Our research projects take advantage of molecular genetic approaches to examine diverse questions in ecology and evolution. Primary interests include the molecular mechanisms involved in responses to abiotic stressors in the environment and the role of mitonuclear interactions in the process of allopatric speciation. Much of this work uses the intertidal copepod Tigriopus californicus as a model system, but students in the lab have worked on organisms ranging from microbes to mammals.
Recent Lab News
February 22, 2022
Tim Healy shows off his MVP (Most Valuable Postdoc) award at a recent going away dinner. In his 4+ years in the Burton lab, Tim has made key contributions to virtually every project we've done! His help with biochemistry, physiology, genomics and bioinformatics will be sorely missed by all! Tim is moving to a Research Scientist position with Fisheries and Oceans Canada in his home, British Columbia.
September 20, 2021
Introducing Dr. Reggie Blackwell!
Congratulations for successfully defending his doctoral dissertation.
In an awesome presentation, Reggie described his work examining the genotypes and gene expression of hybrid Tigriopus showing possive transgressive thermal phenotypes. Reggie is off to biotech, already starting that career at Illumina in San Diego. (Reggie is the taller guy.)
March 5, 2021
Rebecca Pak defended her
M.S. thesis entitled "Potential
developmental time and lifespan
in the intertidal copepod,
Tigriopus californicus.” Fast
early development in F2
interpopulation hybrids results in
shorter lifespans- lots more
February 24, 2021
Congratulations, Nia! Antonia Bock successfully defended her M.S. thesis, "RNA-seq analysis of Tigriopus californicus under multiple dietary conditions.” Nia will be staying in Hubbs Hall, expanding her research repertory as a tech in Dede Lyons' lab.
October 8, 2019: Ron presents a public lecture at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps. Click to watch it on YouTube!
January 31, 2019:
And now, congratulations Dr. Alice!
Alice Harada adds her name to the
Surfside rafters in celebration of her
successful dissertation defense.
Alice's work covered a broad range
of relationships between expression
of heat shock genes, mitochondrial
function and thermal tolerance in
Tigriopus. All that after two years
(and three papers) on fish egg
November 6, 2018:
Congratulations Dr. Por!
Sumaetee (Por) Tangwancharoen successfully defended his dissertation on molecular mechanisms underlying thermal tolerance in Tigriopus. Por will be moving on to a postdoc position in Brent Lockwood's lab at the University of Vermont -- brrr...dress warm!
October 11, 2017:
Burton lab's work on Tigriopus featured in WIRED Magazine article on mito-nuclear incompatibility!
February 16, 2018:
Congratulations to Elena for successfully defending her MS thesis! Elena will stay on for awhile continuing fish egg barcoding and metabarcoding projects.
July 9, 2018:
The Tigriopus californicus genome paper is published in Nature Ecology and Evolution!! The results of a long collaboration of three (now four!) labs (Burton at SIO, Willett at UNC, and Edmands at USC and Barreto at OSU), the work was funded by NSF (IOS with participation of Bio-OCE). The current assembly has twelve major scaffolds corresponding to the twelve chromosomes and the analysis shows evidence of extensive mitonuclear coadaptation.
Hot off the press!
Burton, R.S. 2022. The role of mitonuclear incompatibilities in allopatric speciation. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 79:103 (online early)
Zárate, D., T.G. Lima, J.D. Poole, E. Calfee, R.S. Burton, J.R. Kohn (2022) Admixture in Africanized hoey bees (Apis mellifera) from Panamá to San Diego, California (U.S.A.). Ecology and Evolution
2022;12:e8580 (open access)
Powers MJ, Martz LD, Burton RS, Hill GE, Weaver RJ (2021) Evidence for hybrid breakdown in production of red carotenoids in the marine invertebrate Tigriopus californicus. PLoS ONE 16(11): e0259371 (open access)
Choi, E.S., L.E. Furtado, and R.S. Burton (2021) Spatial and temporal variation in the species diversity of coastal California fish eggs. Marine Ecology Progress Series 669, 139-149 (abstract)
Gold, Z., E.E. Curd, K.D. Goodwin, E.S. Choi, B.W. Frable, A.R. Thompson, H.J. Walker Jr, R.S. Burton, D. Kacev, L.D. Martz, P.H. Barber (2021) Improving metabarcoding taxonomic assignment: A case study of fishes in a large marine ecosystem. Molec. Ecol. Resources 21:2546-2564 (abstract)
Pereira, R.J., T.G. Lima, N.T. Pierce-Ward, L. Chao and R.S. Burton (2021) Recovery from hybrid breakdown reveals a complex genetic architecture of mitonuclear incompatibilities. Molecular Ecology 30: 6403-6416. (open access)
Choi, E.S., E. Saberski, T. Lorimer, C. Smith, U. Kandage-don, R.S. Burton and G. Sugihara (2020) The importance of making testable predictions: A cautionary tale. PLoS One 15(12): e0236541 (open access)
Tangwancharoen, S., B.X. Semmens, R.S. Burton (2020) Allele specific expression and evolution of gene regulation underlying acute heat stress response and local adaptation in the copepod Tigriopus californicus. Journal of Heredity 111: 539–547 (abstract)
Healy, T.M. and R. S. Burton (2020) Strong selective effects of mitochondrial DNA or the nuclear genome. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 117: 6616-6621 (abstract)
Duke, E.M. and R.S. Burton (2020) Efficacy of metabarcoding for identification of fish eggs evaluated with mock communities. Ecology and Evolution 10: 3463-3476 (open access)
Harada, A.E. and R.S. Burton (2020) Consequences of HSF knockdown on gene expression during the heat shock response in Tigriopus californicus. Journal of Experimental Biology 223: jeb208611 (abstract)
Healy, T.M. A.K. Bock and R.S. Burton (2019) Variation in developmental temperature alters adulthood plasticity of thermal tolerance in Tigriopus californicus. Journal of Experimental Biology 222: jeb213405 (abstract)
Harada, A.E., T.M. Healy and R.S. Burton (2019) Variation in thermal tolerance and its relationship to mitochondrial function across populations of Tigriopus californicus. Frontiers in Physiology 10:213. (open access)
Harada, A.E. and R.S. Burton (2019) Ecologically relevant temperature ramping rates enhance the protective heat shock response in an intertidal ectotherm. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 92:152-162.
Lima, T.G., R.S. Burton, and C.S. Willett (2019) Genomic scans reveal multiple mito‐nuclear incompatibilities in population crosses of the copepod Tigriopus californicus. Evolution 73:609-620. doi.org/10.1111/evo.13690.
Hill, G.E., J.C. Havird, D.B. Sloan, R.S. Burton, C. Greening and D.K. Dowling (2018) Assessing the fitness consequences of mitonuclear interactions in natural populations. Biological Reviews: doi.org/10.1111/brv.12493
Duke, E.M., A.E. Harada and R.S. Burton (2018) Large interannual variation in spawning in San Diego marine protected areas captured by molecular identification of fish eggs. Marine Ecology Progress Series 604: 199-210
Tsuboko-Ishii, S., and R.S. Burton (2018) Individual culturing of Tigriopus copepods and quantitative analysis of their mate-guarding behavior. JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments), e58378-e58378
Tangwancharoen, S., G.W. Moy, R.S. Burton (2018)
Multiple modes of adaptation: regulatory and structural evolution in a small heat shock protein gene. Molec. Biol. Evol. 35: 2110–2119
Barreto F.S., E.T. Watson, T.G. Lima, C.S. Willett, S. Edmands, W. Li, and R.S. Burton (2018) Genomic signatures of mitonuclear coevolution across populations of Tigriopus californicus. Nature Ecol. Evol. 2: 1250-1257 (open access)
Ahern A.L.M, J. Gómez-Gutiérrez, O. Aburto-Oropeza, R.J. Saldierna-Martínez, A.F. Johnson, A.E. Harada, A.R. Sánchez-Uvera, B. Erisman, D.I. Castro Arvizú, R.S. Burton (2018) DNA sequencing of fish eggs and larvae reveals high species diversity and seasonal changes in spawning activity in the southeastern Gulf of California. Marine Ecology Progress Series 592: 159-179 (abstract)
Harada, A.E. and R.S. Burton (2017) Standing out from the crowd: Spotting your targets in a mixed plankton sample. Molec. Ecol. Resources 17: 1105-1107 (perspective)
Tsuboko-Ishii, S. and R. Burton (2017) Sex-specific rejection in mate-guarding pair formation in the intertidal copepod, Tigriopus californicus. PLoS ONE 12(8): e0183758. (open access)
Pereira, R.J., M.C. Sasaki and R. S. Burton (2017) Adaptation to a latitudinal thermal gradient within a widespread copepod species: the contributions of genetic divergence and phenotypic plasticity. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 2017 284 20170236 (abstract)
Gleason, L.U. and R.S. Burton (2016) Regional patterns of thermal stress and constitutive gene expression in the marine snail Chlorostoma funebralis in northern and southern California. Marine Ecology Progress Series 556: 143-159 .
Stewart, J.D., C.S. Beale, D. Fernando, A.B. Sianipar, R.S. Burton, and B.X. Semmens (2016) Spatial ecology and conservation of Manta birostris in the Indo-Pacific. Biological Conservation 200:178-183
Gleason, L.U. and R.S. Burton (2016) Genomic evidence for ecological divergence against a background of population homogeneity in the marine snail Chlorostoma funebralis. Molecular Ecology 25: 3557–3573.
Bonin, C.A., Goebel, M.E., O'Corry-Crowe, G.M., and R.S. Burton (2016) Impacts of ecology and behavior on Antarctic fur seal remating and relatedness. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 476: 72-77.
Pereira, R.J., F.S. Barreto, N.T. Pierce M. Carneiro and R.S. Burton (2016) Transcriptome-wide patterns of divergence during allopatric evolution. Molecular Ecology 25:1478-1493.
Brandão, M.C., A.S. Freire, and R.S. Burton (2016) Estimating diversity of crabs (Decapoda: Brachyura) in a no-take marine protected area of the SW Atlantic coast through DNA barcoding of larvae. Systematics and Biodiversity 14:288-302.
Harada, A.E., E.A. Lindgren, M.C. Hermsmeier, P.A. Rogowski, E. Terrill, and R.S. Burton (2015) Monitoring spawning activity in a southern California marine protected area using molecular identification of fish eggs. PLoS One 10: (8): e0134647 (open access)
Barker, A.M., A.P. Nosal, E. A. Lewallen, and R.S. Burton (2015) The genetic structure of leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata) populations along the Pacific coast of North America. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 472: 151-157.
Gleason, L.U. and R.S. Burton (2015) RNA-seq reveals regional differences in transcriptome response to heat stress in the marine snail Chlorostoma funebralis. Molecular Ecology 24: 610-627. DOI:10.1111/mec. 13047 (abstract)
Barreto, F.S., S. D. Schoville and R. S. Burton (2015) Reverse genetics in the tide pool: knock-down of target gene expression via RNA interference in the copepod Tigriopus californicus. Molecular Ecology Resources 15: 868-879 DOI:10.1111/1755-0998. 12359 (abstract)
January 2, 2018:
Welcome to Tim Healy who joins the lab as a postdoc after a long career (undergrad, grad and postdoc) in Trish Schulte's lab at the University of British Columbia. Tim has already mastered the fine art of collecting Tigriopus with a turkey baster...
May 17, 2017:
Congratulations, Dr. Tessa Pierce! Joined by friends, family, and a squid cake, Tessa successfully defended her dissertation. Next up, she's off to do great things at UC Davis!
April 2017: Key contributors to all our Tigriopus projects, our dedicated undergrads graduated in Winter and Spring quarter. Wenpei, Kiana, and Cindy, thank you for all your hard work!
Elena Duke, who has
completed her BS
and will stay on with
the Burton Lab to work
towards an MS in
April 7, 2016 - Our paper is featured in the April 2016 issue of Molecular Ecology. The study, "Transcriptome-wide patterns of divergence during allopatric evolution, " was led by former postdoc Ricardo Pereira (coauthors include Felipe Barreto and Tessa Pierce). The study found that a set of genes that repeatedly shows rapid evolution in independent cases of allopatric divergence consistently shows a strong signal of positive selection. Tigriopus even made the cover of Molecular Ecology! Sébastien Renaut and Anne-Marie Dion-Côté provided a nice News and Views article, see: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mec.13577/full
August 26, 2015 - Our new paper on monitoring fish eggs off the SIO Pier got some press! Ph.D. student Alice Harada led the project, along with M.S. student, Elise Lindgren, and undergrad, Maiko Hermsmeier. The Terrill lab (SIO) provided essential physical oceanography support to the team effort!
August 26, 2015 - Bummer for us! Postdoc Felipe Barreto and wife, Dr. Molly Burke, leave UCSD for Assistant Professor positions at Oregon State University. Felipe's work on the Tigriopus genome, transcriptomics and RNAi have helped lead the Burton lab into the genomics era. Congratulations Felipe and Molly and best of luck at OSU!!
August 20, 2015. Lani is now officially Dr. Lani Gleason! Lani models a snail hat in honor of her dissertation work on thermal adaptions in populations of the black turban snail. Lani also survived signing the rafters in Surfside - an SIO tradition for new Ph.D.'s. Starting as a UCSD undergraduate, Lani has been a bright light in the Burton lab for over six years!
July 13, 2015
Congratulations to Matthew Sasaki who successfully defended his MS thesis on the genetic structure of circumpolar populations of an Antarctic sea star using ddRAD-seq to score over 4000 SNPs. Next up for Matt - a Ph.D. program at the University of Connecticut.
June 2, 2015
Congratulations to Lori Luers for successfully defending her Master's thesis! Lori presented her work on fine-scale local adaptation to a packed house.
November: Por, Lani, and Reggie attended the Southern California Evolutionary Genetics & Genomics (SCalE) meeting at UCLA on November 15th. Por gave a talk about the differential gene regulation underlying population specific responses to acute heat stress in Tigriopus and Lani presented a poster on her ongoing ddRAD analysis with C. funebralis.
November: Second annual Tigriopus summit: 12 grad students and postdocs gave talks at the joint meeting of the Burton lab , the Willett lab (Univ. North Carolina) and the Edmands lab (Univ. Southern California).
October: Burton lab's first ever presentations at an American Physiological Society Meeting, "Grand Challenges in Comparative Physiology" - Ron gave a talk on gene expression during hybrid breakdown in Tigriopus, Por presented a poster on HSP gene regulation, and Alice presented a poster on population differences in mitochondrial thermal performance.