School of Humanities and Sciences
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Professor of Biology and, by courtesy, of Chemical and Systems Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy overarching goal is to understand how cell growth triggers cell division. Linking growth to division is important because it allows cells to maintain specific size range to best perform their physiological functions. For example, red blood cells must be small enough to flow through small capillaries, whereas macrophages must be large enough to engulf pathogens. In addition to being important for normal cell and tissue physiology, the link between growth and division is misregulated in cancer.
David and Lucile Packard Professor in Marine Science, Emeritus
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe examine two aspects of organism-environment interactions: How does stress from physical (e.g., temperature) and chemical (oxygen levels, pH) factors perturb organisms and how do organisms respond, adaptively, to cope with this stress? We examine evolutionary adaptation and phenotypic acclimatization using a wide variety of marine animals, including Antarctic fishes and invertebrates from intertidal habitats on the coastlines of temperate and tropical seas.
Assistant Professor of Geological Sciences and, by courtesy, of Biology and Center Fellow, by courtesy, at the Woods Institute for the Environment
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe research interests in the Sperling Lab are Earth history and the evolution of life, and the interactions between the biosphere and the geosphere. As such this research can generally be considered paleontology, insofar as paleontology encompasses all aspects of the history of life.
Consequently, we define our research agenda by the questions we are interested in, rather than the tools used. This research incorporates multiple lines of evidence, and multiple tools, to investigate questions in the history of life. These lines of evidence include fossil data, molecular phylogenetics, sedimentary geochemistry, and developmental and ecological data from modern organisms. Ultimately, the goal is to link environmental change with organismal and ecological response through the lens of physiology.
Our field research takes place all over the world--current areas include:
-NW Canada (Yukon and Northwest Territories): Research has been conducted on the early Neoproterozoic Fifteenmile Group, Cryogenian and Ediacaran Windermere Supergroup, and on the Ordovician-Devonian Road River Group in the southern Richardson Mountains
-Southern Canadian Cordillera: Work here has focused on the early Cambrian Mural Formation and its soft-bodied fauna.
-England and Wales: Cambrian-Silurian successions in the Welsh Basin
-Namibia: Ediacaran Nama Group
-Upwelling zones: We study the oxygen minimum zone offshore California as an analogue for ancient low-oxygen oceans.
Acting Dean of Research, Frank Lee and Carol Hall Professor, Senior Associate Vice Provost of Research and Professor of Genetics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe use the tools of genetics, microscopy, and biochemistry to understand fundamental questions of cell biology: How are cells organized by the cytoskeleton? How do the centrosome and cilium control cell control cell signaling? How is cell division coordinated with duplication of the centrosome, and what goes wrong in cancer cells defective in this coordination?