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Research Opportunities within the Natural Sciences

Over 15 science labs operate within the natural sciences at CSUMB. Undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students work with their Principal Investigators (P.I.s) in research labs as interns, researchers, and research assistants, contributing to cutting edge research and gaining valuable experience in their field of interest.

Research Groups

Students in Ag Field


Director: Dr. Susan Alexander

Areas of research: ecological and watershed systems with an emphasis on local, regional, and global environmental problems and issues resulting from changing climatic and land-use patterns

Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Program

Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Program

Director: Dr. Corey Garza

Areas of Research: Coastal resilience, coastal intelligence, place based conservation


Institute for Applied Marine Ecology

Director: Dr. James Lindholm

Marine Science faculty developed this restructured organizational design to sustainably couple their strong extramural research programs, growing academic curriculum, and established community engagement programs.

Watershed Institute Mural of sand dunes

The Watershed Institute

Director: Laura Lee Lienk

Areas of Research: watershed geology, plant pathology, agricultural bio-geochemistry, biological remediation, terrestrial wildlife biology

Research Labs

Veliger larvae

The Molecular Ecology Lab

PI: Dr. Eric Crandall

Areas of research: Comparative phylogeography, seascape genetics, marine evolution

Dr. Tori Derr

The Engagement Lab

PI: Dr. Tori Derr

Areas of Research: Education, participation, and planning for just sustainability

Terrestrial Ecology

The Terrestrial Wildlife Ecology Lab

PI: Dr. Jennifer Duggan

Areas of Research: Conservation biology, landscape ecology, animal behavior

Dan Fernandez Lab

The Fernandez Lab

PI: Dr. Dan Fernandez

Areas of Research: Statewide fog water collection and spatial, temporal, and chemical analysis of it

Marine Landscape ecology lab

Marine Landscape Ecology Lab

PI: Dr. Corey Garza

Areas of Research: Marine landscape ecology, intertidal community dynamics, geospatial technology

Water droplets

The Laboratory for Applied Electrochemistry

PI: Dr. John Goeltz

Areas of Research: Electrochemistry for energy, the environment, biology, and marine science


Genomics and Bioinformatics Lab

PI: Dr. Nathaniel Jue

Areas of Research: Evolutionary and functional genomics, genetics

 of schooling fish

Image Analysis Lab

PI: Dr. James Lindholm

Areas of Research: Shelf and Slope Ecology; Image-based approaches to data collection; application of science to policy and management

Sci Diving class

Research Diving Program

PI: Dr. James Lindholm

Areas of Research: Shelf and Slope Ecology; Image-based approaches to data collection; application of science to policy and management

Logan Lab students collecting data

The Logan Lab

PI: Dr. Cheryl Logan

Areas of Research: Marine Environmental, Ecological & Evolutionary Physiology, Climate Change Stress Physiology, Ecological Forecasting, Ocean Climate Change Policy

mushrooms on a log

Plant Pathology Lab

PI: Dr. Timothy Miles

Areas of research: Development of resistant plant cultivars, cultural and chemical management, host biochemical defense mechanisms, pathogen detection


Ecosystems Electronics Lab (EEL)

PI: Dr. Steve Moore

Areas of Research: Benthic marine ecology, subsea robotics, Remotely operated vehicles

soils and agriculture

The Haffa Lab

PI: Dr. Arlene Haffa

Areas Of interest: Agricultural biogeochemistry

Watershed Geology Lab

Watershed Geology Lab

PI: Dr. Douglas Smith

Areas of Research: Geology/geomorphology, hydrology, stream restoration

Saccharomyces  cerevisiae

Sreenivasan Lab

PI: Dr. Aparna Sreenivasan

Areas of Research: Cell cycle, molecular biology, genetics, genomics and science communication

Ecosystem overview

The Watson Lab

PI: Dr. Fred Watson

Areas of Research: Water Quality, Wildlife Ecology, Remote Sensing, Population Dynamics, Landscape Ecology, Ecosystem Visualization

stream monitoring

Watershed Environments & Ecology Lab (WEE)

PI: Dr. John Olson

Areas Of Interest: Aquatic Ecology, Remote Sensing, Watershed Sciences

Adjunct Faculty

water picture

The Garren Lab

PI: Dr. Melissa Garren

Areas of Research: Marine ecology, marine microbial processes, small-scale fisheries

Link to the Faculty and Staff Directory


School of Natural Sciences

(831) 582-4120
(831) 582-4110