I am a Senior Research Technician in the laboratory of Dr. Steven Haddock, where I use molecular biology to explore the biodiversity, bioluminescence and fluorescence of marine zooplankton, especially cnidarians and ctenophores (jellies) and phaeodarians (radiolarians). Our lab gathers information from the genomes and transcriptomes of these organisms to discover how they are related to one another and to examine how genes, particularly those involved in bioluminescence, contribute to the ability of these amazing organisms to thrive in the deep ocean. Since I regularly spend time on boats with the Haddock lab, my responsibilities also include preparing for research expeditions and making sure that everything runs smoothly while we are conducting research at sea.


MS degree in Microbiology, UC Davis
B.S. degree in Biology, California State University, Sacramento

Selected publications:

  • Francis WR, Shaner NC, Christianson LM, Powers ML, Haddock SH. 2015. Occurrence of isopenicillin-N-synthase homologs in bioluminescent ctenophores and implications for coelenterazine biosynthesis.PLoS One. Jun 30;10(6).
  • Patry W., Knowles T., Christianson L. M. and Howard M. 2014. The hydroid and early medusa stage of Olindias formosus (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa, Limnomedusae). J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. UK 94, 1409-1415.
  • Francis WR, Christianson LM, Kiko R, Powers ML, Shaner NC, Haddock SH. 2013. A comparison across non-model animals suggests an optimal sequencing depth for de novo transcriptome assembly. BMC Genomics. Mar 12;14:167.
  • Schnitzler CE, Keenan RJ, McCord R, Matysik A, Christianson LM, Haddock SH. 2008. Spectral diversity of fluorescent proteins from the anthozoan Corynactis californica. Mar Biotechnol (NY). May-Jun;10(3):328-42.
  • de la Torre JR, Christianson LM, Béjà O, Suzuki MT, Karl DM, Heidelberg J, DeLong EF. 2003 Proteorhodopsin genes are distributed among divergent marine bacterial taxa. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. Oct 28;100(22)