Research in the Pespeni Lab is motivated by a fundamental interest in understanding the processes that both generate and impact the incredible diversity of life that exists in the sea.

Specifically, we aim understand the mechanisms that allow populations to adapt to local conditions and that may confer resilience to future changes in conditions. We integrate population genomics, physiology, developmental biology, and ecology to meet one of the grand challenges in research today, to link genes to phenotypes to the environment. We focus on marine invertebrates because of their diversity, the threats they face, and their ease of culture in the lab. In each of our projects, we drill down to uncover the variation that underlies adaptive physiological phenotypes and we scale up to reveal the ecological and evolutionary processes that shape this variation.

We, in the Pespeni lab, value the diversity of identities, perspectives, and lived experiences that each person brings to the table. We acknowledge that there are systemic inequities and unsupportive cultures in higher education and in the sciences in particular. Thus, we act with intention to nurture a collaborative and supportive environment where we can create, innovate, and thrive as individuals and as a collective. Each semester we revisit our commitment and actions as individuals, as a lab, in our classrooms, and in our broader communities support justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.