Thalassa Research

Thalassa Research is centered on the intersection of humans and their environment, focusing primarily on marine and climate science.  Our goal is to answer questions communities and businesses face in preparing for the impacts of climate change and protecting ocean resources. 

recent interview on nbc nightly news. click the image for the link to the story!

recent interview on nbc nightly news. click the image for the link to the story!

Throughout the years, I have had the opportunity to study many different aspects of the ocean, from the ecology of some of the largest inhabitants such the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), down to the carbon and nitrogen chemistry of some of the smallest organisms such as the cyanobacterium, Trichodesmium.  The ocean's carbon and nitrogen cycles are intimately linked to the atmosphere’s, with each affecting the other in constant feedback loops. Understanding the marine realm is then an important aspect of understanding climate change. 

In more recent years, my research has focused on the interaction of humans with the oceans and our climate.  I have tried to understand what the impact is of having 10 million people living along the coast and how coastal communities are preparing for the impacts of climate change, such as accelerating sea level rise.

Highlighted Research


California Coastal Climate Adaptation Needs Assessment 

In collaboration with 16 local, state, and federal organizations, we conducted a survey to understand where coastal communities are in their climate change adaptation planning, what barriers they face, and elucidate their research and information needs. More...


Publications and Technical Reports

P. M. Grifman, Finzi Hart, J. A., J. Ladwig, M. Schulhof (2013) Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Study for the City of Los Angeles. USC Sea Grant Technical Report, USCSG-TR-02-2012.

Finzi Hart, J.A., P. Griman, S. Moser, A. Abeles, M. Myers, S. Schlosser, J. Ekstrom (2012) Rising to the Challenge: Results of the 2011 Climate Adaptation Needs Assessment Survey. USC Sea Grant Technical Report, USCSG-TR-01-2012.

Finzi Hart, J.A., C. de la Rosa (2009) Catalina Island Integrated Management Plan and Visitor Management Framework.

Finzi-Hart, J.A., J. Pett-Ridge, P.K. Weber, R. Popa, S. J. Fallon, T. Gunderson, I. D. Hutcheon, K.H. Nealson, and D.G. Capone (2009) Fixation and fate of C and N in the cyanobacterium Trichodesmium using nanometer-scale secondary ion mass spectrometry. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 106:6345-6350.

R. Popa, P.K. Weber, J. Pett-Ridge, J. A. Finzi, S. J. Fallon, I.D. Hutcheon, K.H. Nealson and D.G. Capone (2007) Carbon and nitrogen fixation and metabolite exchange in and between individual cells of Anabaena oscillariodes. International Society for Microbial Ecology Journal 1:354 –360.

Finzi, J.A. (2007) Photophysiological parameters for CO2 and N2 fixation of Trichodesmium spp. in natural populations and in culture nutrient limitation experiments. Ph.D. Dissertation.

Finzi, J.A. (2004) Tourism, the Environment and Sustainability: Perspectives in Jalcomulco, Ver.. In: A Case Study of Sustainability: Jalcomulco, Veracruz (

Finzi, J.A and C.A. Mayo (1999) Preliminary description of zooplankton composition in North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) habitats on the Scotian Shelf. Report to NEFSC/NMFS.