Martindale Lab Members

Leslie Babonis
  • Leslie Babonis, Ph. D.

  • Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
  • babonis@hawaii.edu
  • ph: (808) 539-7326
  • office: KML 111
  • Research Interests: I am interested in the evolution of novel cell types. Specifically, I am working on understanding the mechanisms by which cnidocytes (stinging cells) acquire their identity using Nematostella vectensis as a model.

Tim DuBuc
  • Tim DuBuc

  • Graduate Student
  • tdubuc@hotmail.com
  • ph: (808) 539-7326
  • office: KML 111
  • Research Interests: The focus of my research is to describe the process of wound healing in an early evolved animal. I am using the cnidarian, Nematostella vectensis, which can undergo complete regeneration from small tissue fragments, as a comparable model to vertebrates, which lack regeneration, to discover the core set of genes necessary for the initiation of regeneration during wound healing.

Dylan Faltine-Gonzalez
  • Dylan Faltine-Gonzalez

  • Undergraduate Student
  • dylanfg@hawaii.edu
  • ph: (808) 539-7326
  • office: KML 111
  • Research Interests:

Tiare Gill
  • Tiare Gill

  • High School Student Summer Intern
  • tgill14@punahou.edu
  • ph: (808) 539-7326
  • office: KML 111
  • Research Interests:

Michael Layden

  • Michael Layden, Ph. D.

  • Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
  • layden@hawaii.edu
  • ph: (808) 539-7326
  • office: KML 111
  • Research Interests: My  interest is the evolution of neural specification. The current focus is in understanding how proneural genes promote neurogenesis in the cnidarian Nematostella vectensis. Proneural homologs are critical in specifying neural fates in diverse bilaterians. The goal is to identify mechanisms up and downstream of cnidarian proneural genes and compare them to pathways acting in bilaterian neurogenesis.

Patricia Murata
  • Patricia Murata, Ph. D.

  • Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
  • pmurata@gmail.com
  • ph: (808) 539-7309
  • office: KML 318
  • Research Interests: Investigating the evolutionary origins of embryonic polarity and innate immunity using the cnidarian, Nematostella vectensis.

Yale Passamaneck
  • Yale Passamaneck, Ph. D.

  • Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
  • yale@hawaii.edu
  • ph: (808) 539-7326
  • office: KML 103
  • Research Interests: My research interests are in the evolution of developmental mechanisms in invertebrates. My primary projects focus on early patterning mechanisms in brachiopods and on regeneration in the cnidarian Nematostella vectensis

Rafael Peres
  • Rafael Peres

  • Visiting Graduate Student
  • peresrafaperes@aol.com
  • ph: (808) 539-7326
  • office: KML 111
  • Research Interests: I am interested in the regulation of circadian rhythms in Nematostella vectensis. Specifically, I am working on understanding the role of melatonin and clock genes in the development and the physiology of Nematostella vectensis.

Eric Roettinger
  • Eric Roettinger, Ph. D.

  • Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
  • rottinge@hawaii.edu
  • ph: (808) 539-7326
  • office: KML 111
  • Research Interests: My current work is focused on the evolution of endomesoderm gene regulatory networks (GRNs) and their role in metazoan body plan evolution. I am analyzing this question using Nematostella vectensis (Cnidaria) and Ptychodera flava (indirect developing Hemichordate) as experimental model systems.

David Simmons
  • David Simmons

  • Graduate Student
  • davidsim@hawaii.edu
  • ph: (808) 539-7326
  • office: KML 111
  • Research Interests: Attempting to understand the inner workings and evolutionary significance of the ctenophore nervous system.

Elizabeth Vallen
  • Elizabeth Vallen, Ph. D.

  • Visiting Researcher Summer 2012, Swarthmore College
  • evallen1@swarthmore.edu
  • ph: (808) 539-7326
  • office: KML 111
  • Research Interests: Cnidarian-algal symbioses.