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Welcome to the Frontpage


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A central focus of the research in my laboratory deals with the use of molecular and genomic techniques to study marine environments, how the organisms that inhabit them evolved, and how physical and biological interactions have shaped their life history. We believe that understanding relationships from populations (species level) to very divergent lineages (kingdom level) is an essential step towards developing reliable evolutionary and ecological hypotheses that can be tested experimentally. Once relationships are clearer, interactions can be better understood. My group aims to develop a research plan to study biological interactions in the sea at the genome level that will also have a solid evolutionary foundation.


Summer Excursions

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This summer some members of the lab will be traveling.

Michelle Weber will be traveling to UNAM in Puerto Morelos, Mexico with Viridiana to work with Roberto Iglesias-Prieto to study coral-algal symbiosis under thermal stress conditions. Then she will be traveling to present a poster at the International Physiological Society meeting in Birmingham, UK.

Aki Ohdera will be meeting Kristen Marhaver in Curacao to collect new jellyfish specimens and learn new techniques that Kristen uses in her own research.  Later in the summer he will be working with Bill Fitts lab in Key Largo, Florida to investigate the role of bacterial signals in jellyfish larvae settlement as well as collecting more jellyfish specimens.

Mario Cortes-Garcia, Bishoy Hanna, Michelle Weber and Monica Medina will all be going to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Bocas del Toro, Panama to collect coral specimens.


Good luck on all your travels. 


We Are Moving

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The whole lab is moving from U.C. Merced to join the Biology Department of Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA.

Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 09:54

UC Merced Commencement 2013

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Congratulations Mario and Sioban

Mario Cortes-Garcia has graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Biology with an emphasis in microbiology and immunology. He will continue to pursue his education working as Monica Medina’s lab technician. Good Luck Mario


Sioban Kelly has graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Biology with an emphasis in ecology and evolution. She plans to work as an intern for a year before transitioning into graduate school. Good Luck Sioban. 


Good Luck Pang Kou

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Undergraduate student Pang Kou was selected to attend the Evolution 2013: Undergraduate Diversity at SSE and SSB in Snowbird, Utah this June. She will be presenting her poster titled “Tissue specific gene expression of biominerlization proteins in Biomphalaria glabrata ”. She hopes to get valuable feedback from other scientists on the quality of her poster and the other areas of study in the field of evolution.  Congratulations Pang Kou.



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