Tardigrades on ice
Tardigrades on ice
Adventures of a first-gen Ph.D. in STEM
 photo credit:  J. Han  

photo credit: J. Han 


Ana lyons

Thanks for visiting my blog! I am a PhD candidate in Caroline Williams' lab (Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley), and an NSF GRFP Fellow, with an emphasis in Computational Biology. I have been obsessed with studying tardigrades since a sophomore in high school (2006), and I've continued down the path of a research scientist thanks to the initial training and support of my long-time mentor Dr. Diane Nelson. For my dissertation research, I am interested in unraveling the biochemical mechanisms and evolution of cold tolerance in tardigrades or “water bears”—using a combination of wet lab techniques, computational biology, and field work.

Before starting graduate school, I worked as a 7th Grade Science public school teacher, working in the Bronx for the New York City Department of Education. I'm a first generation college student from rural Michigan (from a village of ~300 people), and I hold a B.S. in Biology & Philosophy from MIT (‘12) and a M.A.T. in Secondary Science Education from Relay Graduate School of Education (‘15). I have a strong passion for social justice, decolonizing science, and making STEM education more engaging and accessible for everyone. As a dyslexic, I am also involved in my local chapter of Eye-to-Eye, which works to support and empower local youth with learning differences. 


Koch, C., J. Konieczka, T. Delorey, A. Lyons, Socha, K. Davis, S. Knaack, D. Thompson, E. K. O’Shea, A. Regev, S. Roy. “A phylogenetic framework to study the evolution of transcriptional regulatory networks.” Cell Systems. (2017).

Rogers, R. L., T. Bedford, A. Lyons, and D. L. Hartl. "Adaptive Impact of the Chimeric Gene Quetzalcoatl in Drosophila Melanogaster." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 107.24 (2010): 10943-0948.

 Meyer, H. A., A. Lyons, Nelson, D. R. and Hinton, J. G. "Tardigrada of Michigan, Northern USA, with the description of Minibiotus jonesorum  sp. n. (Eutardigrada: Macrobiotidae)." Journal of Zoological Systematics an Evolutionary Research, 49: 40–47. (2011). doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0469.2010.00596.x

science writing & Journalism

Co-EIC for "The DNA Decoder Student Magazine." Writer for the "Learn Genetics" section. 2017-current.

Editor and writer for the MIT Undergraduate Research Journal. 2010-2012. 

Editor and writer for the Tech newspaper. 2009-2012.