Principal Investigator

Steven Roberts

Kenneth K. Chew Endowed Professor in Aquaculture in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington where his research focuses on characterizing physiological response of aquatic species to environmental change with a particular focus on the relationship of transcriptomics, genetics, and epigenetic modifications. Current research efforts include characterizing the adaptive potential of native bivalves in Puget Sound and the functional role of DNA methylation in marine invertebrates.

Graduate Students

Jay Dimond

I’m a naturalist at heart with a particular fascination with marine invertebrates. My background is primarily in the biology and ecology of symbiotic cnidarians, including reef corals and sea anemones that host endosymbiotic dinoflagellates and other photosymbionts. My work in the Roberts Lab will evaluate the role of epigenetics in the ability of these organisms to acclimatize and adapt to their environment, a topic that is especially relevant as we march on into the “anthropocene”, an era of increasingly human-altered ecosystems. Contact:

Laura Spencer

As a Univeristy of Washington alumna with a B.S. in Chemical Oceanography, I am very pleased to return to the UW to pursue a Masters at SAFS as an NSF Graduate Fellow. In the years between I began my career at SustainableWorks, an ARRA-funded energy efficiency program in Seattle working to reduce residential energy consumption, then with the Seattle-based consulting firm Ross Strategic on a spectrum of environmental projects such as flood mitigation, Puget Sound salmon recovery, air quality on tribal lands, the EPA Exchange Network, etc. Most recently I joined the Puget Sound Restoration Fund, a non-profit using boots-on-the-ground tactics to restore the native Olympia oyster & Pinto abalone in Puget Sound, where I gained valuable experience in hatchery techniques and a curiosity in shellfish restoration and research. Additionally, dual interests in scientific education/outreach and Ocean Acifidification led to volunteering with the Seattle Aquarium, the Ocean Inquiry Project, WA Sea Grant, and Earth Echo. In joining the Roberts Lab I seek to perform applied research to provide useful knowledge for shellfish aquaculture and restoration communities, with the express interest of maintaining affordable, delicious shellfish on our tables and shorelines.

Lab Notebook:

Yaamini Venkataraman

Lab notebook | CV | Twitter: @YaaminiV

As a California Bay Area native, I grew up going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I was always floored by the intricacies of the organisms themselves, but also how complex their environments were. These experiences pushed me to get my B.S. in General Biology and B.A. in Environmental Policy at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). I studied several different species-environment interactions, including copepods and copper toxicity at the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, marsh plants species and increased carbon inputs at the Smithsonian Institute for Environmental Studies and limpet-surfgrass interactions under acidified conditions at UCSD. At the Roberts Lab, I study how climate change is going to affect the organisms in our current and future oceans. My current projects involve examining ocean acidification’s effects on oysters using “-omic” techniques.

I’m also interested in projects at the intersection of science, policy and communication! I currently serve as the Social Media Intern at the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, where I spearheaded a profile series featuring graduate students in the Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program. I interned at the Tropical Forest Group and served on the editorial board of the undergraduate biology research journal, Saltman Quarterly. I have also participated in several education and outreach experiences through the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where I assisted with developing a teen social media brand and was a part of the aquarium’s youth delegation for the 2012 International Aquarium Congress. At UW, I’m the President of the School of Aquatic and Fishery Science’s graduate student organization, FINS, do outreach with Students Explore Aquatic Sciences, and work with the Science and Policy Steering Committee.

If you want to know more about my path to graduate school, what it’s like to be a WOC in environmental sciences, my research, my school experience, or my extracurriculars, email me at Looking forward to hearing from you!

Grace Crandall

I have been in love with the ocean and its critters my entire life, having grown up on the central California coast. I attended UW as an undergraduate and happily found myself in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. After volunteering in the Roberts lab from 2014-2016, and then having the enormous opportunity of working as a lab technician from 2016-2017, I have finally become a part of the graduate student research team (Winter 2018). I will be focusing on investigating the effects of temperature and disease – Bitter Crab Syndrome, caused by parasitic dinoflagellate Hematodinium spp. – on the genetic expression of Tanner Crabs (Chionoecetes bairdi). I am very excited to be embarking on this new chapter in my research and educational career. If you would like to know more about the project, check out my lab notebook for updates: Grace’s Lab Notebook. Or if would like to ask me any questions regarding the project or the undergraduate/graduate/lab tech experience at UW, email me at:

Postdoctoral Research Associates

Shelly Trigg

Lab notebook | CV | | ORCID iD

I joined the Roberts lab in September 2018 after completing my Ph.D. in Biolgoy at UC San Diego. My main interests are in research and public education outreach on how organisms’ molecular networks respond to human-influenced environmental change. My current research focuses on how ocean acidification impacts physiology and epigenetic variation in bivalves.

Research Scientists

Sam White

Brent Vadopalas

Crystal Simchick

Giles Goetz

Andy Jasonowicz

Undergraduate Students

Kaitlyn Mitchell


Graduate Students

Megan Hintz

Rhonda Elliot

Jake Heare

Andy Jasonowicz

Claire Olson

Mackenzie Gavery

Emma Timmins-Schiffman

Doug Immerman

Caroline Storer

Dave Metzger


Grace Crandall (2016) proposal paper slides presentation notebook

Jonathan Allen UW (2016) proposal paper slides presentation notebook

Mrunmayee Manohar Shete (2015) notebook

Katie Jackson UW SAFS (2015)

Joelle Blaise UW SAFS (2014)

Hannah Wear; UW SAFS (2013-2014) proposal paper poster notebook

Charles Duber; UW SAFS (2013-2014) proposal paper slides notebook

Jessica Blanchette; UW SAFS (2013-2014) proposal paper slides notebook

Bradley Chi; UW SAFS proposal paper slides

Paul Ehlen; UW FISH499 blog slides

Harry Podschwit; UW notebook

Derek Brady; UW SAFS proposal paper slides

Manel Khan; UW notebook

David Berman; UW SAFS proposal paper

Herschel Cox; UW SAFS proposal paper

Lexie Miller; UW FISH499 paper

Jason Tayag; UW SAFS proposal paper slides

Sonia Albin; UW SAFS proposal paper slides

Zac Halls; UW notebook

Amanda Davis FISH499; UW paper

Christina Miller FISH498; UW notebook

Rony Thi; UW notebook

Anna Fabrizio; UW SAFS proposal | paper | presentation

Kevin Jeong; UW FISH499 notebook

Rachel Thompson; UW SAFS proposal | paper | slides

Leslie Jensen; UW SAFS proposal | paper | slides | video

Christin McLemore; UW SAFS proposal | paper | slides | video

Tatyana Marushchak; UW Chemistry project

Stephannie Spurr; UW SAFS paper | 499

Katie Fulkerson; UW SAFS proposal | paper | presentation

Cullen Taplin; UW SAFS proposal | paper | presentation

Juliann Clark; UW project

Tushara Saint Vitus; UW SAFS project

Lindsay Braun; Santa Clara University project

Mairead Bermingham; N Univ of Ireland, Cork project

Zachary Schiller; Tufts University project

Visiting Scientists

Marcos Espinel
April 2017

Dr. Cristian Gallardo
Autumn 2016

Dr. Hollie Putnam
Autumn 2016

Jose Angel Hidalgo de la Toba – CIBNOR PhD student
April 2016
New method for determining size at age in individuals to inform geoduck population models.

Timothy Green; University of Queensland

Adelaide Rhodes; Visiting Scholar