image of John McCosker
Chair and Curator of Aquatic Biology, Emeritus

My research focus has combined field and laboratory studies of aquatic animal evolution and behavior, ranging from microscopic bioluminescent bacteria to macroscopic man-eating elasmobranchs.

Kate Montana
Graduate Student Researcher, Entomology

Kate Montana is a graduate student researcher in the arachnology lab at the California Academy of Sciences. She is advised by Dr. Lauren Esposito and is working toward her master's degree in integrative biology at San Francisco State University. Her research utilizes morphological and molecular data to revise the evolutionary relationships between genera in a family of small brown spiders, Dictynidae.

Denise Montelongo
Curatorial Assistant, Entomology
Curator of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology
Echinoid systematics and evolution

When I was about 8 years old, I sat at the kitchen table and used a blue ballpoint pen to draw the "blueprints" for the research vessel I would be using when I became a marine biologist. Things don't always go the way you plan--even when you start early. But I can say that my life as a field biologist and phylogeneticist of marine organisms has never wavered from the exciting endeavor represented by those childhood sketches.

Emily Neff
Research Assistant
Lindsay Palaima Hazen, Research Collections Registrar
Research Collections Registrar

Lindsay works in support of the research division. She enjoys condition reporting and environmental management. Lindsay received her Master of Arts in Museum Studies from San Francisco State University.

Sue Pemberton
Curatorial Assistant, Birds and Mammals
Tyler Phelps
Dive Officer On-Call & Ichthyology Graduate Researcher

Tyler is pursuing a Masters degree in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology at San Francisco State University and serves as an On-Call Dive Officer at the Steinhart Aquarium.

Hudson Pinheiro
Postdoctoral Fellow
Biodiversity, ecology and evolution of mesophotic reef fishes

The study of mesophotic reef fish communities is among my major research interests. I am exploring biodiversity and evolutionary processes of reef fishes in isolated seamounts and oceanic islands of the Atlantic Ocean. The discovery of endemic species and the assessment of their distribution and genetic patterns have contributed to a better understanding about the origin of species and biodiversity in these isolated environments.

Christina Piotrowski, Senior Collections Manager, Invertebrate Zoology
Senior Collections Manager, Invertebrate Zoology
Invertebrate Zoology, Polychaete Taxonomy

Chrissy Piotrowski manages care and maintenance of the Academy's vast and taxonomically diverse Invertebrate Zoology Research Collection (excluding entomology specimens).  She oversees CASIZ collection-related activities and documentation including acquisitions, curation, taxonomic determinations, specimen loans and exhibit, researcher visits, data inquiries, and maintenance of an online searchable database of digital specimen records.