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Faculty and Areas of Research

The following is a brief description of research programs of full-time faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences, and the institution that awarded their doctorate degree.

Faculty available to serve as undergraduate & thesis advisors:

Bengt J. Allen, Ph.D. (State University of New York, Stony Brook). Marine Community Ecology. Effects of climate change on the structure and function of rocky shore communities. Interactions between native seagrass and an invasive marine bivalve. (home page)

James W. Archie, Ph.D. (State University of New York, Stony Brook). Evolutionary and Ecological Genetics; Population Biology; Biostatistics. Evolutionary and ecological genetics of lizards in the genus Sceloporus. Phylogeography of S. occidentalis and S. graciosus. Evolutionary significance of mtDNA clade boundaries.

Flora Banuett, Ph.D. (University of Oregon). Fungal genetics and cell biology. Molecular mechanisms of cell morphogenesis in the fungus Ustilago maydis. Signal transduction and plant-pathogen interactions. Genetic determinants of the life cycle – the mating types.

Judy A. Brusslan, Ph.D. (University of Chicago). Plant molecular genetics. Molecular analysis of two chloroplast-localized proteases that affect photoacclimation. Molecular analysis of chloroplast to nuclear signaling during exposure to high light intensity.; Lab Website

Ashley Carter, Ph.D.  (Yale University).  Theoretical and empirical evolutionary biology.  Theoretical: mathematical and computer simulation models of evolutionary processes, comparative allometric studies.  Empirical: insect quantitative genetics and morphometrics, fluctuating asymmetry. Lab Website

Jesse Dillon, Ph.D. (University of Oregon). Microbial ecology and evolution. Molecular diversity and ecophysiology of microbial communities in extreme environments.; Lab website

Elizabeth D. Eldon, Ph.D. (Indiana University, Bloomington). Developmental biology. Genetic and molecular analysis of receptor signaling in development and innate immunity.

Deborah A. Fraser Ph.D. (University of Wales, Cardiff) Investigating molecular mechanisms of the innate immune response. We are looking at the role of complement proteins in inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis, to identify novel therapeutic targets.

Editte Gharakhanian, Ph.D. (University of California, Los Angeles). Molecular cell biology. Identify genes and gene products involved in trafficking of proteins to the lysosome of Baker’s yeast; study their conservation in humans and their connection to human diseases such as Alzheimer’s and cancer. Lab Website.

Eric Haas- Stapleton, Ph.D. (University of California, Berkeley). Virology, insect biology. Use baculoviruses to discover molecular processes that drive insect immunity and enhance the appeal of biological control agents that reduce insect damage to organic crops., Lab website

Darren Johnson, Ph.D. (Oregon State University). Ecology and evolutionary biology of reef fishes. . Field studies of demographic rates and population dynamics. Quantitative genetics of growth and behavior. Natural selection in the sea., Lab website

Kevin M. Kelley, Ph.D. (University of California, Berkeley). Comparative & environmental endocrinology. Impacts of environmental stressors/factors on endocrine signaling (“environmental endocrine disruption”) in marine fishes. Comparative endocrinology of anabolic and catabolic/stress regulatory systems.; Lab Website

Balwant S. Khatra, Ph.D. (University of Leeds, England). Metabolic regulation. Hormonal regulation of cellular metabolism.

Lisa S. Klig, Ph.D. (Albert Einstein College of Medicine). Molecular genetics and bioinformatics. Analysis of inositol metabolism in humans and in pathogenic fungi of humans. Inositol is a sugar that can serve as a precursor for a membrane phospholipid (phosphatidylinositol), a second messenger in signal transduction, an osmolyte, or an energy source. Disruption of inositol metabolism has been observed in patients with bipolar disease and diabetes. Inositol metabolism may also be involved in the pathogenicity of specific fungi that infect humans. Furthering the understanding of inositol metabolism may lead to the development of effective therapeutic agents.

Kay Lee-Fruman, Ph.D. (Harvard University). Cancer cell biology/immunology. Molecular mechanism of immunosuppressant and anti-cancer drugs. We study the signal transduction pathways regulating cell growth and proliferation, with an emphasis on kinase enzymes.

Brian Livingston, Ph.D. (UC Santa Barbara) Development and Evolution. We study the genome regulatory network in echinoderms leading from the fertilized egg to the formation of an embryonic skeleton. We also use genomic and proteomic approaches to understand embryonic development at a systems level. Lab Website.

Christopher G. Lowe, Ph.D. (University of Hawaii, Manoa). Physiological and behavioral ecology of teleost gamefishes and elasmobranchs. Emphasis on bioenergetics, physiological and behavioral fisheries ecology, and movement patterns of gamefishes and elasmobranches.; SharkLab website

Steven L. Manley, Ph.D. (University of California, Los Angeles). Algal physiology and biochemistry. Marine algal nutrient and pollutant assimilation, trace gas production and halogen metabolism. Research page

Dr Douglas Pace, Ph.D. Ecological Physiology, Lab Website

Bruno Pernet, Ph.D. (University of Washington, Seattle). Marine invertebrate biology. Development, functional morphology, and evolution of marine invertebrate larvae.; Lab website

Bryan Rourke, Ph.D. (University of California, Irvine). Integrative animal physiology. Vertebrate muscle physiology, effects of hibernation, exercise, and metabolism.; Lab website

Kevin Sinchak, Ph.D. ( Michigan State University) Reproductive behavioral neuroendocrinology; neuroscience and neurosteroids. I study the gonadal steroid regulation of neural circuits that control reproductive behavior, and the physiology and function of steroids made in the brain (neurosteroids).

Ted Stankowich, Ph.D. ( University of California, Davis) Evolutionary Behavioral Ecology. Evolution of predator-prey interactions, including antipredator behavior, defensive weaponry, predator recognition, coloration, risk assessment, and escape decisions. Main focus is on mammals but enjoys working on other taxa as well. Lab website

Houng-Wei Tsai, Ph.D. (University of Kentucky) Epigenetic neuroendocrinology. My research interest is to understand the neuroendocrine mechanisms that regulate reproductive function and behaviors at molecular, cellular, and systemic levels. I use epigenetic approach to identify the sexually dimorphic genes that control sexual differentiation in the mouse brain structure and behavior. Lab website

Dessie L. Underwood, Ph.D. (University of California, Davis). Insect biology. Insect behavioral ecology; plant-insect interactions; the evolution of cooperation, division of labor, and sex ratio; lepidopteran cytogenetics; chromosomal non-disjunction., Research page

Christine Whitcraft, Ph.D. Wetlands Ecology. Conservation Biology, Human Impacts on Salt Marsh Ecosystems & Food Webs.; Lab website

Raymond R. Wilson, Ph.D. (University of California, San Diego-Scripps Institution of Oceanography). Marine ichthyology. Population genetics of marine fishes.

Kelly Young, Ph.D. (John Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD). Reproductive biologist. Seasonal changes in reproductive physiology; photoperiodic regulation of ovarian/testicular function.

Mason X. Zhang, Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin, Madison). Host-pathogen interactions. Human anti-microbial mechanisms, passive immunization, immunoglobulin genes, genetic engineering of human antibody, microbial adhesions, opportunistic microbial infections.

Full time Lecturer:

Gwen Goodmanlowe, Ph.D.  (University of Hawaii, Manoa).  Marine Ecology, Marine Mammology.

Faculty who are currently teaching but not accepting graduate students:          


*Important Note: Some professors have a full contingent of undergraduate and graduate students and may not be accepting new students for a year or two. Please contact professors in your general area of interest to assess the potential availability of a research advisor or thesis chair in the coming year.