OSyM Participants

    • Type of Researcher
    Members
    Scott Santos
    Organismal Biologist
    Professor & Chair
    Auburn University
    Department of Biological Sciences
    santos@auburn.edu
    Twitter
    Research Summary

    Research in the Santos Lab focuses on population genetics, resource conservation, genomic evolution and symbiosis biology in aquatic (both freshwater and marine) and terrestrial microbes and multi-cellular organisms. We utilize a variety of molecular tools and computational approaches in these pursuits.


    Biographical Info

    Scott Ross Santos earned his Bachelor in Science (with Distinction) in Zoology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1996 and his PhD from the Department of Biological Sciences at the State University of New York at Buffalo as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Minority Graduate Fellow in 2002. Following a two-year postdoctoral position at the University of Arizona, Scott accepted an assistant professorship in the Department of Biological Sciences at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama in 2004. Along with serving as a Program Director in the Division of Integrated Organismal Systems (IOS) at the National Science Foundation from 2015-2017, he currently is Professor & Chair Department of Biological Sciences at Auburn University.


    Keywords: microbial symbiosis, microbial community structure, coral reef ecology, anchialine ecosystem, computational biology
    Sasha Seroy
    Modeler, Organismal Biologist
    PhD Graduate Student
    University of Washington
    School of Oceanography
    sseroy@uw.edu
    Twitter
    Research Summary

    Investigating how effects of changing ocean conditions on organismal traits and species interactions propagate through marine communities by combining


    Biographical Info

    Sasha Seroy is a PhD student in Oceanography at the University of Washington. She studies how marine communities are responding to changing ocean conditions, with a focus on marine invertebrates. Sasha is actively involved in K-12 STEM education, developing and facilitating sensor building programs at local high schools. She also draws science cartoons and runs the weekly science comic strip "Interviews with Invertebrates." Prior to attending graduate school Sasha received her BS in Biology from Stony Brook University, and worked as an environmental educator at Frost Valley YMCA and as a museum educator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.


    Keywords: computational biology
    Mark Smithson
    Modeler, Organismal Biologist
    Mr.
    Washington State University
    mark.smithson@wsu.edu
    Research Summary

    My research interests live at the intersection of ecology, evolution, and genetics. One aspect of my research focuses on the ecological, evolutionary, and molecular origins of trait variation. Over the past several years, I have investigated the role of epigenetic variation in adaptive responses to environmental variation (i.e., within generation plasticity, trans-generation plasticity, natural selection). To investigate the stability of habitat-specific DNA methylation and adaptive trait variation in wild populations, I combine trans-generational experiments and next generation sequencing. To explore the role of epigenetic variation in different ecological and evolutionary scenarios, I use mathematical models and computer simulations. I have also used these theoretical approaches to study the epidemiological and evolutionary challenges of different transmissible vaccine designs.


    Biographical Info

    My interest in research was originally inspired by the diversity in form and function found among invertebrate animals, as well as birds. I earned a B.S. in Biology from the College of William and Mary where I studied questions related to the ecology and development of juvenile green sea urchins with Dr. Jonathan Allen. Currently, I am a Ph.D. Candidate in School of Biological Sciences at Washington State University where I study evolutionary ecology and ecological epigenetics. My research focuses on the molecular processes that underlie trait variation and how eco-evolutionary processes shape that variation in populations. During my time at WSU, I have enjoyed serving as a TA for introductory biology, evolutionary biology, invertebrate biology, parasitology, and marine ecology courses.


    Alyssa Stark
    Biomechanic, Ecomechanic, Organismal Biologist
    Assistant Professor
    Villanova University
    alyssa.stark@villanova.edu
    Website
    Twitter
    Research Summary

    The Stark Lab uses an integrative approach to explore how environmental factors affect the performance, behavior, and morphology of biological organisms. Specifically, we integrate laboratory and field-based methods rooted in biology, with analytical and theoretical methods from physics, chemistry, and material science. Most of our work is focused on using geckos, ants, and sea urchins to explore questions about the functional morphology of adhesion. Additional areas of interest include biomechanics of locomotion and the functional properties of biological materials. With the help of collaborators, we also help to develop and refine bio-inspired designs, and biomimetic practices and education.


    Biographical Info

    2017-2020 Assistant Professor, Villanova University, PA

    2014-2017 Postdoctoral Associate, University of Louisville, KY

    2014 Ph. D. Integrated Bioscience, University of Akron, OH

    2006 B. S. Animal Biology, University of California, Davis, CA

    2005 ARAD. Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance, The Royal Academy of Dance, UK

    2004 A. A. Associates Degree, Santa Rosa Junior College, CA


    Jennifer Steffen
    Organismal Biologist
    PhD Graduate Student
    University of Rostock,Germany
    jennifer.steffen@uni-rostock.de
    Research Summary

    My PhD research focuses on the mitochondrial and systemic mechanisms involved in the regulation of the aerobic metabolism during fluctuating oxygen conditions and their role in hypoxia/reoxygenation tolerance of different bivalve species differing in hypoxia tolerance. I am interested in linking different biological levels of organisation, with special emphasis on molecular level and organismal levels using molecular assays and state-of the art in-vivo NMR/MRI studies.


    Biographical Info

    My passion for marine biology endorsed me to accomplish my Bachelor in Biology at the University of Kiel, GER, and my Master in Marine Biology at the University of Bremen, GER, and NTNU, Trondheim, N. Since the start of my academic career, my projects have been closely linked to climate research by focusing on biogeochemical analysis of coral skeletons, biochemical mechanisms of anemone-algae symbiosis and on molecular stress responses of polar fish with regards to various environmental factors. My current PhD connects biochemical and molecular analysis of hypoxia and reoxygenation tolerance in mitochondria of marine bivalves and in-vivo NMR studies on whole organism level.


    Richelle Tanner
    Organismal Biologist
    Postdoctoral Research Associate
    Washington State University
    richelle.tanner@wsu.edu
    Richelle Tanner Website
    Twitter
    Research Summary

    Richelle is broadly interested in rapid adaptation to climate change, particularly with seasonal extremes and their effects on inter-individual variation in physiological plasticity. Her current research focuses on linking individual responses to environmental variation across levels of biological organization, using gene and protein expression data in the intertidal mussel Mytilus californianus.


    Biographical Info

    Richelle completed her PhD in 2018 with Jonathon Stillman and Wayne Sousa at UC Berkeley and is currently a postdoctoral research associate with Wes Dowd at Washington State University working on climate change ecophysiology. In addition to her research, Richelle is passionate about public science education, working primarily with the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation as the chair of the Science Partnerships Committee.


    Brian Tsukimura
    Organismal Biologist
    Professor
    California State University, Fresno
    College of Science and Mathematics
    briant@CSUFresno.edu
    Twitter
    Research Summary

    My research focuses on control of crustacean reproduction related to hormones and stress (physiological, thermal, density).


    Keywords: reproductive biology, physiology, endocrinology, invasive species, crustacean biology, thermal biology
    Kathy Van Alstyne
    Organismal Biologist
    Dr
    Western Washington University
    kathy.vanalstyne@wwu.edu

    Twitter
    Research Summary

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    Biographical Info

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