Gator Gang

Gator Gang



Tomasz Owerkowicz ("Dr O")
Assistant Professor
towerkow@csusb.edu

Education
Degrees
B.A. in Biology, 1994, Harvard University
Ph.D. in Biology, 2003, Harvard University (A.W. Crompton)

Postdoctoral fellowships
2003-2006 University of Adelaide, Australia (R.V. Baudinette)
2006-2011 University of California, Irvine (J.W. Hicks, G.R. Adams, V.J. Caiozzo)

Tomasz Owerkowicz
"I am fascinated by how animals work. I use various
laboratory techniques to understand the flexibility
of and constraints on form and function in vertebrates.
I use extant animals to understand how extinct animals
might have worked. I am particularly intrigued by
the evolutionary pressures and physiologic mechanisms,
which led to the origin of endothermy in various
vertebrate lineages. I am also a proponent of bridging
the divide between basic and applied research, especially
with use of non-traditional animal models to inform
our knowledge of human function in health and disease."



GRADUATE STUDENTS

Elisabeth Cook
B.A. in Anthropology & Biology, 2011, California State University, San Bernardino



"My thesis project focuses on
the intracardiac shunt of varanid lizards,
specifically the haemodynamics of shunt augmentation and its effects physiologic
performance of these animals.
I hope to apply findings of my research
to cardiovascular physiology of humans
in health and disease.
I am interested in attending medical
school and specialising in cardiology."

Elisabeth Cook



Krista Felbinger
B.S. in Biology, 2008, University of California, Irvine

Krista Felbinger
"I am investigating the pulmonary bypass shunt
in crocodilians, and its potential role in
protection from oxidative stress.
This may explain the persistence of central
vascular shunts in vertebrate circulatory systems.
Loss of the shunt in mammals and birds may have had
important implications for the evolution of their
antioxidant systems. I aim to combine my academic
interests in cardiovascular physiology with a career
in biomedical research."



Jessica Joneson
B.A. in Biology, 2010, California State University, San Bernardino
RISE Scholar (National Institutes of Health)



"I am interested in studying the functional
morphology and comparative biomechanics
of non-traditional vertebrate models,
specifically reptiles. My primary focus is on
the musculoskeletal system, and how
the interplay between bone and muscle
contributes to overall performance of
behaviors such as locomotion. For my thesis
project, I am investigating how the
caudofemoralis longus muscle affects
caudofemoral morphology and locomotor
function in the alligator."

Jessica Joneson



Nelson Membreno
B.S. in Biology, 2011, California State University, Stanislaus

Nelson Membreno
"My research interests lie in vertebrate
anatomy and physiology. My master's project
deals with removal of eggshell calcium
and its effects on embryonic skeletal
development in the American alligator.
I am looking at differences in timing
of bone ossification, bone strength,
bone microstructure and calcium content."



Dorothy Skates
B.S. in Biology, 2012, University of California, Riverside



"I am interested in constraints on phenotypic
plasticity of osteologic characters. For my master's thesis,
I am investigating growth and remodelling of the crocodilian
skull in response to bite forces and feeding behaviour,
such as the death roll. I plan to pursue a Ph.D.
in comparative functional morphology and biomechanics."

Dorothy Skates



Johnny Yang
B.S. in Biology, 2009, University of California, Irvine
Sergeant, U.S. Army, 2001-2009
Stem Cell Scholar (California Institute for Regenerative Medicine)

Johnny Yang
"I am generally interested in hearts and cardiovascular
physiology of vertebrates. Specifically, I am investigating
the apparently graded regenerative potential of the myocardium
in a phylogenetic and physiologic context. I am currently working
on describing, quantifying and modulating cardiomyocyte repair
and mitotic processes in the crocodilian ventricle following
surgically-induced damage and necrosis."



UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
Lynae Bakland (Biology MASS Scholar, 2014 Summer Research Fellow)

Nicco Ball

Alberto Castro (2014 Summer Research Fellow)

Desiree Chavies

Janelle Doyle

Zakkary Hudson (Biology MASS Scholar)

Lowell Iporac

Marsha Perez (Bioinformatics Intern)

Eugen Tutunaru

David Vasconcellos (RISE undergrad scholar)


ALUMNI
Fernando Andrade
B.S., 2010, University of California, Irvine
Assistant, Natural Sciences Department, Fullerton College

Colin Campbell
B.S., 2011, University of California, Irvine
Medical student, University of Southern California

Tiffany Carpenter
B.S., 2013, California State University, San Bernardino

Josue Chahin
B.S., 2014, California State University, San Bernardino
Peace Corps (somewhere in West Africa)

Ivan Hernandez
B.S., 2014, California State University, San Bernardino
Stem Cell Scholar / Enrolled in M.S. programme at CSUSB

Marissa Horn
B.S., 2012, California State University, San Bernardino
Research Biologist at Eli Lilly, San Diego

Alyssa Medina
B.A., 2014, California State University, San Bernardino
Admitted to M.S. programme in biology, Cal Poly Pomona (Talmadge lab)

Jaime Nava
B.S., 2014, California State University, San Bernardino
2014 Summer Research Fellow
Applying to graduate programmes in biology

Theresa Spikings
B.S., 2010, University of California, Irvine
Postbac M.S. in medical physiology at Case Western University

Henry Tsai
B.S., 2010, University of California, Irvine
Ph.D. candidate at the University of Missouri, Columbia (Holliday lab)
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