Kristen Koenig - Cephalopod Eye Development and the Evolution of Visual System Complexity

Mon January 9th 2023, 4:00 - 5:00pm
Clark Center

Kristen Koenig,
Harvard University/ John Harvard Distinguished Science Fellows

Cephalopod Eye Development and the Evolution of Visual System Complexity

Host: Chris Lowe


💡 Kristen Koenig went to undergrad at UC Berkeley where she majored in History and Molecular
and Cell Biology. At Berkeley she studied butterfly wing patterning with Dr. Nipam Patel and after
undergrad Kristen worked at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute where she studied sea
urchin speciation with Dr. Harilaos Lessios. She did her PhD at University of Texas at Austin in the
lab of Dr. Jeffrey Gross, who studies zebrafish eye development and regeneration. In the Gross lab
Kristen established the squid, Doryteuthis pealeii, as a model for comparative eye development
and evolution. At the end of her PhD, Kristen was awarded the John Harvard Distinguished
Science Fellowship at Harvard University. This is a fellowship given to investigators immediately
upon receipt of their PhD and enabled her to operate as an independent PI with her own lab. At
Harvard Kristen, was awarded the NIH Early Independence Award to support the lab’s work and
expanded her research program from cephalopods to a diversity of systems, including sea
anemones and avian species. She has since been running her group investigating the evolution and
development of visual systems at Harvard and is currently a visiting scientist at the University of