Welcome to Sarah Cohen's SFSU Evolutionary Ecology Lab in the Biology Department and at the Romberg Tiburon Campus

Latest lab news....

Getting posters ready for the annual meeting of the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology in San Francisco January 3-8, 2018!!! Sam Ayyagari, Peter Barschall, Roger Bland, Sarah Cohen, Mai Ly Cohen Barschall, George Czeck, Rebecca Gies, Leah Gray, Cecilia Hernandez, Bing Huey, Noah Jaffe, Jeyna Perez, and Rachel Weinberg!!! 

Anastasia Ennis presented a talk on her endangered mouse immunological research at the Save the Bay Brown Bag lunch series (12.16, 2017)

Grad alum Verena Wang defended her PhD at the University of North Carolina on flounder population structure and connectivity in the south Atlantic! Congratulations, Verena!! In February, she begins a new project on mesopelagic ichthyoplankton community structure at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Lab!

Graduate Student Sam Ayyagari presented his research entitled “Assessing Genetic Diversity in Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris)” at the 22nd International Biennial Society of Marine Mammalogy conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada from 10/21/18-10/28/17. 

Congratulations to Noah Jaffe for his new CSUPERB travel award to fund field work gathering samples for genetic research on sea star wasting disease in Oregon this fall. Noah also represented the lab at the SSWD conference at WSN this November. Thanks, Noah!

Lab Master's alum Tricia Achleitner-Goulding defended her PhD at Penn State University in November in pulmonate gastropod systematics and she starts an NSF funded postdoc at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu in January working on revisionary molluscan systematics of Pacific island land snails. She is really excited to keep working on systematics (and starting at a museum!), and on endangered land snails!  Congratulations, Tricia!!!

Margaret Johnson and Adam Tricomo (2017 STAR intern) presented their poster, Testing for Variation in Leptasterias spp. Prey Preference and Activity Levels Across Different Populations and Microhabitats at the Western Society of Naturalists meeting on November 19, 2017 in Pasadena, CA.

Sarah visited Ohio State University to give a guest seminar in the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology on recognition systems in invertebrate and vertebrate chordates, thanks to host Meg Daly, Director at the Museum of Biological Diversity, for a great visit! (October 19, 2017)

KeChaunte Johnson presented her thesis defense on Acartia phylogeography and species diversity in San Francisco Bay on September 15 in the Bay Conference Center. Congratulations, KeChaunte!!!

Congrats to postdoc Kevin Leempoel as he heads to a postdoc in Liz Hadly's lab at Stanford!

Anastasia Ennis presented her salt marsh harvest mouse immunogenetics work in a poster presentation at the Bay Delta science conference.

Summer intern talks coming up this Thursday, August 10, in the Bay Conference Center at RTC! Thanks and congrats to all the interns, graduate, teacher, undergraduate, and high school researchers for your dedicated work this summer! From our lab, undergrad research talk were presented by CSU STAR interns Cecilia Hernandez and Adam Tricomo, REU intern Nastassja Punak, and HHMI intern Leah Gray.

A talk at the international copepod meetings in Los Angeles by KeChaunte Johnson on a molecular look at Acartia species in SF Bay and their enigmatic identities globally.

Congratulations to Cecilia Hernandez on acceptance to the graduate program. So glad you are staying with us for more tunicate research!

Evolution meeting talks this summer by Jeyna Perez on sea star phylogeography in the Salish Sea, WA in comparison to low salinity outflow, and Anastasia Ennis on endangered salt marsh mouse immunogenetics.

Welcome high school volunteers Julia Jaffe and Jack Chai, and welcome back undergraduate volunteer Erin Hollander!

Welcome volunteer Cori Currier, on her way to the University of Washington this fall, and collaborator Sandy Chang from University of Calgary! And, welcome back Roger Bland and Bianca Bahman!

Welcome back high school intern Marcus D'Avignon for your second summer of sea stars and sea squirts! We are so happy to have you back!

Congratulations to Laura Melroy and Riley Smith for acceptance of their co-lead authored publication to the journal Marine Biology, Phylogeography of direct-developing sea stars in the genus Leptasterias in relation to San Francisco Bay outflow in central California. June 12, 2017.

Welcome STAR interns Adam Tricomo from Humboldt State and Cecilia Hernandez (back for more!) and congratulations to you both on completing your undergraduate degrees this spring! June 2017.

Congratulations Rachel Weinberg for an ARCs award for your thesis research on the environmental dependency of invasive tunicate allorecognition (June 2017)

Congratulations Sam Ayyagari for a Sigma Xi award for your thesis research on southeast Asian river dolphin conservation genetics and MHC variation (June 2017)

Welcome HHMI Macalester College intern, Leah Gray! (June 2017)

Welcome NSF Summer 2017 REUs to orientation week across 3 SFSU campuses: SF 19th Street, RTC, and the Sierra Nevada Field Campus! (June 2017). Welcome Natassja Punak as our lab REU intern this summer.

Welcome new lab volunteers, Kris Daum and Stephanie Humphrey from Santa Rosa Junior College! 

Congratulations to our research colleagues Cecilia Hernandez, Ryan Fergusson, and Randy Fisher for completing their undergraduate degrees! Congratulations to Carl Braun for acceptance into the Mills College premedical degree program. Congratulations graduate student KeChaunte Johnson for an NIH award to attend Seattle Summer Statistical Genetics sessions at the University of Washington.

Anastasia Ennis presented a talk on immunogenetic variation among populations of an endangered mouse at the 

Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse Symposium

Welcome new postdoc, Kevin Leempoel!!

Welcome new graduate students Rebecca Gies, Margaret Johnson, and coming soon, George Czeck!

See our notice on the PISCO webpage asking for subtidal Leptasterias observations -- scroll down to UPDATE - APR 24, 2017

And, check out our new flier for divers interested in sea star citizen science (May 2017)

Jeyna Perez and Sam Ayyagari present posters at the SFSU Graduate Showcase on their research in progress on Pacific Northwest sea star phylogeography and endangered river dolphins in SE Asia respectively (April 2017). Thanks for representing us! Sam also showed a poster at the SFSU COSE Poster Workshop on main campus.

Rachel Weinberg won a $1740 Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship sponsored by the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology to facilitate her participation in the Taxonomy and Biology of Tunicates course at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Bocas Research Station in Panama this summer (2.27.2017). 

Thanks to help from main campus engineering and Physics Department collaborator Dr. Roger Bland along with Peter Verdone, our first 3D printed sea star grabber is being tested on Leptasterias!

Rocky intertidal field conditions have been so interesting lately! Here's a video by Glenda Niven from our Marine Ecology class field trip in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco (2.7.2017).

Congratulations IRA award winners: Benson Chow, KeChaunte Johnson, Rachel Weinberg, Noah Jaffe, Sam Ayyagari, and Daniel Hossfeld

Congratulations to graduate students Sam Ayyagari and Rachel Weinberg for their COAST awards for their graduate research on immunogenetic variation in wild populations (Sam) and chimerism and population genetic variation in tunicates (Rachel)! (February 2017)

Thank you to Lily Fornof and Aidan Greer, Swarthmore College January externs, for assisting us with Leptasterias field and wet lab experiments. Your work on the attachment strength assays with SFSU Physics Professor Roger Bland and the rest of our group was terrific (January 2017).

Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology presentations in New Orleans in January from our lab including Rachel Weinberg's talk on Dvex fusion outcomes, Benson Chow's poster on colonial growth rates in characterized habitats, Jamie Bucholz's poster on progression of sea star wasting disease in Leptasterias, Ryan Fergusson's poster on botryllid phylogenetics of the Philippines, and Renate Eberl's poster on spatial and temporal variation in Leptasterias population abundance related to SSWD.

Sarah Cohen gave a public lecture for the Marin Chapter of the World Affairs Council on November 16 at Dominican University entitled, "Global Warning: The Accelerating Danger". 

Carl Braun (SRJC) and Randy Fisher (SFSU) presented a poster, "Leptasterias spp. and Sea Star Wasting Disease: A Temperature and Salinity Challenge Experiment" at the 100th Western Society of Naturalists Meeting in Monterey, November 13, 2016.
Coauthors on the poster included San Francisco high school student Marcus D’Avignon, undergraduate students Jamie Bucholz (REU, Univ Wisconsin), Stella Park (SFSU), Michael Langhans (UCSC), Summer Rosa Barnette (UCB), Madeline Salesky (Brown University), Ze Gong (UCB), and Paco Villegas (SRJC), SFSU graduate students Noah Jaffe, Rachel Weinberg and Benson Chow, NSF REU ROA research associate Renate Eberl and PI Sarah Cohen are additional co-authors of this research conducted in the wetlab at RTC.

Welcome new graduate student Daniel Hossfeld from UC Davis and the Watershed Stewards Program.

New collaboration with Dr Susana Caballero of the Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Columbia, and Dr Ellen Hines of SFSU Geography on phylogeography and immunogenetics of the Irrawaddy dolphins of SE Asia, with graduate student Sam Ayyagari.

Graduate student Tim Fuller presented a poster at the 43rd annual Southeastern Population Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics (SEPEEG) in Madison, Florida, October 21-23 2016, on his intriguing patterns of mitochondrial variation in his ongoing work on native populations of the rainwater killifish, Lucania parva.

Congratulations to Rachel Weinberg and Benson Chow on their SFSU IRA travel awards to present their work at a national meeting. 

Dr Meg Daly from Ohio State University visits RTC to present her talk Exploring Parts Unknown: The Biodiversity and Evolution of Sea Anemones in the Rosenberg Institute Seminar Series, with visits also to the SFSU Marine Invertebrate Biology class, the California Academy of Sciences, and local field sites.

Sarah and Mai Ly Cohen Barschall participated in the Bay Day celebration at the Exploration with live tunicates and other local invertebrates for demonstration and discussion of human impacts on San Francisco Bay and beyond (October 1, 2016)

Calvin Lee presented his poster on his Master's research on English sole MHC variation in SF Bay at the BAPG XIV​

Bay Area Population Genomics Meeting held at SFSU on September 17th, 2016

New collaborator Dr Marie Nydam visits from Centre College, Kentucky to work on ascidian genomes.

Welcome to our new Cohen lab grad cohort this fall: Rachel Weinberg (SFSU), Noah Jaffe (Pitzer College), and Geoffrey Schroeder (CDFW and University of Alabama).