Our research involves state-of-the-art molecular, ecological and evolutionary approaches to study how global change affects marine organisms and the mechanisms modulating their responses at different levels.
We have developed a highly collaborative and international research program addressing basic and applied questions in the fields of environmental epigenetics, evolutionary developmental biology, and marine sciences.
Transform the Future
Our research cannot be understood without a very strong educational mission. We strive to transform the future through educational, mentorship and outreach opportunities inspiring the next generation of Marine Biologists.
Over the last decade, we have published more than 70 peer-reviewed papers, funded our research through external grants, mentored Ph.D. and M.S. students and taught thousands of undergraduate students.
Cutting Edge Science
The Epigenetics Revolution
Reaches the Ocean
Marine life is critically affected by Global Change. Epigenetics (the study of heritable changes in gene expression that do not involve changes to the DNA sequence) constitutes a promising frontier to understand how organisms respond and cope with such stressors. The study of cause-effect relationships between environmental changes and the epigenetic mechanisms activating such responses constitutes the basis for Environmental Epigenetics. This discipline facilitates a more holistic view of the drivers underlying phenotypic plasticity and organismal resilience during acclimatory and adaptive responses, and also provides better prediction and modeling of organismal responses to the challenges posed by Global Change.
makes a difference
At the Environmental Epigenetics Lab we aim to expand environmental epigenetic analyses and their application to natural resources management and conservation.
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Peer review journal Aquatic Toxicology2017
“An interesting study; the results are of great value to the field of epigenetics, particularly since there is a relative paucity of information for invertebrates and because the eastern oyster is an important fishery and widely used study species.”
Peer review journal Epigenetics2016
“This novel hypothesis is a complete reversal of the presently held point of view that macroH2A is a refinement of the histones present in vertebrate chromatin. One of the important aspects of this study is the development on non-vertebrate-specific macroH2A antibody. This should become an important tool for further characterization of this histone variant.”
Peer review journal Nature Scientific Reports2017
“An interesting finding that will be of significant interest. The experimental results are well performed and certainly very worthy of publication as a valuable contribution to the understanding of chromatin properties.”
Peer review journal Frontiers in Physiology2017
“This is definitely a highly relevant and important methods article listing important details for non-model invertebrates. The manuscript incorporates the study of structural elements modulating chromatin dynamics and it is not limited to the study of DNA methylation as frequently occurred in previous papers”
NSF review panel summary2017
“A well-written proposal. The training and expertise of the applicant in the field of histone variants is very good. The applicant has shown clearly presented, convincing and relevant preliminary data. The panel deemed the broader impact plan as outstanding, particularly the evaluation protocol described.”