Dr. Anne E. Todgham

sF0Wm6Mr7It1rZxnun6XJpEciECTfVohVtWi04TfX4MI am an environmental physiologist with an interest in understanding the molecular, biochemical and physiological mechanisms that underlie an animal’s capacity to cope with environmental change.  I am fascinated by the diversity of physiological specializations (or strategies) used by animals to tolerate particular habitats that others would find very challenging.  This interest has led my research to investigate how an animal’s physiology and environment interact to structure organismal stress tolerance.  My current research program has an eye towards global climate change and addresses the general question of whether contemporary animals have the physiological flexibility necessary to buffer the unprecedented rates of environmental change, specifically their response to changes in multiple environmental variables. My research focuses mainly on aquatic organisms that are distributed along the California coast and estuaries (e.g. limpets, sea urchins, crabs, oysters and intertidal fishes), but extends to Antarctic fishes and aquaculture species.



Joel Van Eenennaam – Staff Research Associate



Sturgeon Expert! More coming soon.








Brittany (Bjelde) Davis  – PhD student in Animal Biology

1421275_10100751904165066_2001081184_o 2Understanding how environmental stressors effect physiological performance and behavior of animals, especially fishes  ><)))’>  are my interests. Some of my PhD research takes and integrative ecophysiological approach to 1) determine how climate change stressors may impact early life-history stages of Antarctic fish and 2) how continued drought conditions may effect native threatened and endangered California fishes.

My co-advisor is Dr. Nann Fangue in the dept. of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology, http://fanguelab.ucdavis.edu/people/graduate-students/brittany-bjelde/

Annelise Del Rio – PhD in Ecology


I am interested in the mechanisms marine and aquatic organisms use to survive in stressful or changing environments. In particular I’m interested in understanding how the interaction of multiple environmental and anthropogenic stressors influences the physiology of these organisms.



Erin Flynn – PhD student in Ecology

SONY DSCI am interested in understanding what mechanisms allow animals to cope with changes in their environments (plasticity, acclimation, & adaptation) and why certain taxa and life stages seem especially vulnerable to rapid changes. I am currently studying the effects of ocean climate change on the early life stages of Antarctic fishes using genomics, molecular biology, and organismal techniques. I am also developing future projects applying a landscape and physiological perspective to the conservation of California estuarine species.


Madeline Kinsey – MS student in Animal Biology


My research focuses on how intertidal organisms will respond to the stress of predicted global climate change. Specifically, I’m interested in how the unpredictability of temperatures in nature modulates the temperature sensitivity and upper temperature tolerance of the fingered limpet, Lottia digitalis.





Michaiah Leal – PhD student in Animal Biology

FullSizeRender-3I graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona with a B.S. in Animal Science.  Although in a Pre-Vet program, in my undergrad I grew a passion for agricultural studies, the complexities of agricultural systems, and the way we produce food. I am a first year PhD student interested in both pathology and stress physiology as they pertain to production in aquaculture. More specifically, I’d like to look at how human induced stressors (i.e. handling, housing, etc.) along with sustainable aquaculture techniques (i.e. minimizing water usage in tanks) affect immunity and disease susceptibility, as well as growth and development. I’m also interested in researching cross-tolerance of stressors in order to improve disease resistance in farmed fishes.



Alexandra Resnick – UC Davis Undergraduate Student

Alexandra Resnick_Winter2016 I am mainly interested in how veterinary medicine can be incorporated into conservation efforts and the maintenance of wildlife populations. I am currently assisting Brittany Davis on a research project using scototaxic testing (light/dark preference) as a measure of potentially increased anxiety (a dark preference) in juvenile Emerald Rockcod (T. bernacchii) in response to elevated levels of CO2 and/or increased temperature.





Frederick Nelson – Summer Intern from Howard University

Picture for Frederick

I had the opportunity to conduct summer research with the Todgham lab as part of the EEGAP (Ecology and Evolution Graduate Admission Pathways) program. My project focused on the effects of elevated temperature and ocean acidification on the cardiorespiratory physiology of an Antarctic fish, the emerald rockcod Trematomus bernacchii. I’m interested in studying the effects of a rapidly changing environment at the organismal level, as well as addressing possible outcomes in population and community composition.




Brigitte Clark – Intern from UC Leads Program, UC Davis


This summer I did research at UC Davis as part of the UC LEADS program. This is a two-year program designed to identify educationally or economically disadvantaged undergraduates in science, mathematics or engineering who show promise of succeeding in doctoral degree programs. I am primarily working on a joint project between Dr. Todgham and Dr. Schreirer to develop and use blood smear analysis techniques to determine nuclear ploidy ranges for autopolyploidy white sturgeon. This project is aimed towards allowing sturgeon farms and wildlife facilites to be able to screen their own populations for abnormal ploidy sturgeon. My research interests include studying changes in wildlife as well as agriculture population genetics to create sustainable programs in an ever-changing climate.


Postdoctoral Scholars

Nathan Miller (2013-2015)


Masters Students

Daniel Chase – MS Thesis 2014: Effect of species assemblage on juvenile growth and condition in three California estuarine fishes.

Erin Flynn – MS Thesis 2014: Ocean acidification exerts negative effects during warming conditions in a developing Antarctic fish.

Sara Boles – MS Thesis 2014: Physiological cost of climate change in the native Olympia oyster, Ostrea lurida.

Christina Pasparakis – MS Thesis 2013: Role of sequential low-tide-period conditions on the thermal physiology of summer and winter laboratory-acclimated fingered limpets, Lottia digitalis.

Katie McLean  – MS Thesis 2013: Effect of food availability on the growth and thermal physiology of juvenile Dungeness crabs (Metacarcinus magister).

Brittany Bjelde – MS Thesis 2013: Thermal physiology of the fingered limpet Lottia digitalis under emersion and immersion.


Undergraduate Students


Janet Garcia (Summer 2013, SFSU REU BREED Program) – Metabolic response of Ilyanassa obsolete egg capsules to increased temperature under immersed and emersed conditions.

Monica Tang (2013) – The combined effects of elevated temperature and low salinity on the physiological performance of adult Olympia oysters, Ostrea lurida.

Arthur Nguyen (2013) – Lipid analysis in juvenile oysters to assess metabolic responses to environmental change

Travis Siapno (2013) – Development of an assay to measure lipids in early developmental stages of oysters.

Karen Bueno (Summer 2012, SFSU REU BREED Program) – Understanding the tolerance of native Olympia oysters to fluctuations in environmental salinity.

Hazel DeVera (2012) – The effects of thermal stress during aerial exposure on protein homeostasis of the owl limpet, Lottia gigantea.

Maxwell Everett (2012) – Oxidative stress and antioxidant defenses in Antarctic fishes.

Corinne Calhoun (Summer 2011, SFSU REU BREED Program) – Distribution and abundance of juvenile Dungeness crabs in the San Francisco Bay.

Emily Blanchard (2011 – 2012) – Cloning and sequencing of candidate genes involved in ion and acid-base regulation in Antarctic fishes.

Janet Nguyen (2011 – 2012) – Cloning and sequencing of candidate genes involved in ion and acid-base regulation in Antarctic fishes.