Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies

Image: Ripples on water

SF State's bayside marine and estuarine research facility.

Molecular Laboratory


The RTC Shared Molecular facility is a shared core facility with equipment for basic molecular biology including work with nucleic acids from extraction, to various kinds of PCR, sequencing, and fragment sizing. Major equipment (a capillary DNA analyzer and quantitative PCR machine) was obtained with an FSML award from the National Science Foundation. Additional equipment was provided by SFSU College of Science and Engineering, RTC, and individual researchers and donors.


The facility, located onsite in Building 36, includes a Kodak gel documentation system, mini gel setups, gradient and standard PCR thermocyclers, hoods, a -80 freezer and other fridges and freezers, separate areas for DNA and RNA extraction and cloning, centrifuges, vortexers, heat blocks, water baths, and a nanodrop spectrophotometer.


Work in the RTC gene lab addresses basic and applied questions in marine biology and oceanography using organisms across the tree of life, from microbes and algae to plants, invertebrates and vertebrates.


Work conducted at the RTC Gene Lab, is supported by RTC, NSF FSML Grant No. 0435033, and the SFSU College of Science and Engineering.


Current Molecular Lab Projects (pdf, 10MB)


Additional examples of funded projects using the RTC gene lab include:

  • NSF: A functional genomic analysis of how a major calcifying phytoplankter responds to ocean acidification predicted for the end of the century
  • NSF: Does mating success determine population growth rate at low abundance in marine copepods?
  • NSF: Feeding and food limitation in copepod nauplii, the neglected life stage
  • NSF: Factors Affecting, and Impact of, Diazotrophic Microorganisms in the Western Equatorial Atlantic Ocean
  • NSF: Biology and phylogeny of marine planktonic cyanobacterial symbioses
  • NSF: Correlating cardiac thermal performance limits with transcriptome profiles during thermal acclimation of the intertidal porcelain crab, Petrolisthes cinctipes.
  • NSF: Genetic Data Collection Capability for the Romberg Tiburon Center, San Francisco State University
  • NSF REU Site: Biological Research in Ecological and Evolutionary Developmental Biology (BREED)
  • NSF REU: Supplements for undergraduate researchers
  • NSF ROA: Supplement to sponsor visiting faculty
  • NSF RUI: Synergistic Effects of Temperature and pH Variability on Physiology, Transcriptome and Proteome of Porcelain Crabs.
  • NSF RUI: Deducing physiological costs of elevated thermal tolerance from life-history stage-dependent changes in thermal habitat.
  • NOAA: Evaluating buoy-deployed seeding for restoration of eelgrass (Zostera marina) in San Francisco Bay
  • NIH: Intrinsic and Extrinsic Modulators of Protein Stability
  • Department of Energy: Sequencing and annotation of crab cDNAs for transcriptome analyses of thermal physiology.
  • EPA: Population signatures of immunogenetic adaptation to environmental stress
  • California Sea Grant: Detecting the early spread of a non-indigenous colonial ascidian associated with recreational docks
  • Sea Grant, Aquatic Invasive Species Program: Northward Spread, Diversity, Source, and Impact of Non-native Tunicates
  • Sea Grant: Lobster Population Predictions: Larval Abundance and Linkage Between Onshore and Offshore Populations
  • CA Coastal Conservancy: Monitoring and experimentation to support eelgrass restoration in San Francisco Bay
  • CSUPERB: SNPSVM: a machine learning method and tool for association mapping of complex genetic trait
  • Alaska Department of Fish and Game: Genetic analysis of invasive species
  • The Nature Conservancy/NOAA CRP Partnership: Community-based restoration of eelgrass in San Francisco Bay: recovery of a damaged bed through nursery-propagated plantings

    Thank you to our funding agencies.


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