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 at Harvey Mudd College where I teach molecular biology laboratory courses. In the past, I have taught Introduction 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