Dr. Lauren O'Connell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Stanford University. She studies amphibians to learn how animals adapt their behavior and physiology to changing environments. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and then started her own lab at Harvard University as a Bauer Fellow before joining the Stanford faculty in 2017. Projects in the lab include investigating parent-offspring interactions and the physiology of chemical defenses in poison frogs.
The O'Connell lab studies how genetic and environmental factors contribute to biological diversity and adaptation. They are particularly interested in understanding (1) how behavior evolves through changes in brain function and (2) how animal physiology evolves through repurposing existing cellular components.