Top NavTop NavTop Nav

Meet the Scientists

Chris Baysdorfer

Chris Baysdorfer, Professor of Biological Sciences

What type of classes do you teach? 

First year molecular biology and senior level lab classes in molecular biology techniques and PCR/DNA sequencing 

What is your research area of focus? 

Genome Evolution in the Liliaceae (flowering plants within the lily family) 

What will your involvement with GBI be? 

Director of GBI and active researcher 

What are you most excited about GBI? 

This is an opportunity to apply advanced molecular techniques to answer important questions in evolutionary biology. This will also provide very high-level training for our students, both undergraduates, and graduates. 

What do you want people to know about GBI? 

Cal State East Bay is doing highly sophisticated research in plant biology, working with rare and endangered species.

Ana Almeida

Ana Almeida Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

What classes do you teach? 

Mostly, I teach evolution, molecular biology, and genomics, as well as graduate courses on science communication and foundations of scientific research.

What is your research area of focus? 

My research focuses on plant development and evolution. I use molecular techniques to understand how developmental processes change over evolutionary time, and how these changes affect the form and function of plant structures, ultimately resulting in the diversity of forms we see in nature. 

What will your involvement with GBI be? 

My research group and I generate and analyze genomic, transcriptomic, epigenetic and microbiome data for endangered plant species. At the moment, we have been mostly focusing on several species of manzanitas endemic to California. 

What are you most excited about GBI

I'm most excited about the amazing opportunities for mentoring students in cutting-edge molecular techniques and data analysis. I strongly believe these skills will greatly improve students' competitiveness in the job market once they graduate. 

What do you think people need to know about GBI or the research you do? 

I think GBI embodies a unique opportunity for combining excellence in research and teaching at Cal State East Bay while at the same time helping gather important information about California's endangered plant species. It is a win-win-win initiative of education, research, and environmental conservation.

Brian Perry, Associate Professor of Biology, Chair of Biological Sciences Department

Brian Perry

What classes do you teach? 

Fungal biology, fungal diversity, plant biology, population biology, evolution, and phylogenetic methods 

What is your research area of focus? 

My research program focuses on fungal systematics, evolution and diversity. 

What will your involvement with GBI be? 

I am currently one of the associate directors of the institute. My students and I will be studying the fungal microbiomes that are associated with our target plant species. All plants harbor fungi within their leaves and other tissues, known as endophytes. My students will be documenting the composition and dynamics of endophyte communities within the leaves and other plant tissues. Additionally, we will eventually be looking at the fungal communities present in the soil that interact with the plant roots.  

What are you most excited about GBI? 

For me, the most exciting thing about the GBI is that we are providing our students with unparalleled opportunities to work as a team to both document and understand “whole-plant” biology using some of the most current, cutting edge technologies in molecular biology. To my knowledge, no other group of researchers with diverse backgrounds, training, and areas of specialization are working together with students in such a holistic approach to understanding plant biology. The GBI researchers are truly working from the ground up and from the inside out to understand our target plants and their ecological interactions.  

What do you think people need to know about GBI or the research you do? 

I really want people to understand the importance of the work our students are doing. Our target plant species are all considered rare, threatened or endangered. The data and results that our students generate have the potential to truly change the management and conservation approaches we take to managing and conserving these organisms. 

2019-2020 Student Researchers

  • Alana Benn
  • Yian Ding
  • Huan Han
  • Alyssa Jenkins
  • Andrew Marten
  • Hollie Mickelson
  • Luana Pacheco
  • Austin Quach
Two females students working in science lab
© California State University, East Bay. All Rights Reserved.