Kristen Koenig (PI)
John Harvard Distinguished Science Fellow
Kristen received her B.A. in History and Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley. She went to University of Texas at Austin for her graduate work with Dr. Jeffrey Gross. At Texas Kristen started studying the squid Doryteuthis pealeii as a model for eye development research. Currently at the Center for Systems Biology she is interested broadly in the evolution and development of visual systems.
I earned my PhD in 2016 at UC Irvine, in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, working on the sensory physiology and evolution of butterfly opsins and color vision. I am broadly interested in the evolution of visual systems. I take a comparative approach to understand this complex trait at multiple levels, from genomics to neuroanatomy and physiology to behavior. In the Koenig lab, I am excited to address comparative questions related to the origin(s) of eyes in Metazoa by studying the developmental biology of the starlet sea anemone Nematostella vectensis. When not in lab, I always enjoy trying new food and being outdoors.