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Ana Almeida, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Department Chair
Dr. Almeida uses molecular tools to dissect the interplay between evolution and development. Her studies focus on how developmental mechanisms evolved to shape the diversity of plant form and function we see in nature today. She is also interested in understanding how genome evolution might have shaped the diversification of plants on Earth. Her work uses comparative genomics to study how genome modifications might have led to plant diversification.
Chris Baysdorfer, Ph.D.
Dr. Baysdorfer's laboratory works in the area of plant genomics. His lab has contributed to the initial efforts to sequence and map maize cDNAs and pine cDNAs. His current studies focus on the genomes of plants in the Family Liliaceae, a group with the largest genome size of any higher plant. The objective of his research is to understand the mechanism of expansion of these genomes and to identify the selective advantage, if any, conferred by large genomes.
Ken Curr, Ph.D.
Dr. Curr's research is based on three areas of study, molecular virology (GB Virus Type C/HIV-1), marine invertebrate immunology and population genetics (the nudibranch Tritonia tetraquetra) and finally, heavy metal bioremediation using cyanobacteria (Spirulina plantensis/maximus).
Tyler Evans, Ph.D.
Dr. Evans lab is interested in how shifts in abiotic variables affect the performance of marine organisms, particularly within the scope of global climate change. His work strives to characterize responses to the environment across levels of biological organization and elucidate differences that exist between populations or species in their capacity to respond to environmental change. Ultimately, this information is useful in developing predictions as to how organisms will fare in future environments. For more information about his research please visit his website.
Maria Gallegos, Ph.D.
Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator
The laboratory of Dr. Gallegos is focused on understanding how a neuron's complex morphology is established and maintained throughout the life of an animal. Their long-term goal is to identify the genes, and understand the molecular mechanisms, that specifically control late steps in neurodevelopment using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans.
Jenny Hazlehurst, Ph.D.
Dr. Hazlehurst’s research focuses on the ecology and conservation of the plant-pollinator relationship. A large percentage of flowering plants globally depend upon animals for pollination, including many important food crops. The Pollination Ecology & Conservation lab has three major research goals: 1) Documenting the plant-pollinator interactions of California native plants, 2) Investigating the complex ways in which pollinator foraging behavior can influence pollination and plant reproduction, and 3) Understanding the cascading effects of global change on plant-pollinator networks. They also work to encourage scientific literacy in the non-science community and to encourage a diverse future generation of scientists through free STEAM Storytime events at California public libraries. For more information about Dr. Hazlehurst's research please visit her website.
Full Faculty Profile (under construction)
Michael Hedrick, Ph.D.
Dr. Hedrick is a comparative physiologist with primary interests in respiratory, cardiovascular and exercise physiology in ectothermic vertebrates. Recent projects include regulation of lymphatics and baroreflexes in anuran amphibians, regulation of respiratory rhythm generation during development in amphibians, and meta-analyses of maximal O2 and CO2 flux rates in vertebrates.
Thomas Jenkinson, Ph.D.
Dr. Jenkinson specializes in disease evolution and conservation biology. His research group studies newly emerging wildlife diseases, including amphibian-killing chytridiomycosis caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium. The Jenkinson lab integrates field ecology, population genetic sequencing, and infection experiments to track pathogen adaptation in nature. The goal of this research is to understand how future diseases may evolve as they spread across landscapes, and between host species. For more information about Dr. Jenkinson’s research please visit his website.
Chris Kitting, Ph.D.
Dr. Kitting’s research area is focused on non-destructive field methods to determines ecological limits on animal and plant populations near various shorelines and to improve conservation and management of natural resources. That management now includes reversing those limits to restore habits and ecosystems as vital, sustainable. life support systems, such as fisheries nursery habitats in wetlands, shoreline stabilization, biological filtration, and natural recycling and improving water and atmosphere.
Carol Lauzon, Ph.D.
The main focus of Dr. Lauzon's lab involves exploring microbial symbioses with an aim of understanding the role of microorganisms in host success, survival, and evolution. Applied aspects of this work include manipulation of symbioses for plant, insect, and animal pathogen control. Her work also includes research into the culture of microorganisms typically considered refractory to culture, including archaea species residing in extreme environments. Her lab also explores the use of new technologies to detect and identify foodborne pathogens.
James Murray, Ph.D.
The Murray lab does research on sensory reception and how nerve cells control behaviors, mostly working on sea slugs. Students in his lab work on various projects such as animal orientation and navigation behaviors, magnetic orientation, how the brain controls crawling and turning, as well as how sea slugs are able to consume neurotoxic prey. Murray lab also collaborates with other investigators to understand population genetics, mapping of gene expression in sensory organs, and the biochemistry of detoxification.
Maria Nieto, Ph.D.
Dr. Nieto’s most recent science based work centers on the subject of sex and gender where she has written popular press articles and the only biology based amicus brief submitted to the Supreme Court of the United States in support of marriage equality. Dr. Nieto’s work in fiction includes two award-winning novels, The Water of Life Remains in the Dead (2015) and Pig Behind The Bear (2012). Both books feature a feisty Chicana who investigates crimes against the most vulnerable among us - immigrants and children. Dr. Nieto also has a published short story entitled, Pan De Muerto. For more information about her work please visit her website.
Brian Perry, Ph.D.
Dr. Perry's research integrates studies of fungal biodiversity and molecular phylogenetic analyses with data from disciplines such as genetics, ecology and geography to address broad questions of how these biological and physical processes interact to drive evolution. Please visit Dr. Perry's website for more information.
Claudia Uhde-Stone, Ph.D.
Dr. Stone’s lab uses transcriptomics (RNA-sequencing), proteomics (mass spectrometry) and genome editing (CRISPR-Cas) to better understand how plants function.
Erica L. Wildy, Ph.D.
Dr. Wildy is a behavioral ecologist by training with interests in animal behavior, behavioral ecology, and herpetology. She also conducts research in undergraduate science education, with a focus on identifying and understanding the mechanisms contributing to enhanced student engagement in the classroom and the factors contributing to increased academic proficiency and a sense of well-being in college students. Dr. Wildy is also the Presidential Appointee to the Grade Appeal and Academic Grievance Committee.