Congratulations Stephanie!!


Congratulations to Stephanie Bazarini, who successfully defended her thesis titled “Effects of ethinyl estradiol on injury-induced plasticity in Euprymna scolopes” on May 22nd. Stephanie’s work showed that exposure to both low and high doses of this environmental pollutant interferes with neural plasticity and alters behavioral maturation in squid; the first time that an effect on sensory physiology has been reported in cephalopods exposed to environmental estrogens. Stephanie will spend the summer collecting some additional data on neuroanatomy in her subjects, and will be applying to PhD programs in the Fall. Great work Stephanie!

Dr. Robyn Crook interviewed on NPR

The Crook Lab’s work on the evolution of pain was featured on NPR’s Morning Edition on May 20th. The segment titled “How the Brain Shapes Pain and Links Ouch with Emotion” featured several researchers working in different aspects of pain physiology and a chronic pain patient discussing his experience with managing life-long pain. Read the associated article (with a link to the audio) here

Congratulations Vivien!!


Congratulations to Vivien Enriquez, who successfully defended her thesis titled “Influence of Vibrio fischeri colonization on Hawaiian bobtail squid (Euprymna scolopes) behavior and survival” on May 17th. In her project, Vivien demonstrated that ambient light levels have differential effects on squid survival in the absence of their symbiont, V. fischeri, and that hunting behavior matures differently in aposymbiotic squid reared in different levels of ambient light. Vivian’s work will be submitted for publication in the current months, and Vivien is off to UCLA to start her PhD in the Fall. Great work Vivien!!

Congratulations Ryan!!


Congratulations to Ryan Howard, who successfully defended his thesis titled “The influence of nociceptive sensitization and self-referential visual cues from superficial injuries on camouflage behaviors of Indo-Pacific Octopuses” on May 14th. In his study, Ryan demonstrated the first evidence for visual self-referencing of skin camouflage match in cephalopods, and showed that nociceptive cues are necessary to drive this hyper-vigilant inspection behavior. Ryan will be publishing his work in the coming months (look out for his paper on the Publications page!) and applying to PhD programs in the Fall. Great work Ryan!!

Stephanie Bazarini represents SFSU at CSU-wide research competition


After winning her local division in the SFSU research competition, this weekend Stephanie traveled to CSU Fullerton to compete in the annual CSU-wide research presentation contest. This contest features graduate researchers from all CSU campuses, who are judged based on the quality of their written report of the their research and a 15-minute presentation. Stephanie’s work on the effects of environmental estrogens on injury-induced plasticity received excellent reviews from attendees and judges alike. Congratulations Stephanie!!



Masters student Vivien Enriquez (Class of 2019) was accepted to the Biology PhD Program at UCLA, and was awarded the Eugene V. Cota Robles Fellowship for PhD study. Vivien will defend her MS thesis in the Spring and then head off to UCLA to continue her great work on microbiomes. Congratulations Vivien!!

SFSU Pain Group PIs speak at Royal Society

Royal Society pain meeting 2019 flyer.jpg

SFSU Physiology faculty members Dr. Robyn Crook and Dr. Megumi Fuse presented their lab groups’ work on comparative models of nociceptive sensitization at the Royal Society at Chichley Hall, Milton Keynes, UK. This conference focused on evolution of pain-like behavior in a wide range of species, and brought together researchers working on humans, rodents and a range of invertebrate models. Look out for a special issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B. coming out in the next few months, which will contain contributed articles from conference attendees, including papers from both the Crook and Fuse labs.

Vivien and Stephanie present their work at SICB


This week Masters students Vivien Enriquez and Stephanie Bazarini attended the annual SICB meeting, this year in Tampa, Florida. Both students gave oral presentations on their Masters theses. Vivian’s presentation was titled “Effects ofVibrio fischeri colonization on cognition, foraging behavior, and survival in the Hawaiian bobtail squid”, and Stephanie’s presentation was titled “Effects of Ethinyl Estradiol on Injury-Induced Plasticity in Euprymna scolopes”. Congratulations to Vivien and Stephanie for two excellent presentations!

Crook Lab At CIAC!!


Masters student Ryan Howard and PI Robyn Crook attended the CIAC meeting in Florida from Nov 12-16. Dr. Crook also attended a pre-meeting workshop on policy and welfare of cephalopods in research settings. The lab presented three posters, on learning behavior of Eupyrmna, effects of early-life injury on Euprymna behavior and neural excitability, and on how injury affects camouflage decisions in octopuses. The lab also gave a lightning talk on new work on cephalopod anesthesia, presented by collaborator Dr. Lisa Abbo.

Vivien and Stephanie to present posters at AAAS 2019


Congratulations to Masters students Vivien Enriquez and Stephanie Bazarini, who had their abstracts accepted for poster presentations at the AAAS annual meeting in Washington DC, in February of 2019. Stephanie will be presenting her work on the interaction of injury and estrogenic pollutants, and Vivien will present her study of behavioral effects of Vibrio colonization on the bobtail squid.

Professors Ludovic Dickel and Anne-Sophie Darmaillacq visit the lab


Cephalopod researchers Ludovic Dickel and Anne-Sophie Darmaillacq visited the Crook Lab on their Californian vacation. Professors Dickel and Darmaillacq are well known for their detailed work on cuttlefish cognition at their home institution, University of Caen, Normandy, France. It was an honor to have two very famous cephalopod researchers visiting the Crook Lab. While they were here, we snapped a photo of Ludovic with a very tiny Octopus bocki, which was used in a newspaper article (in french) about their work.

Congratulations Stephanie!!


MS student Stephanie Bazarini was awarded a highly prestigious ARCS Foundation Scholarship to support her research in the Crook Lab. Stephanie is examining the role of environmental estrogen in modulating pain-like states after injury, using Euprymna scolopes as a model system. Her work combines behavioral assays and neurophysiological recordings. Congratulations Stephanie!