Deneb Karentz

Deneb Karentz


Full-Time Faculty

(415) 422-2831 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.

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
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
Phytoplankton ecology
Ultraviolet photobiology
Antarctic biology (ozone depletion)
Selected Publications

Karentz, D. 2014. Beyond xeroderma pigmentosum: DNA damage and repair in an ecological context. A tribute to James E. Cleaver. Photochemistry and Photobiology 91:460-474.

Karentz, D., I. Bosch, D.M. Mitchell. 2004. Limited effects of Antarctic ozone depletion on sea urchin development. Marine Biology 145: 277–292.

Karentz, D. 2001. Chemical defenses of marine organisms against solar radiation exposure: UV-absorbing mycosporine-like amino acids and scytonemin. pp. 481-520. In J. McClintock and W. Baker, eds., Marine Chemical Ecology. CRC Press, Inc. Boca Raton, Florida.

Karentz, D., J.E. Cleaver and D.M. Mitchell. 1991. Cell survival characteristics and molecular responses of Antarctic phytoplankton to ultraviolet-B radiation exposure. Journal of Phycology 27:326-341. 

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)