Current Members

Cara Manning

Dr. Cara Manning is an Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut Department of Marine Sciences. She obtained her PhD in Chemical Oceanography from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution/Massachusetts Institute of Technology Joint Program in Oceanography. At WHOI, she developed a new mobile method of measuring noble gases in seawater and quantified biological productivity in coastal waters using oxygen/argon and triple oxygen isotope measurements.

Following her PhD, she was an NSERC Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow at the University of British Columbia Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences where she conducted research the biogeochemistry of methane and nitrous oxide in the Canadian Arctic and groundwater geochemistry in British Columbia. She worked as an Earth Observation Scientist for Plymouth Marine Laboratory using bio-optical data from biogeochemical Argo floats to quantify the biological carbon pump before starting her position at UConn.

Anagha Payyambally (PhD student)

Anagha obtained an undergraduate degree in Chemistry and later did her MS in Chemical Oceanography. Her master’s thesis focused on the contamination status of poly-aromatic hydrocarbons in the Bay of Bengal (Indian Ocean). She began her PhD at UConn in August 2022 and is conducting research on greenhouse gas cycling and emissions from coastal systems. She is currently working on our NSF-funded project, “Exploring the dynamics of nitrous oxide in the Southern Benguela Upwelling System.” Anagha is a recipient of the 2023 Quad Fellowship.

Kelsey Ward (PhD student)

Kelsey joined our group in August 2023 and is working on our NSF-funded project titled “Unlocking the noble gas toolbox to quantify rates of denitrification and nitrogen fixation in marine systems.” More info on our work on N cycling in coastal systems is coming soon!

Josie Mottram (Laboratory Assistant)

Josie earned a MSc in Oceanography with Prof. Granger’s lab in 2023. Check out the preprint of her thesis work here. She has been performing nitrate isotope and dissolved gas sample analysis for our lab.


Sławomir Piela

Sławomir (Sławek) Piela is a Chemistry/Marine Sciences Major at UConn and worked in the lab in summer 2022. Slawek helped get our new equipment tested and organize the lab. The photo to the left shows Anagha, Cara, and Sławek (from left to right) before the lab’s first field deployment, in the Niantic River!


Here we acknowledge the animals who have contributed to the wellbeing and scientific achievements of the research group! 

Hiku and Hinaa (Parent: Cara)

Cara’s first foster cats of Connecticut! Cara has named them named Hiku (ice) and Hinaa (floe edge). These are Inuinnaqtun words (an Inuktut dialect with less than 600 fluent speakers).  Learn more Inuktut words at!

Bonnie (Parent: Cara)

Cara’s third foster cat (and first foster kitten!) came into her life in March 2020 just as everyone had started working form home due to COVID-19. Bonnie is named after Dr. Bonnie Henry, the BC Provincial Health Officer who held daily press conferences on COVID in spring  2020, as both have a calming effect.  Bonnie moved to her forever home in June 2020!

Khozmo (Parent: Cara)

Cara’s second foster cat was a very sweet fellow named Khozmo who loves being up high and zooming around the apartment while chasing after crunchy treats. He got moved to another foster home while she was travelling for work and was subsequently adopted!

Welly (Parent: Cara)

Cara’s first foster cat came home with the name Welly but she called him Wally Broecker or Walter Munk. He was a very affectionate boy who has found his forever home!


We are actively recruiting graduate and undergraduate students to join the group. Please check out our graduate student recruitment ad for fall 2023.

Postdoctoral researchers who plan to apply for external fellowships are also encouraged to contact Dr. Manning to discuss potential projects.

Learn more on the Join Us page!

Potential sources of funding include: 

NSF Office of Polar Programs Postdoctoral Fellowship (open to US citizens, nationals, and permanent residents)
NSF Ocean Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship (open to US citizens, nationals, and permanent residents)
NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship (Canadian citizens and permanent residents who completed their PhD in Canada can hold this award at a foreign institution)
Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship (Canadian citizens and permanent residents who completed their PhD in Canada can hold this award at a foreign institution)