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 (retired, but currently on volunteer status, to follow through on several projects)


I have been working in the Department of Animal Science as a research associate, since 1985. Research interests include: techniques for monitoring the reproductive conditions of wild and domestic sturgeon stocks; sturgeon aquaculture development, including broodstock management, spawning induction and husbandry methods; sturgeon gametogenesis and embryological development; and conservation hatchery development for stock enhancement. Current projects are: determining the causes of spontaneous “triploid” production in sturgeon hatcheries, training aquaculture staff on the techniques for broodstock management at new sturgeon farms, and enhancing tank spawning techniques for green sturgeon.





Amanda Frazier – PhD candidate in Ecology

My interests lie in understanding how animals cope with anthropogenic stressors on molecular, organismal, and ecosystem-wide levels. I am especially interested in studying polar species, because their adaptations to stable environments make them particularly vulnerable to a changing climate. My master’s research in the Todgham lab focused on the potential metabolic performance benefits of a cannibal feeding strategy in burbot (freshwater cod) using cellular and organismal indices of metabolic performance. My PhD research in the Todgham lab focuses on how ocean acidification and ocean warming affect the behavior and physiology of multiple Antarctic fish species. I am also                                                                                         a NSF NRT Sustainable Oceans Fellow.

Hollis Jones – PhD candidate in Ecology

My research focuses on improving the resiliency of coastal ecosystems and communities. Broadly, I aim to create a more complete picture of the mechanisms aquaculture species use to adapt to climate change, the ecological effects of these shifting interactions, and how the aquaculture industry can better prepare for the future. Prior to joining the Todgham Lab, I completed a masters at LSU that focused on the impacts of combined stressors on eastern oysters in the Gulf of Mexico and a Knauss Fellowship with NOAA working to facilitate research to application projects. As a first year PhD student and an NSF NRT Sustainable Oceans Fellow, I plan to continue studying the responses of ecologically and economically important organisms in multistressor environments. Additionally, I enjoy diving, birding, and charcuterie.




Leah Mellinger – PhD candidate in Animal Biology

I am interested in how fish respond to environmental stressors ranging from biotic (such as parasites and pathogens) to abiotic (such as poor water quality and toxicants) and using those responses to map population health and potentially develop management tools for assessing population health. With the increasing threat of climate change and other anthropogenic stressors, developing strategies to assess how fish populations are coping is incredibly important. I am specifically interested in assessing Chinook salmon smolt physiological stress levels during their migration and smoltification as well as assessing forage fish species population health. I am also an NSF NRT Sustainable Oceans fellow. 


Sarah Nancollas – PhD candidate in Animal Biology

My interests lie in how marine organisms respond to global environmental change, and understanding the physiological mechanisms utilised by animals to cope and adapt to these dynamic environments.  My current research investigates how unpredictable temperature changes shape physiological performance in the Californian mussel Mytilus californianus, and how this integrates with different food levels to influence tolerance to acute heat stress and heatwave events.





Sierra Reese – PhD student in Animal Behavior

I am interested in how climate change and ecological catastrophes alters animal behavior. Specifically how these events may call for behavioral/phenotypic plasticity, and understanding the causes as well as limitations. My past research with Indiana University’s animal behavior program and from Howard University, where I obtained my undergraduate degree, focused on mate choice and decision making in fish, but I have broadened my research to understand the physiological and neurological impacts as well. I am currently collaborating with the California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC) to get a better understanding of how various levels of ocean acidification and environmental stress alters the brains of Antarctic fish.



Fred Nelson – PhD student in Ecology

I am interested in studying the effects of predicted climate change on natural and already altered ecosystems and how organisms are adapting to these new extremes. Currently, I’m studying the variation in phenotypic plasticity in response to climatic stressors across temporal scales, using the western mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis, as a model species. 






Anthony Tercero – PhD candidate in Integrative Genetics and Genomics

I am a PhD student in the Integrative Genetics and Genomics Graduate Group and co-advised by Dr. Andrew Whitehead. I earned my B.S and M.S from Sonoma State University where I studied the genetic underpinnings of the altered heat shock response in Antarctic fish. My broad research interests seek to understand mechanisms that facilitate phenotypic variation and adaptation of marine taxa in response to natural and anthropogenic stress. More specifically, I want to understand the capacity marine organisms have for epigenetic and genetic alterations and the interplay between those mechanisms under current and future environmental conditions. These insights can be applied to aquaculture, biomonitoring, biological invasions, and conservation, and hopefully improve our ability to detect, explain, and predict responses of marine taxa to global change. Email: adtercero@ucdavis.edu. Webpage: https://anthonydtercero.squarespace.com/


Tinh Ton – PhD candidate in Animal Behavior

I study how keystone species shape population and community processes within tide pools. Sea stars consume mussels which allows other larvae species to settle, contributing to species diversity in tide pool ecosystems. My research focuses on how Ochre seastars detect KEYSTONEin, a protein produced by the California mussel, to use as a feeding stimulus. I am exploring the effects of ocean acidification on this chemical cue and its role in predator-prey interactions in order to assess tide pool biodiversity under climate change.







Postdoctoral Scholars

Dr. Christana Pasparakis (2020-2022)

Dr. Milica Mandic (2019 – 2022)

Dr. Richelle Tanner (2020-2021)

Dr. Nathan Miller (2013-2015)

Doctoral Students

Annelise Del Rio – PhD 2020

Michaiah Leal  – PhD 2020

Brittany (Bjelde) Davis – PhD 2018

 Masters Students

Toni Lohroff – MS Thesis 2022: Rearing temperature and parentage influence development of early post-hatch Longfin smelt (Spirinchus thaleichthys) in captive culture

Amanda Frazier – MS Thesis 2019 :Does a cannibal feeding strategy impart differential metabolic performance in young burbot (Lota lota maculosa)?

Madeline Drake – MS Thesis 2016: The role of stochastic thermal environments in modulating the thermal physiology of an intertidal limpet, Lottia digitalis

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

John Ameil Flores (2021) – Climate change and sex biased population effects on mosquitofish

Sierra Reese (2020) – Howard University EEGAP Intern) Behavior of Antarctic dragonfish

Gabriella Mukai (2020) – Inducible stress tolerance in Chinook salmon fry

Sarah Chavez (2019)- The effects of developmental exposure to warming and hypoxia on sex ratios in Chinook salmon

Erin de Leon Sanchez  (2019) – RNA extraction from M. californianus: the effects of food, temperature, tide cycles, and heat shocks on transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and whole organism physiology

Raven Barbera (2019) – Behavioral responses to hypoxia in diploid and triploid white sturgeon

Jessica Escamilla (2019) – The effect of centrifugation speed on enzyme activity in white sturgeon

Lorenzo Olano (2019) – Thermal tolerance of the lined-shore crab, Pachygrapsus crassipes.

Bryan Puentes (2017) – Effects of temperature and food restriction on survival, growth and physiological performance of larval green sturgeon

Brigitte Clark (2016, UC LEADS Program) – Developing blood smear analysis for assigning white sturgeon ploidy groups

Monica Serrano (2017) – Physiological responses of native and non-native fishes to warming and salinity stress, Antarctic fish enzyme activity

Emily Perry (2017) – Behavioral responses of rockfish to ocean acidification and hypoxia

Frederick Nelson (2015, 2016, Howard University EEGAP Intern) – Effects of elevated temperature and ocean acidification on the cardiorespiratory physiology of an Antarctic fish

Alexandra Resnick (2016) – Impacts of ocean acidification and warming on activity behavior in juvenile Antarctic emerald rockcod

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.