Garfield Kwan

Garfield Kwan
Post-Doctoral Researcher


B.Sc. Marine Biology, University of California San Diego, USA
M.Sc. Biological Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, USA
Ph.D. Marine Biology, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, USA

Research Interests:

Garfield is a first-generation undergraduate and graduate student, and completed his BS, MS, and PhD at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego. Garfield’s doctoral research focused on the skin, gill, and inner ear ionocytes of teleost fishes, and how they are capable of maintaining proper internal ionic and acid-base conditions despite external stressors. Garfield is currently funded by the Delta Science Fellowship to research and develop metabolic indices of Chinook Salmon smolts and juvenile Delta Smelts across the San Francisco Estuary. In addition, he will explore how environmental elements and isotopes passes through the gill and inner ear before being incorporated into the otolith structure, and determine whether otoliths can be used to deduce past hypoxic exposures. Altogether, Garfield seeks to optimized otolith-based tools for fishery management and conservation goals.

In his free time, Garfield works with fellow artists and scientists to communicate research using Squidtoons comics ( Squidtoons has since been published as a children’s book (Andrews McMeel Publishing), incorporated into a textbook (Essentials of Oceanography, 11th edition, Pearson Publishing), and featured at aquariums (Seymour Marine Discovery Center, Santa Cruz, CA, USA).


  1. Kwan GT, Tresguerres M. (2022) Elucidating the acid-base mechanisms underlying otolith overgrowth in fish exposed to ocean acidification. Science of the Total Environment.


  1. McKenzie E, Kwan GT, Tresguerres M, Matthews P (2022). A pH-powered mechanochemical enginge regulates the buoyancy of Chaoborus midge larvae. Current Biology. 32, 1-7.


  1. Montgomery DW, Kwan GT, Davison W, Finlay J, Berry A, Simpson SD, Engelhard GH, Birchenough SNR, Tresguerres M, Wilson RW (2022). Rapid blood acid-base regulation by European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) in response to increased environmental CO2. Journal of Experimental Biology.


  1. Ferreira P, Kwan GT, Haldorson S, Rummer J, Hay A, Salvanes AGV, Tashiro F, Castro LF, Tresguerres M, Wilson JM (2022)A multi-tasking stomach: functional co-existence of acid-peptic digestion and defensive body inflation in three distantly related vertebrate lineages. Biology Letters.


  1. Kwan GT*, Shen SG*, Drawbridge M, Checkley D, Tresguerres M (2021). Ion-transporting capacity and aerobic respiration of larval white seabass (Atractoscion nobilis) may be resilient to ocean acidification conditions. Science of the Total Environment.    *Equal contribution
  1. Frommel AY, Kwan GT, Prime KJ, Tresguerres M, Lauridsen H, Val AL, Gonçalves LU, Brauner CJ (2021) Changes in gill and air‐breathing organ characteristics during the transition from water‐to air‐breathing in juvenile Arapaima gigas. J Exp Zool Part A Ecol Integr Physiol. jez.2456.


  1. Salmerón C., Harter TS, Kwan GT, Roa JN, Blair SD, Rummer JL, Shiels HA, Goss GG, Wilson RW, Tresguerres M (2021) Molecular and biochemical characterization of the bicarbonate-sensing soluble adenylyl cyclase from a bony fish, the rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykissInterface Focus.
  1. Boucher JL, Kwan GT, Ottoboni GR, McCaffrey MS (2021) From the suites to the streets: examining the range of behaviors and attitudes of climate activists. Energy Research & Social Science.


  1. Nadler LE, Bengston E, Eliason EJ, Hassibi C, Helland-Riise SH, Johansen IB, Kwan GT, Tresguerres M, Turner AV, Weinersmith KL, Øverli Ø, Hechinger RF. (2020) A brain-infecting parasite impacts host metabolism both before and after infection. Functional Ecology. 00: 1–12.


  1. Damsgaard C, Lauridsen H, Harter TS,Kwan GT, Thomsen JS, Funder AMD, Supuran CT, Tresguerres M, Matthews PGD, Brauner CJ (2020) A novel acidification mechanism for greatly enhanced oxygen supply to the fish retina. eLife. 9:1-20.


  1. Kwan GT, Smith TR, Tresguerres M (2020) Immunological characterization of two types of ionocytes in the inner ear epithelium of Pacific Chub Mackerel (Scomber japonicus).Journal of Comparative Physiology B. 190(3).


  1. *Kwan GT, Finnerty SH, Wegner NC, Tresguerres M (2019) Quantification of Cutaneous Ionocytes in Small Aquatic Organisms. Bio-Protocol.
  1. Kwan GT, Wexler JB, Wegner NC, Tresguerres M (2019) Ontogenetic changes in cutaneous and branchial ionocytes and morphology in yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) larvae. Journal of Comparative Physiology B. 189(1):81-95.


  1. Hill RW, Armstrong EJ, Inaba K, Morita M, Tresguerres M, Stillman J, Roa JN, Kwan GT(2018) Acid secretion by the boring organ of the burrowing giant clam, Tridacna crocea. Biology Letters. 14(6):20180047


  1. Thinh PV, Phuong NT, Brauner CJ, Huong DTT, Wood AT, Kwan GT, Conner J, Bayley M, Wang T. (2018) Acid-base regulation in the air-breathing swamp eel (Monopterus albus) at different temperatures. Journal of Experimental Biology.


  1. Kwan GT, Hamilton TJ, Tresguerres M. (2017) Ocean acidification-like conditions do not affect individual or group behaviour of the temperate damselfish (Chromis punctipinnis). Royal Society Open Science.


  1. Navarro MO, Kwan GT, Batalov O, Choi C, Levin LA. (2016) Market squid embryogenesis through a sea of change: Low pH and [O2] impacts embryo development, metabolism, and sensory organs. PLOS One.


  1. Hamilton TJ, Kwan GT, Gallup J, Tresguerres M. (2016) Acute fluoxetine exposure alters crab anxiety-like behaviour, but not aggressiveness. Scientific Reports.


  1. Shurin JB, Abbott RL, Deal MS, Kwan GT, Litchman E, McBride R, Mandal S, Smith VH. (2013) Industrial-strength ecology: Tradeoffs and opportunities in algal biofuel production. Ecology Letters.

Book Publication

  1. Kwan GT, Song D. (2018) Squidtoons: Exploring ocean science with comics. Andrew McMeel Publishing. (ISBN:9781449490249).