Associate Professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington where his research focuses on characterizing physiological responses of marine organisms to environmental change.
My current research focuses on understanding the phenotypic and genotypic effects of local adaptation in Washington’s native Olympia oyster (Ostrea lurida). I use tools such as next generation genomic and epigenomic sequencing as well as standard molecular methods such as PCR and qPCR.
I’m interested in understanding the ecology, biology, and physiology of oyster reefs with my primary focus on oysters themselves. I have used tools such as histology, immunohistochemistry, western blots, PCR, and qPCR to study various phenomena in oysters. I seek to improve conservation and aquaculture methods to ensure beautiful coastal areas and bountiful seafood catches for years to come.
My previous work has been in the Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) with focus on reproduction and maturation at Louisiana State University, Oyster habitat damage assessment from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill with the National Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) work group, and disease testing in oysters at Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG). I have a Bachelors of Science degree in Marine Biology from TAMUG.
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.
Like many Washingtonians, I grew up exploring and enjoying the unique marine environment of Puget Sound. Because of the natural connection I had with the waters in Puget Sound, I became interested in marine research in college. I started in the Becker Lab at UW Tacoma as an undergraduate researcher on two projects: determining the ability of mussels to remove nutrients from the Thea Foss Waterway and measuring the distribution of Olympia oyster larvae in Fidalgo Bay. Following graduation, I completed an eight month internship at the Center for Urban Waters, where I investigated different methods to remove phosphorus from stormwater. Currently my research focuses on studying the movements of larval oysters to enhance restoration efforts. The dynamic nature of my current research, with the combination of field and lab elements, keeps me intrigued and motivated. At any time I could be trudging through the mud in Fidalgo Bay or doing molecular biology in the lab. Through this research experience I have also discovered that baby oysters are super cute. It’s not every day that you get to use complex science to aid in the restoration of adorable marine critters. Follow Megan on Twitter (@BivalveFanatic)
Mrunmayee Manohar Shete
Katie Jackson UW SAFS (2015)
Joelle Blaise UW SAFS (2014)
Harry Podschwit; UW notebook
Manel Khan; UW notebook
Lexie Miller; UW FISH499 paper
Zac Halls; UW notebook
Amanda Davis FISH499; UW paper
Christina Miller FISH498; UW notebook
Rony Thi; UW notebook
Kevin Jeong; UW FISH499 notebook
Tatyana Marushchak; UW Chemistry project
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
Timothy Green; University of Queensland
Adelaide Rhodes; Visiting Scholar website