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Department of Biology

Faculty Research

Our faculty represent commitment and expertise in mentoring students in research and address a wide range of questions spanning from the cellular/molecular level to the organismal/ecosystem level.

Our faculty have collaborated with researchers at a broad array of national and international universities and receive funding a range of federal (e.g., National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Defense, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency) and state agencies (e.g., California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Agriculture and Technology Institute, California Department of Water Resources ) along with a range of industry groups.

Please contact individual faculty members directly for more information about their research programs.

Biology Department Faculty

Blumenshine, Steve:

  • Fish ecology and population dynamics
  • Fish predation and bioenergetics
  • Aquatic food webs
  • Water supply and quality

Bush, Jason:

  • Cell biology
  • Cancer biology
  • Genetics
  • Molecular biology
  • Biomedical research

Calderon-Urrea, Alejandro:

  • Molecular genetics of programmed cell death (PCD) in plants
  • Use of PCD in plant biotechnology
  • PCD during sex determination in plants
  • Transgenic plant development and plant biotechnology
  • Biofuels and other metabolites from algae

Constable, John

  • Plant Physiology
  • Plant Ecology

Gousset, Karine

  • Virology
  • Cell biology
  • Microscopy

Hansen, Alexandria

  • K-12 STEM Education
  • Science teaching and learning
  • Preservice teacher education
  • Issues of equity and access in STEM education
  • Qualitative research methods

Kern, Ruth

  • Terrestrial plant ecology
  • Plant population and community ecology of montane ecosystems

Lent, David

  • Neuroethology and neurobiology
  • Adaptive behaviors and neural plasticity
  • Insect cognition
  • Focus on obtaining novel insights into behavior and neural mechanisms underlying spatial processing, learning and memory, and navigation

Mujic, Alija

  • Mycology and evolutionary biology of mycorrhizal symbioses
  • Systematics, taxonomy, ecology, phylogeography, and evolution of fungi
  • Phylogenomics/phylogenetics, metagenomics, comparative genomics, transcriptomics, and bioinformatics

Muller, Ulrike

  • Biomechanics of animal locomotion
  • Fish swimming, animal flight, bio fluid mechanics
  • Ontogenetic development of locomotion
  • Biochemical implications of ontogenetic development and niche shifts in aquatic organisms
  • Science communication

Riley, Larry

  • Organismal physiology and endocrinology
  • Comparative endocrinology
  • Endocrine regulation of growth
  • Glucose and fat metabolism
  • Neuroendocrine mediators of appetite

Ross, Joseph

  • Transmission and molecular genetics
  • Evolutionary and developmental biology
  • Genomics and bioinformatics
  • Caenorhabditis nematodes
  • Speciation processes
  • Genetic incompatibilities

Slade, Joel

  • Diversity, spatial structure, and signatures of molecular evolution at immune genes
  • Adaptations of the avian immune system
  • Host-pathogen interactions
  • Honest signals of sexually selected traits

Telemeco, Rory

  • Ecological and Evolutionary Physiology
  • Thermal Biology
  • Global Change Biology
  • Ecological Developmental Biology
  • Herpetology

Tsukimura, Brian

  • Reproductive Physiology and Endocrinology
  • Climate Change Ecophysiology
  • Invasive Species Biology
  • Crustacean Biology

Van Laar, Tricia

  • Microbial pathogenesis
  • Microbial metabolism
  • Antimicrobial resistance/tolerance
  • Biofilms

Walter, Emily

  • Science Teaching and Learning
  • Evolution Education
  • Faculty and Graduate Student Professional Development
  • Diversity in STEM
  • Survey Development and Validation

Waselkov, Katherine

  • Molecular and morphological plant systematics and phylogenetics
  • Plant evolutionary genetics and population genetics
  • Effects of polyploidy on diversity in the family Polemoniaceae
  • Agricultural adaptations of annual weed plants in the Central Valley

Youn, Hwan

  • Structure, function, and physiological impact of microbial environmental sensor proteins
  • Molecular engineering of microbial transcription factors
  • Functional genomics of microbial virulence factors

Biotechnology Program Faculty