Deneb Karentz

Deneb Karentz


Full-Time Faculty
Harney Science Center 245


Professor Karentz is a marine biologist with expertise in plankton ecology and ultraviolet photobiology. Her work has focused on investigating the ecological implications of Antarctic ozone depletion, specifically identifying strategies for protection from UV exposure and understanding mechanisms for repair of UV–induced damage. She has over 30 years of field experience in Antarctica.

In addition to research, Deneb mentors early-career scientists through the US National Science Foundation (NSF) International Training Program in Antarctic biology and the USF/UCSF Program in Mentoring and Teaching. She is also involved in environmental management and policy as a science adviser to the US Department of State for the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings, and in her participation in the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research.

Research Areas

  • Phytoplankton ecology
  • Ultraviolet photobiology
  • Antarctic biology (ozone depletion)


  • Coordinator, USF/UCSF Program in Mentoring and Teaching
  • Co-director, US National Science Foundation International Training Program in Antarctic Biology
  • US Delegate, Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research
  • Ex-officio Member, US National Academies Polar Research Board
  • Vice President, Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research


  • PhD, University of Rhode Island
  • MS, Oregon State University

Prior Experience

  • Chair, Department of Biology, University of San Francisco
  • Visiting Professor, Department of Dermatology, Comprehensive Cancer Center, UC San Francisco
  • Associate Program Manager, Antarctic Biology and Medicine Program Office of Polar Programs, US National Science Foundation

Awards & Distinctions

  • USF College of Arts and Sciences Frank L. Beach Award for Outstanding Leadership
  • Distinguished Research Award, University of San Francisco
  • Arthur Furst Award for Outstanding Research Advancing Science for the Betterment of Humanity, University of San Francisco
  • Luigi Provasoli Award for Outstanding Paper in the Journal of Psychology, Psychological Society of America
  • Lake Karentz, Antarctica; named in honor of contributions to the US Antarctic program, US Board on Geographic Names (USGS)

Selected Publications