Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies

Image: Ripples on water

SF State's bayside marine and estuarine research facility.

Jonathan Stillman - Professor

Ecological Physiology and Functional Genomics of Marine Invertebrates
Romberg Tiburon Center and Department of Biology

Phone: (415) 338-3790
Website: Lab Website

Dr. Stillman

Research Interests

In the broadest sense, our research focuses on understanding the ultimate and proximate causes of physiological diversity in relation to environmental variation and environmental stresses, and understanding the ecological consequences of physiological response limits. The main organisms that we study are coastal marine invertebrates, especially porcelain crabs in the genus Petrolisthes, but also other organisms such as corals and snails. The main research tools that we apply are in vivo physiological measurements, such as cardiac activity and metabolic rate, and molecular measurements at biochemical (e.g., enzymatic properties) and molecular levels (e.g., transcriptome profiling using cDNA microarrays). The focal project of the laboratory right now is to examine correlated changes in thermal phenotype and gene expression during thermal acclimation, thermal acclimatization, and responses to thermal stress in porcelain crabs.

Selected Papers

(see the Stillman Lab website for more)

Teranishi, K.S.* and J.H. Stillman. 2007. A cDNA microarray analysis of the response to heat stress in hepatopancreas tissue of the porcelain crab Petrolisthes cinctipes. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part D: Genomics and Proteomics. 2: 53-62.


Stillman, J.H., K.S. Teranishi*, A. Tagmount, E.A. Lindquist, P.B Brokstein. 2006. Construction and characterization of EST libraries from the porcelain crab, Petrolisthes cinctipes. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 46: 919-930.


Pörtner, H.O., Bennett, A.F., Bozinovic, F., Clarke, A., Lardies, M.A., Lenski, R.E., Lucassen, M., Pelster, B., Schiemer, F., Stillman, J.H. 2006. Tradeoffs in thermal adaptation: the need for a molecular to ecological integration. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 79(2): 295-313.

Stillman, J.H. 2004. A comparative analysis of plasticity of thermal limits in porcelain crabs across latitudinal and intertidal zone clines. International Congress Series. 1275C: 267-275.

Stillman, J.H. and F.H. Barnwell. 2004. Daily and tidal rhythms of locomotor activity in the fiddler crab Uca princeps (Smith) (Crustacea, Brachyura, Decapoda) and their relationship to the harmonic structure of semidiurnal and mixed tides. Marine Biology. 144: 473-482.

Stillman, J.H. 2003. Acclimation Capacity Underlies Climate Change Susceptibility. Science 301: 65.

Leary, S.C., C.N. Lyons, A.G. Rosenberger, J.S. Ballantyne, J.H. Stillman, C.D. Moyes. 2003. Fiber-type differences in muscle mitochondrial profiles. American Journal of Physiology. 285: R817-826

Stillman, J.H. 2002. Physiological tolerance limits in intertidal crabs. Integrative and Comparative Biology (formerly American Zoologist). 42(4): 790-796.

Dahlhoff, E.P., J.H. Stillman and B.A Menge. 2002. Variation in metabolic activity of ecologically important rocky intertidal invertebrates along environmental gradients. Integrative and Comparative Biology (formerly American Zoologist). 42(4): 862-871.

Stillman, J.H. and C. Reeb. 2001. Molecular phylogeny of eastern Pacific porcelain crabs, genera Petrolisthes and Pachycheles, based on the mtDNA 16s rDNA sequence: Phylogeographic and systematic implications. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 19: 236-245.

Stillman, J.H. and G.N. Somero. 2001. A comparative analysis of the evolutionary patterning and mechanistic bases of lactate dehydrogenase thermal stability in porcelain crabs, genus Petrolisthes. Journal of Experimental Biology. 204: 767-776.

Stillman, J.H. 2000. The evolutionary history and adaptive significance of secondary respiratory structures in intertidal crabs: relationships with body size and vertical distribution. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology. 73(1): 86-96.

Stillman, J.H. and G.N. Somero. 2000. sA Comparative Analysis of the Upper Thermal Tolerance Limits of Eastern Pacific Porcelain Crabs, Genus Petrolisthes: Influences of Latitude, Vertical Zonation, Acclimation, and Phylogeny. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology. 73(2): 200-208.

Stillman, J.H. and G.N. Somero. 1996. Adaptation to temperature stress and aerial exposure in congeneric species of intertidal porcelain crabs (Genus Petrolisthes): Correlation of physiology, biochemistry and morphology with vertical distribution. Journal of Experimental Biology. 199: 1845-1855.


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