Monica Orellana

Principal Scientist

401 Terry Ave N

Mónica V. Orellana, MS., Ph.D., PI Dr. Orellana is a Principal Scientist at the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) and at the Science Polar Center, Applied Physics Lab at the University of Washington. She has a B. Sc. in Biology/Zoology (Chile), and M.Sc. and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington. Dr. Orellana is a Biological Oceanographer with expertise in phytoplankton physiological and molecular ecology, biophysical processes of secretion and exocytosis of biopolymers and dynamics of marine polymer microgel networks and their roles in ecosystem dynamics and biogeochemical processes. She leads the projects related to ocean acidification and program cell death in the microbial loop and has designed with Ms Claudia Ludwig an education module to teach the process of systems biology in context of climate change, carbon cycling and ocean acidification. She has participated in several expeditions to the North Pacific, Arctic, Atlantic Ocean and the Puget Sound. As a PI and co-PI she has produced important peer review publications (Nature, PNAS), contributing to important new scientific paradigms in the field of biological/chemical oceanography and biological/atmospheric sciences.


Orellana, Monica V., Wyming L. Pang, Pierre M. Durand, Kenia Whitehead, and Nitin S. Baliga. “A Role for Programmed Cell Death in the Microbial Loop.” PloS One 8, no. 5 (2013): e62595. Cite
Voolstra, Christian R., Jacob J. Valenzuela, Serdar Turkarslan, Anny Cárdenas, Benjamin C. C. Hume, Gabriela Perna, Carol Buitrago-López, et al. “Contrasting Heat Stress Response Patterns of Coral Holobionts across the Red Sea Suggest Distinct Mechanisms of Thermal Tolerance.” Molecular Ecology, August 3, 2021. Cite
Ashworth, Justin, Sacha Coesel, Allison Lee, E. Virginia Armbrust, Monica V. Orellana, and Nitin S. Baliga. “Genome-Wide Diel Growth State Transitions in the Diatom Thalassiosira Pseudonana.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110, no. 18 (April 30, 2013): 7518–23. Cite
Beer, Karlyn D., Monica V. Orellana, and Nitin S. Baliga. “Modeling the Evolution of C4 Photosynthesis.” Cell 153, no. 7 (June 20, 2013): 1427–29. Cite
Valenzuela, Jacob J., Adrián López García de Lomana, Allison Lee, E. V. Armbrust, Mónica V. Orellana, and Nitin S. Baliga. “Ocean Acidification Conditions Increase Resilience of Marine Diatoms.” Nature Communications 9, no. 1 (June 13, 2018): 2328. Cite
Ludwig, Claudia, Monica Orellana, Megan DeVault, Zac Simon, and Nitin Baliga. “Ocean Acidification.” The Science Teacher 082, no. 06 (2015). Cite
Ashworth, Justin, Serdar Turkarslan, Micheleen Harris, Monica V. Orellana, and Nitin S. Baliga. “Pan-Transcriptomic Analysis Identifies Coordinated and Orthologous Functional Modules in the Diatoms Thalassiosira Pseudonana and Phaeodactylum Tricornutum.” Marine Genomics 26 (April 2016): 21–28. Cite
Lopez Garcia de Lomana, Adrian, Sascha Schauble, Jacob Valenzuela, Saheed Imam, Warren Carter, Damla D. Bilgin, Christopher B. Yohn, et al. “Transcriptional Program for Nitrogen Starvation-Induced Lipid Accumulation in Chlamydomonas Reinhardtii.” Biotechnology for Biofuels 8 (2015): 207. Cite