Mary Jane Perry, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone: 207.592.0317

CV: Link to Perry CV


482 Twisp Carlton Road
Twispt, WA  98856


Ph.D. University of California San Diego


My long-term goal is to understand the mechanisms responsible for the variability in phytoplankton biomass, primary production, and species composition. I started my oceanographic career by studying the role of phosphate availability in controlling phytoplankton biomass and production in the subtropical Central North Pacific. Although I retain my interest in nutrient dynamics, my focus shifted to the interaction of phytoplankton and light in the ocean. I started this phase of my career with a study of the photoadaptive changes in the absorption cross section of photosystem I in marine phytoplankton. My present research interests include primary production (at the level of the single cell and as well as the entire phytoplankton assemblage); photosynthetic physiology as well as phytoplankton physiology in general; biological optics; and ocean observations using in-situ optics and remote sensing. I have participated in a number of cruises in both the north Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Specific research projects have included the behavior of the photosynthetic quantum yield to different environmental conditions; the use of flow cytometry to study phytoplankton photoadaptive states and vertical mixing; the development of immunological methods to determine the presence of specific bacterial and phytoplanktonic species in field samples; the development of immunological methods to determine concentrations of photosynthetic components; and a variety of direct and inverse methods to determine the phytoplankton absorption coefficient from total absorption coefficients.


Mousing, E. A, K. Richardson, J. Bendtsen, I. Cetinić, M. J. Perry. 2016.  Evidence of small-scale spatial structuring of phytoplankton alpha- and beta-diversity in the open ocean.  Journal of Ecology. 10.1111/1365-2745.12634

Siegel, D. A., K. O. Buesseler, M. J. Behrenfeld, C. R. Benitez-Nelson, E. Boss, M. A. Brzezinski, A. Burd, C. A. Carlson, E. A. D’Asaro, S. C. Doney, M. J. Perry, R. H. R. Stanley, D.h K. Steinberg.  2016.  Prediction of the Export and Fate of Global Ocean Net Primary Production: The EXPORTS Science Plan.  Frontiers in Marine Science, section Ocean Observation, 3: article 22, 10 pp.  10.3389/fmars.2016.00022

Omand, M. M., E. A. D’Asaro, C. M. Lee, M. J. Perry, N. Briggs, I. Cetinić, A. Mahadevan2015. Eddy-driven subduction exports particulate organic carbon from the spring bloom.  Science  348: 222-225DOI: 10.1126/science.1260062.

Cetinić, M. J. Perry, E. D’Asaro, N. Briggs, N. Poulton, M. E. Sieracki, and C. M. Lee.  2015.  A simple optical index shows spatial and temporal heterogeneity in phytoplankton community composition during the 2008 North Atlantic Bloom.  Biogeosciences 12: 2179-2194.

Lee, Z.P., J. Marra, M. J. Perry, M. Kahru.  2014. Estimating oceanic primary productivity from ocean color remote sensing: A strategic assessment. Journal of Marine Systems, available online 18 Dec. 2014, ISSN 0924-7963,

Alkire, M., C. Lee, E. D’Asaro, M. J. Perry, N. Briggs, I. Cetinic, and A. Gray. 2014.  Net community production and export from Seaglider measurements in the North Atlantic after the spring bloom.  2014.  Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 119: 6121–6139

Rynearson, T. A., K. Richardson, R. S. Lampitt, M. E. Sieracki, A. J. Poulton, M. M. Lyngsgaard, and M. J. Perry.  2013.  Major contribution of diatom resting spores to sinking flux in the sub-polar North Atlantic.  Deep-Sea Research I 82: 60-71.

Briggs, N., W. H. Slade, E. Boss, and M. J. Perry  2013.  A method for estimating mean particle size from high-frequency fluctuations in beam attenuation or scattering measurements.  In press, Applied Optics, Applied Optics 52: 6710-6725.

Mahadevan, A., E. D’Asaro, C. Lee, and M. J. Perry.  2012.  Eddy-driven stratification initiates a North Atlantic Spring phytoplankton bloom.  Science 337: 54-58; doi: 10.1126/science.1218740.

Cetinić, I., M. J. Perry, N. Briggs, E. Kallin, E. A. D’Asaro, C. M. Lee.  2012. Particulate organic carbon and inherent optical properties during the 2008 North Atlantic Bloom Experiment. Journal of Geophysical Research 117, C06028, 18 pp. doi:10.1029/2011JC00777.

Alkire, M. B., E. D’Asaro, C. Lee, M. J. Perry, A. Gray, I. Cetinic, N. Briggs, E. Rehm, E. Kallin, J. Kaiser, and A. González-Posada.  2012. Estimates of net community production and export using high-resolution, Lagrangian measurements of O2, NO3-, and POC through the evolution of a  spring diatom bloom in the North Atlantic.  Deep-Sea Research Part I 64: 157-174;

Zhang, L., T. Bidleman, M. J. Perry, and R. Lohmann.  2012. Fate of chiral and achiral organochlorine pesticides in the North Atlantic Bloom Experiment.  Environmental Science and Technology 46: 8106-14. DOI: 10.1021/es3009248.

Briggs, N., M. J. Perry, I Cetinic, C. Lee, E. D’Asaro, A. Gray, E. Rehm.  2011.  Underwater gliders observe aggregate flux event in high vertical and temporal resolution during the North Atlantic spring bloom. Deep-Sea Research Part I 58: 1031-1039, 10.1016/j.dsr.2011.07.007.

Martin, P., R. S. Lampitt, M. J. Perry, R. Sanders, C. Lee, D’Asaro. 2011.  Export and mesopelagic particle flux during a North Atlantic spring diatom bloom, Deep-Sea Research I 58: 338-349 doi:10.1016/j.dsr.2011.01.006.

Bagniewski, W., K. Fennel, M. J. Perry, and E. A. D’Asaro.  2011.  Optimizing models of the North Atlantic spring bloom using physical, chemical and bio-optical observations from a Lagrangian float.  Biogeosciences 8: 1291-1307,

Johnson, K. S., W. M. Berelson, E. Boss, Z. Chase, H. Claustre, S. R. Emerson, N. Gruber, A. Körtzinger, M. J.  Perry, S. C. Riser.  2009. Observing biogeochemical cycles at global scales with profiling floats and gliders: prospects for a global array. Oceanography 22: 216-225.

Eriksen, C. C., and M. J. Perry.  2009.  Nurturing of Seaglider.  Oceanography 22: 146 – 157.

Perry, M. J., B. S. Sackmann, C. C. Eriksen, and C. M. Lee.  2008.  Seaglider observations of subsurface chlorophyll maxima off the Washington coast.  Limnology and Oceanography 53(5, part 2): 2169-2179.

Sackmann, B. M. J. Perry, C. C. Eriksen, and C. M. Lee.  2008.  Using Seaglider to quantify variability in mid-day fluorescence quenching off the Washington coast.  Biogeosciences Discussion 5, 2839-2865 <>.

Boss, E., D. Swift, L. Taylor, P. Brickley, R. Zaneveld, S. Riser, and M.J. Perry.  2008.  Robotic in-situ and satellite based observations of pigment and particle distributions in the Western North Atlantic. Limnology and Oceanography 53(5, part 2):  2112-2122.

Dickey, T. D., E. C. Itsweire, M. Moline, and M. J. Perry.  2008. Introduction to the Limnology and Oceanography Special Issue on Autonomous and Lagrangian Platforms and Sensors (ALPS).  Limnology and Oceanography 53(5, part 2): 2057-2061.