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 responses of marine organisms to environmental change.

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.

Megan Hintz


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)

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.

Yaamini Venkataraman

Yaamini Venkataraman

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. I’m also interested in environmental policy and science communication, and have interned at the Tropical Forest Group and served on the editorial board of the undergraduate biology research journal, Saltman Quarterly. At the Roberts Lab, my research broadly focuses on the effects of environmental stressors (ocean acidificiation, warming) on shellfish. I’m currently working on a collaboration with the Department of Natural Resources studying the Pacific oyter, Crassostrea gigas, and its response to environmental change in and out of eelgrass beds.

Research Scientists

Sam White

Brent Vadopalas

Grace Crandall

Crystal Simchick

Giles Goetz

Andy Jasonowicz

Undergraduate Students

Kaitlyn Mitchell


Graduate Students

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 

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