Victoria (Vicky) Watson-Zink
Faculty Host: Lauren O’Connell
Vicky Watson-Zink studies how marine animals made the transition to terrestrial modes of life beginning more than 300 million years ago. Her doctoral research at the University of California, Davis, assessed the genetic changes that have allowed crabs to adapt to living on land. As part of that work, Watson-Zink is assembling the genome of the coconut crab, the planet’s largest terrestrial arthropod. Her published research has highlighted efforts to conserve the coconut crab and other threatened species. As a Science Fellow, Watson-Zink aims to explore the genetic basis of sea-to-land transitions by studying developmental transcriptomics in land crabs.