Jesús F. Peña, PhD

EvoDevo, EvoCell, Mycology


I am an evolutionary developmental mycologist interested in fungal mating and the evolution of multicellularity and cell type diversity. I received my PhD in microbiology from the University of California, Riverside. 

Currently, I am a Visiting Assistant Professor in Organismal Biology and Ecology at Colorado College. At CC, I teach ecology, microbiology, and mycology. In the past, I have taught molecular biology lab courses and developmental biology at Harvey Mudd Colloege as well as introductory to developmental biology and introductory microbiology at UC Riverside. 

Prior to my PhD work, I was a laboratory programs assistant at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. I oversaw daily operations of Biology Basecamp, a participatory lab space within the health sciences exhibit. This experience catalyzed my passion for science communicaiton, outreach, and informal education. 

PhD - 2022

University of California, Riverside

Program: Microbiology

Dissertation: The Evolutionary Developmental Biology of Mucoromycotina

Advisor: Jason E. Stajich, PhD

MSc. - 2015

University of Denver

Program: Cell & Molecular Biology

Thesis: Gene Expression in the Choanoderm         l

Advisor: Scott A. Nichols, PhD

BSc. - 2013

University of Denver

Major: Molecular biology

Minors: Chemistry, mathematics

Research: Tastebud ultrastructure, Kinnamon Lab