Full-Time Faculty



Joel K. AbrahamOpens in new window

Professor and Director of Catalyst Center
Research: Biology education, educational technology, graphing skills, plant ecology, urban agriculture

Catherine Brennan Opens in new window

Associate Professor
Research: Innate immunity, phagocytosis, genetic approaches to cell biology, blood cells, Drosophila

Jennifer Burnaford Opens in new window

Research: Marine community ecology, species interactions, abiotic factors influencing species distributions

Merri Lynn CasemOpens in new window

Professor and Assistant VP of Undergraduate Programs and General Education (not taking MS students) 
Research: Biology education, spider silk 

Carol Chaffee 

Full Time Lecturer and Elements of Biology Coordinator
Research: Population biology, migration, science education

Esther ChenOpens in new window

Research: Molecular biology of microbe-host interactions; genes and signals in the symbiosis between Sinorhizobium meliloti and its host, Medicago sativa

Amybeth CohenOpens in new window

Professor and Chair 
Research: Regulation of photosynthetic gene expression in plant cells, nuclear-chloroplast interactions, expression of foreign therapeutic proteins in the unicellular green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

Math P. Cuajungco Opens in new window  

Professor, Director of Undergraduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement (U-RISE) Program, and Co-investigator for Neurocognitive Aging Analytics Research and Education (NAARE) Program 
Research: Molecular, structural, and cellular biology of transient receptor potential mucolipin (TRPML) ion channels and Transmembrane proteins: TMEM163 (ZnT11), TMEM176A, and TMEM176B; Zinc neurobiology and zinc transporters; Metallobiology of Mucolipidosis type IV (MLIV) and other neurodegenerative diseases

Joshua P. Der Opens in new window  

Associate Professor
Research: Plant evolutionary genomics, plant systematics, bioinformatics, and molecular evolution. Evolution of life history transitions in parasitic plants (esp. mistletoes) and land plants (esp. ferns)

 Douglas J. Eernisse Opens in new window

Research: Animal phylogeny; evolution of Mollusca; marine zoology; systematics; population genetics; bioinformatics

Kristy L. ForsgrenOpens in new window  

Research: Fish reproductive morphology, physiology, and endocrinology

William J. HoeseOpens in new window  

Professor & Director Southern California Ecosystems Research Program
Research: Biology education, student learning, animal communication, functional morphology

Veronica Jimenez Ortiz Opens in new window  

Associate Professor
Research: Role of ion channels in sensing and adaptation to environmental conditions in protozoan parasites, mechanosensation, electrophysiology

Hope A. JohnsonOpens in new window

Research: Microbial metal oxidation and reduction – the formation and dissolution of rocks.  Identifying the function of bacterial proteins with no known function.  Water quality and bioremediation

Alison MiyamotoOpens in new window

Associate Professor
Research: Molecular mechanisms of Notch receptor signaling by typical and atypical ligands; developmental and cell biology of elastic fiber proteins

Nikolas NikolaidisOpens in new window

Research: Comparative genomics; bioinformatics; phylogenetics; molecular evolution and biochemistry of proteins involved in the innate and adaptive immune systems and stress response

Jeffrey Olberding 

Assistant Professor
Research: Muscle physiology; biomechanics; scaling and thermal biology of organismal movement

Erin (Misty) Paig-Tran Opens in new window  

Associate Professor
Research: Functional Anatomy, biomechanics, biomimetics and biomaterials 

Nilay PatelOpens in new window

Associate Professor, and Director, Bridges to Stem Cell Research (BSCR) program 
Research: Niclosamide and related drugs block cell proliferation by modulating signal transduction and gene expression

María Soledad Ramírez Opens in new window

Research: Molecular mechanisms of antibiotic resistance, their dissemination, evolution, as well as impact in the morbidity and mortality of bacterial infections

Melanie A. SaccoOpens in new window

Research: Molecular biology of plant-pathogen interactions, protein-protein interactions and signaling in disease resistance, nematode endogenous retroviruses

Darren R. SandquistOpens in new window  

Professor and Director of California Desert Studies Consortium
Research: Desert plant ecology; evolution and ecology of plant physiology; biogeochemistry; applications of stable isotopes in ecological research; invasive species

H. Jochen SchenkOpens in new window

Research: Plant physiology and ecophysiology, plant water relations, structure and function of plant hydraulic systems, irrigation in horticulture

Parvin ShahrestaniOpens in new window

Associate Professor
Research: Evolutionary genomics, population genetics, experimental evolution, aging, immunity, Drosophila melanogaster

Paul StappOpens in new window

Professor and Graduate Studies Adviser
Research: Wildlife population and community ecology; species interactions; wildlife-habitat relationships; invasive species, including pathogens; ecology of insular, desert, grassland and agro-ecosystems; conservation biology

Marcelo E. TolmaskyOpens in new window

Professor and Director of Center for Applied Biotechnology Studies (CABS), MHRT, & CREP
Research: Molecular genetics of mechanisms that contribute to the virulence pathogenic bacteria

Megan Tommerup 

Full Time Lecturer; Biological Science Minor Adviser
Research: Endangered species monitoring and restoration, evolution of rare plant breeding systems, science education

Sean E. WalkerOpens in new window

Professor and Associate Dean - College of Nat. Sciences and Mathematics (not taking MS students)
Research: Evolutionary and behavioral ecology, evolution of sexual dimorphism, life-history evolution, sexual selection, statistical analysis of biological data, biology education

Ryan P. WalterOpens in new window

Associate Professor
Research: Molecular ecology, hybridization and speciation, phylogeography, organismal dispersal and population connectivity, population genetics, evolution of fishes

Danielle C. ZacherlOpens in new window

Research: Marine Ecology, Marine Population Connectivity, Restoration Ecology, Marine Invertebrates