of commercially and recreationally important fish species and to locate their spawning areas within marine protected areas.

Dr. Camille completed her BSc Honours, Co-op in Marine Biology and Physics with minors in Mathematics and Ocean Sciences (First Class Honours) at Dalhousie University. During her studies, Camille was an NSERC USRA scholar at Dalhousie and Memorial University of Newfoundland, as well as Summer Student Fellow at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution conducting research in the fields of computational geometry, atmospheric physics, biological oceanography, avian acoustics and biology, and ocean acoustics. She also completed a semester abroad as part of the SEA Semester Program (S-250) in which she sailed from San Diego, CA to Papeete, Tahiti and conducted marine chemistry research.

Dr. Camille has been an active member of the Marine Technology Society (MTS) since 2010, The Oceanography Society (TOS) since 2015, and the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) since 2017 serving in multiple student and early career leadership positions. She also competed on MUN’s Eastern Edge Robotics team at the 2013 MATE International Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Competition in Federal Way, Washington where she also served as Ocean Career Expo Coordinator. She is AAUS Scientific Diver, and regularly dives for scientific research purposes.

Contact Details

Dr. Camille Pagniello
Hopkins Marine Station
Stanford University
Monterey, CA 93940 US
(858) 822-4845 (858) 284-9251

Research Interests

Dr. Camille is interested in combining multiple sensing modalities (e.g., passive and active acoustics, optical imaging, remote sensing, telemetry etc.) to study the spatial and temporal patterns of species diversity, abundance and biomass and how these patterns are related to biological, chemical, geological and physical environmental properties in the ocean.

Through the development and use of new, innovative, non-lethal, open source and low-cost instrumentation as well as employing physics- and statistical-based models, she aims to:

  1. track the three-dimensional movements of animals to understand their foraging and reproductive behavior,
  2. relate animal distributions to their habitat (e.g., prey fields, temperature, bathymetric features etc.) to understand how climate change and anthropogenic activities may influence biodiversity on local, regional and global scales, and
  3. quantify the influence of biologics on acoustic propagation to provide insight on how animals are able to exploit their natural environment as acoustic refuges.

Dr. Camille's ultimate goal is to contribute to the basic scientific understanding of the biological and physical processes to further conservation efforts and to democratize access to ocean technology.

Dr. Camille's research interests lie at the intersection of:

data science
sustainable management

Listen to Dr. Camille's latest seminar:

Current Research

Past Research


As part of UC San Diego's Summer Graduate Teaching Scholars (SGTS) program, Camille designed and taught SIO 134: Introduction to Biological Oceanography. The course combined active learning activties with traditional lectures to help students achieve five learning outcomes:

  1. Define and apply the main biological, physical and chemical processes (e.g., light, nutrients, mixing, etc.) governing biomass, growth, and productivity of marine organisms.
  2. Interpret and analyze the interactions between phytoplankton, zooplankton, nutrients and their environment that drive the biological pump, food webs, blooms, etc.
  3. Assess the role of competition, disturbance, distribution and diversity on shaping the prominent characteristics of different marine habitats.
  4. Describe methodological approaches appropriate for evaluating the biomass, growth, and mortality of marine organisms and interpret data collected using these methods.
  5. Evaluate current news stories and political issues related to biological oceanography.

Frequent, low-stakes assessments in a variety of forms (e.g., quizzes, discussion questions, etc.) were designed such that the course promoted learning and engagement, rather than memorization.

Students were asked to make a concerted effort to shift their thinking and approach to learning in this course from “What do I need to know for the test?” to “What concepts should I have a basic knowledge of to understand and contribute to the field of biological oceanography?” By the end of the course, Camille wanted students to be able to explain important mechanisms and concepts in biological oceanography to others rather than memorize and regurgitate small details. Students were also asked to take active responsibility for their learning during class sessions and speak up if they did not understand something in class.

Lecture slides, videos, assessments and teaching evaluations are available upon request.

Science Communication

Follow #KelpForestFridays on Twitter and Instagram !

Watch Camille on AltaSea's Rising Stars in Oceanography panel:

Play Journey to the Kelp Forest!

A 2D side-scroller that navigates the protagonist Plainfin Midshipman across different environments just outside of La Jolla Cove designed by adults on the Autism Spectrum as part of the Power of Neurogaming (PONG) Center summer internship.

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Media Coverage of Camille's Work

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