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

Auston Rutledge


Joseph Lim
Clover Stubbert