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Molecular adaptation to environmental stress in the porcelain crab genus Petrolisthes
Dave Hurt

I am a first-year PhD student in the Department of Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley, co-advised by Jonathon Stillman at the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies. My research interest broadly is the molecular interaction between marine organisms and their environment, and how these interactions drive higher-level processes, such as adaptation and evolution. Particularly, I am interested in molecular differences that give closely related species differing adaptive capacities to environmental stress. My work is highly integrative and draws on a number of fields including biochemistry, developmental biology, molecular biology, genomics, and physiology. While much of my fieldwork takes place in northern California, I also work in Mexico and on the eastern coast of the US. Presently, my efforts are focused within these main areas:

  1. Transcriptomic, proteomic, and physiological responses of the porcelain crab Petrolisthes cinctipes to ocean acidification, across development. The proteomics work is being done in collaboration with the Tomanek lab at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
  2. Expression and characterization of a putative thermal history dependent ‘extensin-like’ transcript in the porcelain crab, Petrolisthes cinctipes.
  3. The capacity of pre-settling crab larvae to receive olfactory cues under environmental stress, namely reduced pH, and the consequences this may have for recruitment as well as trophic interactions in the near shore environment.
Contact info:
Dave Hurt
Department of Integrative Biology
University of California, Berkeley
1005 Valley Life Sciences Bldg #3140
Berkeley CA 94720-3140
Phone: 510-643-9746
Fax: 510-643-6264
Email: dahurt(at)



University of California, Berkeley    |     Department of Integrative Biology