Decorative close-up image of eggs

On a basic research level, we aim to understand how organisms (specifically fish) adjust or adapt their life history, behavior, physiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology in order to thrive in marginal or extreme environments.  We use an integrative approach to our research that spans from ecology through organismal physiology and behavior to genomics (exploring the DNA sequence), epigenetics, transcriptomics (the part of the genome that is expressed at any given time), and metabolomics (the small molecules and metabolic intermediates that are present or active at any given time).

We hope to apply our knowledge to improve the human condition.  We believe that nature, through evolution, has already solved many problems that cause or contribute to human diseases. By studying organisms that have evolved to survive in conditions that challenge human physiology or cause damage to human tissues, we can better understand how to treat or prevent these diseases in humans.

To learn about individual graduate student research, visit current laboratory members.


Decorative image of fish.
(Image of integrin-beta 1 antigen (green) counterstained with DAPI in insulated embryonic A. limnaeus stem cells. J. Wagner, 2012.)


Decorative image of fish embryos.

Current Projects

Cell cycle control during dormancy associated with embryonic diapause and anoxia induced quiescence

The role of microRNA regulation of dormancy associated with diapause and anoxia-induced quiescence

Mitochondrial metabolism during development and dormancy

The role of maternal provisioning of mRNA and microRNA transcripts in controlling alternative life history trajectories associated with diapause

Regulation of metabolism during entry into and exit from anoxia-induce quiescence

UV tolerance and DNA repair mechanisms in diapausing embryos

Regulation of gene expression associated with the unique dispersion and reaggregation of embryonic blastomeres in annual killifish development

Sequencing the genome of A. limnaeus using next-generation sequencing techniques

The effects of hypoxia on developmental physiology

Regulation of life history variants in juvenile rainbow trout/steelhead in the John Day river basin of Oregon

Salinity tolerance of larval lamprey (ammocoetes) in the Columbia River basin

(Image of integrin-beta 1 antigen (green) counterstained with DAPI in insulated embryonic A. limnaeus stem cells. J. Wagner, 2012.)

Techniques Commonly Used in Our Research

DNA/RNA isolation, PCR, qPCR, microarrays, microRNA sequencing, RNA sequencing, mitochondrial respiration, organismal respiration, mass spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, protein characterization, immunohistochemistry, primary cell culture.

You can find us in the Science and Research Teaching Center.