Welcome to Sarah Cohen's SFSU Evolutionary Ecology Lab in the Biology Department

Latest lab news...

Undergraduate Marine Biology major Rachel Weinberg received a CSU COAST award for her continuing work with Darragh Clancy on “Didemnum vexillum Fusion Genetics.”  Congratulations Rachel!

Presentations at CERF, Portland, Oregon in early November: Anastasia Ennis speaking on immunogenetic diversity in endangered marsh mice, Laura Melroy and Joseph Spaulding presenting posters on sea star phylogeographic variation and invasive Botryllus tunicate population genetic variation in new Alaskan populations.

Lots of news!

KeChaunte Johnson and Tim Fuller presented their Research in Progress talks on October 28 in the RTC Wednesday seminar series on copepod genetic diversity and invasive fish immunogenetics, respectively.

New NSF funding for continuing SFSU REU students, including RTC undergraduate Ryan Fergusson!

Poster presentations at the State of the Estuary meeting on immunogenetic variation by Anastasia Ennis (endangered SF Bay salt marsh harvest mice) and Calvin Lee (SF Bay English sole).

Welcome new undergraduate research interns: Stella Park, Gabrielle Reta, Gerardo Aguilar, and Summer Rosa-Barnette.

Sarah, postdoctoral associate Dr. Renate Eberl, and Laura Melroy receive a CSU COAST RAPID award to follow up on the impacts of wasting on Leptasterias populations and clade distributions in central California and Mendocino county in a partnership with Santa Rosa Junior College and SFSU undergraduates.

 Master's graduate Vanessa Guerra begins a PhD in Mike Hart's lab at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, B.C. 

Good bye to wonderful interns who are departing, high school students Samantha and Erin, teacher researcher intern Caleb, and undergraduate interns Monica, Kelly, and also Berta...we'll miss you! come back and visit us soon!

Welcome new graduate students Sam Ayyagari and Jeyna Perez joining us from UCSC and UCLA, respectively!

Caleb Shaw, CeSAME STAR teacher intern, gives invited talk at the end of the summer STAR research symposium in the south bay on his work with us on Leptasterias behavioral variation related to phylogenetic clade identity and intertidal habitat variation.

Undergraduate interns present talks at SFSU summer research symposia on main campus (Ryan and Monica) and at RTC (Ryan, Monica, Kelly, Caleb, and Berta).

Welcome new high school summer interns: Samantha Prado (Lowell High School, San Francisco) and Erin Hollander (Drake High School, Marin)!

Congratulations to Laura Melroy on her second place award within the Evolution, Organismal Biology and Biodiversity session at the AAAS Pacific Division Meeting for her poster entitled “Stars: Where Are They Now? Delineating Species Boundaries In Space and Time for the Leptasterias Genus”.

Welcome new CeSAME STAR summer intern Caleb Shaw, from New Hampshire!

Welcome new Cohen lab NSF REU summer interns: Ryan Fergusson (SFSU) and Monica Elizondo (Diablo Valley College and UC, Berkeley)!

Welcome to new Cohen lab volunteers: Janet Bair, Kelly Donahoe (Tufts University), and Bing Huey!

Anastasia Ennis's blog on the BAASICS site about her salt march harvest mouse thesis work in San Francisco Bay: http://buff.ly/1HA4tBq 

Congratulations to the 2015 RTC SFSU graduates! Congratulations to Peter Drell and Nyri Scanlon for finishing their undergraduate degrees while participating in research at RTC.

Sarah returned from a month of fieldwork and outreach sponsored by the California Academy of Sciences NSF Biotic Survey in the center of the center of marine biodiversity, the Verde Island Passage in the Philippines. See photos and more at Steven Bedard's blog: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/expeditions/2015/04/22/the-richest-reef-life-in-layers/

Laura Melroy presented a research poster at the SFSU Graduate Showcase: "Stars: Where Are They Now? Delineating Species Boundaries In Space and Time for the Genus Leptasterias"

Danielle Desmet presented a research poster at the Bay Area Student Conservation Biology meeting at UCB in April, "Founding fish: Assessing bottlenecked Rainwater killifish populations using a functional locus." 

Sarah joined colleagues in lightning talks at the RTC inaugural Bay Science Collaborative, with a talk entitled: Connectivity Defines Bay and Coastal Population Changes and Responses to Stress. 

Undergraduate U.K. exchange student Alice Dore received a CSU COAST award to fund field and genetic research on acanthocephalan parasites of mole crabs in collaboration with the LiMPETs beach monitoring project, with Dr. Karina Nielsen's beach health Sea Grant research, and in collaboration with Dr. Abigail Zoger at Santa Rosa Junior College, and with assistance from Janet Bair and Darragh Clancy.

Great news from former REU summer intern, Catie Alves, accepting a PhD position at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill to study coral reef fish conservation in John Bruno's lab.

Congratulations to Laura Melroy and Calvin Lee on their talks March 18th in the Rosenberg RTC Seminar series on their graduate work in progress. Laura presented on, Spatial and Temporal Variation in Population Structure of the Direct-Developing Sea Stars in the Leptasterias Species Complex, and Calvin presented his research in a talk entitledImmunogenetic variation and tumor incidence of juvenile English sole across an estuarine gradient of contaminants

Welcome to visiting undergraduate researcher Berta Colom from the University of Barcelona, Spain! Berta is here thanks to an NSF EcoEvoDevo Research Coordination Network grant.

Calvin Lee received the Walter Carr Award for a talk on his master thesis work titled "X-cell tumors in juvenile English sole (Parophrys vetulus) and Immunogenetic Variation" at the Northern California Parasitology meeting at UCSF on 2/7/2015. 

EcoEvoDevo review paper from NSF NESCENT workshop accepted for publication in Evolution and Development: 

Moczek AP, Sears, KE, Stollewerk A, Wittkopp PJ, Diggle P, Dworkin I, Ledon-Rettig C, Matus DQ, Roth S, Abouheif E, Brown FD, Chiu C, Cohen CS, De Tomaso AW, Gilbert SF, Hall B, Love A, Lyons DC, Sanger T, Smith J, Specht C, Vallejo-Marin M, Extavour CG (2015). The significance and scope of evolutionary developmental biology: a vision for the 21st century. Accepted for publication, February 2015.

Laura's sea star work is featured in Tiburon's ARK newspaper as a cover story highlighting the value of comparing the genetics of historic and contemporary samples to improve our understanding of environmental change.

Anastasia won a graduate travel award towards her costs for the Bay Delta conference where she won a first prize for her poster!

Congratulations to Calvin, Tim, and KeChaunte for their IRA awards from the Biology Department in support of their research!

David Franklin, summer 2014 REU Cohen lab intern, wins first poster prize at Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting in West Palm Beach, Florida (January 2015) in the Division of Phylogenetics and Comparative Biology, for his poster, Distribution of Acartia spp. in central San Francisco Bay and San Pablo Bay is not related to temperature and salinity , coauthored with Carrie Craig, Ann Holmes, and Sarah Cohen.

In collaboration with the Kimmerer lab, we presented two posters at the annual meeting of the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology, held this week in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Interview with Laura Melroy about sea star phylogeography using historic collections from the California Academy of Sciences along with contemporary sampling. Stanford Journalism Master's student Shara Tonn produced the video that also features SFSU Master's alumna and CAS Marine Invertebrate Collections Manager Chrissy Piotrowski.

Herring are back in San Francisco Bay! You can find news about SF Bay herring spawning and harvesting activities on the Department of Fish and Wildlife website.

Carrie Craig presents her thesis defense at RTC on December 17: "Investigating the diets of nauplius larvae and adults of a predatory copepod using DNA barcoding"

Vanessa Guerra presents her thesis defense on "Population variation at a self-incompatibility locus in a marine invasive species" (December 15 on main campus)

Sarah co-presented an RTC seminar with Terry Gosliner and Meg Burke on the NSF expedition to the center of the center of marine biodiversity in the Verde Island Passage of the Philippines (December 3)

Carrie Craig's previously published article “A DNA-Based Method for Investigating Feeding by Copepod Nauplii” was the lead molecular paper in a new virtual special issue of the Journal of Plankton Research 

Congratulations! Anastasia Ennis won first prize for her poster on population genetics of the salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris), a local endangered endemic, at the Bay-Delta Science Conference in Sacramento.

Laura Melroy and Sarah Cohen shared a panel discussion with Steve Palumbi following his presentation at the Rosenberg Institute Fall Public Forum on The Extreme Life of the Sea and marine conservation.

Peter Drell and Benson Chow each presented at the Western Society of Naturalist meetings in Seattle on ascidian research.
Peter's talk was on interactions of Didemnum vexillum with herring reproduction with coauthors Benson ChowDanielle DesmetSarah Cohen, and Marnie Chapman (University of Alaska Southeast). Benson presented on his thesis work on early juvenile performance differences related to maternal vs. environmental influences.

Peter Drell travels to Juneau, Alaska this week to present a poster at the American Fisheries Society meetings, on interactions of Didemnum vexillum with herring reproduction. Coauthors included Benson Chow, Danielle Desmet, Sarah Cohen, and Marnie Chapman (University of Alaska Southeast), with funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. 

David Franklin (REU 2014 summer intern from Georgia Southern University) presents a poster on his summer research on Acartia species distributions around SF Bay at the Council on Undergraduate Research workshop in Washington, D.C.

Anastasia Ennis and her mice appeared in a PBS News Hour segment “Restored Wetlands Welcome Wildlife and Protect against Future Floods in San Francisco Bay Area.” 

Sarah, Peter Drell, and Taylor Gilis highlighted Didemnum vexillum in an interview with Vietnam Television International hosted by the U.S. State Department to produce a show on global climate change