Photo by Cydney Scott for Boston University Photography



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Sarah hails from Canada and her path to Boston University took her through University of Victoria, University of Calgary, UT Austin and, UNC Chapel Hill. She is largely interested in understanding why some organisms are winners and others are losers, and what this means in the context of rapidly changing environments. Sarah lives for travel, nerding out, Halloween, brewery tastings, and now she enjoys experiencing all of these things (minus the beer) with her daughters Kingsley and Kennedy.



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Colleen received her PhD in Ecology from UNC Chapel Hill after completing her B.S. in Marine Biology at UNC Wilmington. She is joining the Davies Lab as a Postdoctoral Associate Lecturer in the Biology Department. Her research is focussed on assessing the physiological responses of organisms, predominantly corals, under global change. Outside of science and teaching, Colleen enjoys a good board game, hiking with her dog, and making tasty food and beer.




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Nicola earned her B.A. in Neurobiology from Hunter College in New York, where she studied the behavior and molecular biology of aquatic organisms such as weakly electric fish and squid. Her PhD dissertation is now focused on understanding how local reef environments shape communities of microorganisms living within corals. Outside of the lab, Nicola tries to keep houseplants alive, collects things with flamingos on them, and starts crafts projects without finishing them.




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Hannah comes to the Davies Lab after completing a B.S. in Environmental Science at UNC Chapel Hill and a M.S. in Biology at Old Dominion University in the Barshis Lab. Her M.S. thesis focused on understanding adaptation of the temperate coral Astrangia poculata to distinct temperatures across the species’ range. She looks forward to continuing to explore coral resilience and responses to rapid climate change using both physiological and molecular tools at BU. When she’s not nerding out about science, Hannah enjoys backpacking, sailing, and traveling to find delicious food and new breweries.



Daniel received a B.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Victoria, during which he got his first aquarium and realized he really likes coral. This interest led him to work in larger public aquaria across Canada as an aquarium biologist. He then completed a M.Sc. in Ecology at the University of Calgary under the tutelage of Dr. Peter Vize. Daniel’s M.Sc. research focused on the genetic responses of coral to a variety of environmental cues. Outside of research, Dan enjoys fly fishing and adventuring with his dog.



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James obtained his B.S. in Psychology at Trinity College and a M.S. in Biology at the University of Guam in the Raymundo Lab. His interest in coral started from a restoration perspective, working for several coral restoration programs in the Florida Keys, Dominican Republic and Guam. He has since shifted towards a molecular ecology focus, examining the molecular processes that underlie adaptation and stress responses in coral. James also enjoys listening to philosophy podcasts, arguing about movies, reading sci fi, and supporting Boston sports- he loves Tom Brady and doesn’t care who knows it.




Maria earned a B.A in both Biology and Spanish at Swarthmore College – where she worked with Liz Vallen to express anemone proteins in yeast cells – before attending BU to pursue her PhD in Cellular and Molecular Bio with Sarah Davies and Tom Gilmore. Her research focuses on the molecular stress responses of coral and anemones with particular interest in the regulation of immunity and metabolism. When she’s not obsessing over the health of her lab animals, Maria enjoys biking, snowboarding (west coast best coast), and a good glass of cheap wine.

Jeric “JK” Da-Anoy


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JK is a Filipino Ph.D. student fascinated by evolution of metazoan complexity. He received his Master’s degree at the University of the Philippines, exploring stress response and evolutionary neurobiology under Dr. Cecilia Conaco’s supervision. His favorite pastimes include exploring nearby cafes, cooking, and talking to his niblings


Lili Vizer


Lili is originally from Hungary but has been living in Scotland for the past 6 years. She completed her BSc in Marine Biology at the University of Aberdeen and received an MSc in Evolutionary Genetics from the University of Edinburgh. She is particularly interested in the genetics, evolution, and ecology of marine species. She joined the Biology PhD program at BU to combine her interests and work with Sarah Davies and Pete Buston. Her research focuses on understanding the genetic underpinnings of the competitive growth, induced by social behavior, displayed in Clown Anemonefish. In her free time, Lili likes hiking, nature photography, eating good food and sleeping.  



Alexa recently graduated from Boston University with a BA/MS in Biology. She is from Pennsylvania but even though she grew up in a landlocked state, she has always loved to be by the ocean. Her focus in the lab is studying how symbiotic algae is affected by changing ocean temperatures. Outside of work, she loves to a read a book in the park and find the best (cheap) food in Boston.





Isabela recently earned her B.A. of Marine Science at Boston University (‘20), inspired by her early exposure to marine science at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School. Isabela completed undergraduate research in the Rotjan Lab on nutrient sharing in Astrangia poculata. Isabela also participated in three BU Marine Semesters, and was awarded the 2020 Binland Lee Service Award from the BU Marine Program. During her time as an undergraduate, Isabela deepened her interest in aquaria maintenance and husbandry. Now, as a senior research technician at BU, she maintains and cares for aquarium systems in several BU labs with the goal to facilitate research.



Katie is a current sophomore majoring in Ecology and Conservation Biology. She is from Atlanta, Georgia, but spent much of her childhood along the Georgia coast. In the lab, she studies the impact of S. marcescens on coral populations. Outside of the lab, she enjoys hammocking on the Esplanade and hiking with the BU Outing Club.



Hayden is a rising junior from Akron, OH studying Marine Science. He developed his passion for marine life through his grandfather’s love of scuba diving and spent his younger years lifting up rocks and logs in the forest creeks of Northeast Ohio. In 2019, he traveled to Indonesia to research tunicates, and also to Belize for behavioral research on Queen conch predation by Spiny lobsters. He loves playing hockey and is on the club team here at BU. In the lab, he’s helping to determine how the coral Oculina arbuscula modulates its bleaching response based on the presence of native symbionts and feeding habits.



Jourdan is from New York City, more specifically The Bronx. He loves all parts of the ocean – biotic and abiotic. He likes to go snorkeling and SCUBA diving when the weather allows it and also loves spending time with his family and pet tortoise!






Kimberly is a current junior majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She is from Southern California and loves all things related to animals. She has volunteered at Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach California as a part of the education department. She is excited to have the opportunity to expand upon her knowledge of marine life at the Davies Lab. Outside the lab, Kimberly is a proud cat lady who enjoys traveling, going to the beach, cooking new foods, and of course, spoiling her cats!



Yaoyuan is a junior majoring in Biology. He is from China and hoping to learn more about marine biology. He is also interested in computer science and wants to study more about the combination of biology and computer science. One application of that is biostatistics that is used in research of marine biology. In his free time, Yaoyuan enjoys playing soccer and video games.




Kian is a sophomore studying marine science with a minor in Japanese. He has always loved marine animals and visiting aquariums from a very young age, especially in Japan, and he had marine aquariums at home for a few years. He enjoys cooking, snorkeling in warm places, and he is starting to pick up fishing!



Angela Xia


Angela is a junior studying Cellular/ Molecular Biology and Classics. She is from Long Island, New York and enjoys spending time by the beach with her dog. She is looking forward to learn and research more about marine life on a molecular level in the Davies Lab. She loves snorkeling, horseback riding, hiking and all things related to nature! 


Sophia Glastein


Sophia is a freshman from right outside of Boston majoring in marine science. She grew up observing the ecosystems along the Cape Cod coast where her interest in marine biology originated. After studying genetics in high school and seeing some of Boston University’s own research, she hopes to learn more about the overlap of marine biology and genetics. She also loves dancing, good food, and being outdoors whenever possible!


Ashley Phan


Ashley is a sophomore from New Jersey majoring in Biology CMG. She enjoys playing tennis, hiking, and going to the beach. She is excited to gain research experience and learn more about marine life in the Davies Lab.




Hanna Kim


Hanna is a senior majoring in Biology with a specialization in Cellular/Molecular Biology and Genetics. She is from Bergen County, New Jersey and developed an appreciation for marine animals from always visiting aquariums during any family vacation. During her time at the lab, she hopes to gain a deeper understanding of marine biology and genomics. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding and completing puzzles with her roommate!

Emily Madish


Emily is a current junior double majoring in Marine Science and Biology. She is from Metro Detroit and spent her childhood around the lakes where she found a love of the water. She has a fascination with Arthurian legends and loves to analyze them in her free time. She also love to swim, hike, bake, and read.