Victoria Watson-Zink, PhD

Palo Alto, CA, USA
  • Postdoctoral Scholar, Stanford University
Sub Division(s)
  • Bioinformatics
  • Genomics
Awards & Accolades(s)
  • Stanford Science Fellow, Stanford University
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Biology, National Science Foundation
  • East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes Fellow, National Science Foundation
  • Graduate Research Fellow, National Science Foundation5. Rosemary Grant Advanced Award, Society for the Study of Evolution
  • Graduate Research Excellence Grant, Society for the Study of Evolution
  • Merton Love Award for Outstanding Dissertation in Evolution and Ecology, Center for Population Biology, UC Davis
About Me

I am an evolutionary marine invertebrate biologist, and I use bioinformatics and high-throughput sequencing technologies (genomics and transcriptomics) to explore life-history evolution in terrestrial crabs.I completed my B.S. in Biological Sciences (concentration in Ecology and Evolution) at Cornell University in 2013 with academic and research honors. While there, I studied climate science, marine biology, and coral reef biodiversity via several internships/fellowships at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Indonesian Biodiversity Research Center in Bali, Indonesia, and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. After graduating, I worked for two years as a lab manager and research technician at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, CA, which is where I discovered my passion for understanding life-history evolution in terrestrial crabs. I began my PhD in Population Biology at UC Davis in 2015, and as a Fellow of both the NSF GRFP and the NSF EAPSI programs, I have traveled extensively across Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean to observe and collect genetic samples from several land crab species. As a disabled Black woman in evolution and ecology, I am also passionate about increasing, supporting, and retaining diversity of all kinds in STEM, and during my PhD, I served as the Graduate Student Advisor to the Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the College of Biological Sciences at UC Davis.I am now a postdoc at Stanford University as a joint Stanford Science Fellow/NSF PRFB Fellow.