Stanford University

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Chris has been working in deuterostome evolution since his graduate working with Greg Wray on echinoderms. He started working on hemichordates with Mike Levine at UC Berkeley and then continued at Berkeley with John Gerhart and Marc Kirschner. He starting his lab at University of Chicago in 2005 and moved to Stanford in 2010. 


Laurent Formery

Laurent is a joint postdoc with Dan Rokhsar’s lab (UC Berkeley). Laurent is working on his favorite group of animals, the bizarre echinoderms, and tries to understand how their unique pentaradial body plan is related to the ancestral bilateral body plan of other deuterostomes. To do so, he is using several echinoderm species for comparative approaches combining molecular biology and bioinformatics. Before joining the Lowe lab, Laurent obtained a PhD from Sorbonne University (France), during which he worked on the development and evolution of the nervous system in the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, and on the roles of intercellular signaling pathways in this process. As part of his PhD, Laurent spent one year at the Shimoda Marine Research Center (Japan). Laurent is broadly fascinated by developmental biology, by the evolution of body plans, nervous systems and life history stages, and by zoological studies of weird animals in general.

PhD. Students

Paul is a PhD. student in the lab and is interested in investigating how genomic information drives cellular composition and eventually the diverse body plans represented in the complexity of metazoan animals. He works to understand this by studying the process of metamorphosis in the indirect-developing enteropneust hemichordate Schizocardium californicum, focussing on how the cellular composition of the larva changes during the process of metamorphosis into the adult body plan. Paul is generally interested in topics of cell type evolution, regeneration, and how small and squishy marine invertebrates can provide novel perspectives to advance fundamental cell biology research.

Lauren Lubeck

Lauren is broadly interested in developmental patterning in marine organisms on a molecular level. She graduated from Brown University in 2019 with a Bachelor's degree in Biology, on the Cell and Molecular Biology track. Most of Lauren's research experience has been with echinoderms and she is excited to branch out into other marine invertebrates in the lab.

Veronica Pagowski

Veronica is a PhD. student in the lab and is interested in nervous system diversity and evolution in marine invertebrates. She works on understanding how the larval nervous system controls ecologically relevant behavior in the bat star Patiria miniata. More broadly, she aims to understand how larval nervous systems control important “decisions” for a larva to successfully disperse, find food, and settle in optimal locations. Veronica is generally interested in understanding how comparatively simple nervous systems direct complex behavior in marine invertebrates and how these unique nervous systems can provide new insights into neurobiology research.



Riley has been relieving lab stress for cookies since 2011






Lab Alumni

José Andrade Lopez

José  investigated the structure of the enteropneust nervous system by defining the diversity of neural cell types, their distribution and connectivity in the developing juveniles of Saccoglossus. He is currently a postdoc at Genentech. 

Nat was a PhD. student in the lab from 2012 - 2018. His thesis focussed on the evolution of multicellularity and used the anemone Nematostella vectensis to investigate the evolution of cell adhesion using both a developmental and biochemical approach. 

Jens was a postdoc in the lab from 2009 - 2016 working on posterior growth and the evolution of body plans. He is currently a Research Assistant Professor in Elena Casey's lab at Georgetown University. 

Andrew was in the lab from 2007-2009 as a PhD. student and is now an Assistant Professor at University of Cambridge in the Department of Zoology. 

Paul was a PhD. student in the lab from 2012-2017- he developed Schizocardium as a new model for the lab,  and is now a postdoc in the Baxevannis Lab at NIH. 

Stephen was a PhD. student in the lab from 2007-2012. He worked on mesoderm specification and development in Saccolgossus and is currently a Postdoc in Marianne Bronners lab at Caltech. 

Chris Lang

Chris worked in the lab as a summer intern for a few years and is now in a PhD program at UC Santa Cruz in Environmental Studies. 

Judith Levine

Judith did a Masters degree in echinoderm body patterning and graduated in 2014

Joseph Lim
Andrew Miller

Andrew worked for several summers as an intern working on echinoderm development and website construction. He is now an environmental attorney at Shute Mihaly and Weinberger in San Francisco. 

Paul Minor

Paul worked on the evolution of gene regulation as a postdoc and is now a staff scientist at BioRad. 

Ari was a PhD. student in the lab from 2008-2013. He worked on the evolution of deuterostome brains in the lab and following a postdoc with Bob Goldstein at UNC Chapel Hill, he is starting his own lab in the Department of Biology at the University of Virginia Charlottesville. 

John Rogers

John worked in the lab as a undergraduate developing transgenic approaches in the starfish Patiria miniata. He is now a medical student at USC

Cat Rogers

Cat was a Stanford BSURP REU student who worked with Paul Bump. Cat gracefully transitioned to a fully remote project during the COVID-19 pandemic and worked on a project entitled, “Keep Your Head Up: Cell Type Comparisons of Anteriorly Patterned Larva to Adult in Schizocardium californicum”. Cat will be starting as postbac with Katherine Rogers at NIH. 


Auston Rutledge

Auston was a Lab Tech from 2017-2021 where he improved algae culturing and the husbandry of NematostellaSchizocardium, Patiria and Parastichopus. He is currently a Ph.D. Student in the Reitzel Lab at the University of North Carolina Charlotte.

Clover Stubbert

Clover was a UROC student from Cal State Monterey Bay (CSUMB) who worked with Paul Bump on looking at the expression of candidate stem cell markers in Schizocardium californicum. After completing her capstone project with Paul, she continued her interest in stem cells and went on to a postbac in Erin Davies’s Lab at NIH.  

Miranda Vogt

Miranda worked as an underdgraduate with Nat Clarke on development of the sea anenome Nematostella vectensis. 

Marcin was a graduate student in the lab from 2007 to 2012. His work focussed on the role of Nodal signaling in the early development of S. kowalevskii. He is now the manager of the National Xenopus Resource at the MBL.