The Stillman Lab on Zoom

Current Lab Members

at SFSU & Berkeley

Jonathon Stillman

Professor of Biology @ SFSU
Adjunct Professor of Integrative Biology @ UC Berkeley
Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences

Jonathon earned his BS at the University of Minnesota, working with Frank Barnwell, and earned his PhD with George Somero at Oregon State University. Prior to his current positions at SFSU and Berkeley, he held a one-year professorship at Occidental College, and was a tenure-track professor at the University of Hawaii for two years. He was also a guest professor at the University of Basel Switzerland from 2018-2023.

Jessenia Suarez

MS Student @ SFSU

Jessenia earned her BS at San Francisco State University where she worked with NERR scientists on invasive species. She is interested in marine ecophysiology in a global climate change context. For her MS Thesis, she is working on a RNA-seq dataset to examine interactive effects of temperature and salinity variation.

Joe Holdreith

MS Student @ SFSU

Joe graduated from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with a BS of Environmental Science. He is interested in herpetological conservation in the context of environmental disturbance and urbanization at SF State. His previous research experiences include studying the relationship between endophytic fungi and the resilience of host plants in the face of adverse environmental conditions, working on a flax breeding project aimed at increasing the yield of fibers, flowers, and seed while providing ecosystem services, and working on the Minnesota Bee Atlas project surveying wood and stem nesting bees across MN. Outside of school, he enjoys skateboarding and cooking.

Alexis Hooper

MS Student @ SFSU

Alexis graduated from UC Santa Cruz where she engaged in projects with Kristy Kroeker's research group, including a field experience in Sitka Alaska. Her interests are in the environmental physiology of marine coastal invertebrates.

Lili Pruett

MS Student @ SFSU

Lili earned her BA in Biology at the University of California Santa Cruz where she worked in the Mehta lab researching the foraging behavior of California morays (Gymnothorax mordax). She began her MS in Physiology and Behavioral biology under the mentorship of Jonathon Stillman at SFSU in Fall of 2023. Her research interests include marine sciences- with a specific focus on understanding how an organism’s physiology responds to climate change. Her current project focuses on the embryonic development of porcelain crabs (Petrolisthes cinctipes).

Rafael Leon

MS Student @ SFSU

About Rafael.

Michelle Torres Tapia

Undergraduate Student @ SFSU

Michelle is in her third year at San Francisco State University and is in pursuit of her Bachelor’s in Biology (physiology). She is interested in animal behavior, communication, and physiological changes due to environmental factors.

Max Piper

Undergraduate Student @ UC Berkeley

Max is in his fourth year at UC Berkeley studying Molecular Environmental Biology, and is interested in functional genetics and the physiological responses of organisms when put in high stress environments like those exacerbated by climate change such as heat and pH. He is working on a project now where he is looking at gene expression of Porcelain Crab embryos after receiving heat shock.

Connie Phong

Postdoctoral Scholar @ SFSU

about connie

Lab Alumni:

Fledged, but not forgotten

MS Graduates (year finished)

PhD Graduates (year finished)

Postdocs (years in lab)

Undergraduates (years in lab)


  • Adam Paganini
  • Chelsea Chen
  • Jane Winhall-Rice

Visiting Scientists

  • Piero Calosi
  • Brent Sinclair
  • Sam Dupont
  • Vincent Leignel
  • Mudasir Andrabi
  • Trevor Alaurent
  • Melanie Schiffer