The SymbiOxys Lab


Our primary research interests concern beneficial symbiotic interactions between bacteria and either invertebrates or plants. Symbiotic bacteria are fundamental to the survival of many multicellular organisms, yet we are only now beginning to fully appreciate the diversity and pervasiveness of microbial partnerships with higher organisms. These symbioses, at the heart of our research program, represent the extreme ways by which microbes have had a profound effect on their hosts, including changes in morphology, physiology, ecology, and even evolution. Many symbiotic partnerships have allowed organisms to exploit environments that are not generally available to most and have resulted in unusual adaptations by both partners. We study these associations, many of which remain largely unexplored, from different perspectives, including the evolution of unusual host structures, symbiont genome structure and content, novel physiological and biochemical capabilities of both partners, and unique ecological adaptations.


Symbiosis Research                                              Dr. Shana Goffredi


What’s New?!

Our in-person summer research program starts in June 2021!!

These talented Oxy students will be conducting

scientific research and designing a public exhibit for the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium (related to our recently-funded NSF grant

Marine Vampire microbiome Project (MVP): Blood-feeding marine invertebrates, and their bacterial accomplices)


   Adriana Pera                        Anahy Lizarraga                      Rachel Iskanian

Our paper on anemone partnerships with sulfur-oxidizing

bacteria was published January 18, 2021 in BMC Biology,

and is featured on Behind the Paper