OSyM Participants

    • Type of Researcher
    Members
    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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    Haruka Wada
    Organismal Biologist
    Assistant Professor
    Auburn University
    haruka@auburn.edu
    Research Summary

    During my career up until recently, I have been focusing on how animals respond to environmental stressors and how their responses are shaped by developmental environments. However, as several reviews pointed out, how animals respond to stressors and their fitness outcome depends on multiple factors, making it difficult to develop a predictive model of stress and consequences. Recently, I have developed a theoretical model of stress called Damage-Fitness Model which aimed to circumvent the context dependency of stress responses and focus on downstream effects of stress responses. My goal of the next few years is to turn this theoretical model into a mathematical model. Because I have no training in modeling, I have started some collaboration towards this goal and this workshop will help provide necessary background in modeling to pursue this goal even further.


    Biographical Info

    Our lab studies how animals modify their phenotypes in response to environmental cues through phenotypic flexibility and developmental plasticity. Recently, we are interested in physiological mechanisms behind stress resilience and the role developmental environment plays in building stress resilience later in life. My training is in neuroendocrine response to stress and our lab is expanding our exploration into cellular stress responses, including heat shock proteins and antioxidants.


    Easton White
    Modeler
    Research Associate
    University of Vermont
    Easton.White@uvm.edu
    Easton White Website
    Twitter
    Research Summary

    Environmental variability can range from daily to decadal time scales. Many forms of environmental variability shape ecosystems, and, consequently, the human communities that depend on them. Understanding this variability and managing in the face of uncertainty is critical for ecosystem management. This is especially true in the context of climate change, where many environmental factors (e.g. droughts) are expected to intensify and occur more regularly. Dr. White's work focuses on these ideas in the context of species monitoring and the management of ecosystems, including coral reef fisheries.


    Biographical Info

    Dr. Easton White is a quantitative ecologist working to solve problems in ecology, conservation, sustainability, and ecosystem management. His current projects include designing protected area networks, optimizing species monitoring, and modeling coupled socio-ecological systems. He is a Research Associate in the Biology Department at the University of Vermont. You can read more about his work on his website: https://eastonwhite.github.io/


    Amanda Wilson Carter
    Organismal Biologist
    NSF Postdoctoral Fellow
    Universiy of Tennessee
    acarte82@utk.edu
    Research Summary

    I study how thermal variability impacts phenotype and fitness across taxa and focus on temperature-dependent physiology during formative life history stages, namely development and reproduction. My research provides critical insight into the mechanisms that may underlie responses to climate change by enhancing the resolution with which we understand the impact of temperature on organisms.


    Biographical Info

    I am an eco-physiologist broadly interested in how the environment generates phenotypic diversity. My research focuses on how temperature mean and variation affects physiology and behavior across an individual’s lifetime. I currently work as an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Tennessee and utilize dung beetles as a model system of developmental plasticity.