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Geno DeRango


Man kneeling on beach with two dogs
Geno DeRango


(707) 664-2981


Darwin 214

Ph.D. Bielefeld University, Germany
M.S. Biology, Sonoma State University

Academic Interests:
Marine biology, animal physiology, environmental stressors on animals, ocean health, evolution of large vertebrates, field methodologies

As an SSU Biology Department alumnus, I am excited to share my knowledge and experiences with other budding young scientists. My career has led me down many paths, from student to zookeeper to marine mammal veterinary science and back to research/academia. I've always had a strong interest in animal behavior, and generally how animals cope and adapt to stressful environments in nature. Most of my research involves studying the behavioral ecology of pinnipeds - or seals and sea lions. My Masters work involved integrating behavior and physiology under the guidance of Dr. Daniel Crocker at SSU, specifically understanding the stress responses of multiple pinniped species. Most recently, I completed my PhD studying Galapagos sea lions on a small island - we analyzed individual behavior in-depth and uncovered how animals have unique 'personalities' similar to how humans have distinct behavior. My goal is to give students a strong background in animal behavior and excite them about how cool nature can be.

When I'm not watching seals, I am walking my 2 pups, eating burritos or playing video games.

Course Offerings:

BIOL 240 Medical Microbiology
BIOL 324 Biology of Marine Mammals
BIOL 337 Behavioral Ecology



Selected Publications & Presentations

Schwarz, J.F.L.,., DeRango, E.J., Zenth, F., …, Paez-Rosas, D., & Krüger, O. (2022) A stable foraging polymorphism buffers Galapagos sea lions against environmental change, Current Biology,

DeRango, E.J., Schwarz, J.F.L., Piedrahita, P., Paez-Rosas, D., Crocker, D.E., & Krüger, O. (2021) Hormone-mediated foraging strategies in an uncertain environment: Insights into the at-sea behavior of a marine predator. Ecology and Evolution, 11(12), 7579.

DeRango, E.J. & Schwarz, J.F.L. (2021) Pinniped Personality, or Consistent Individual Differences. In: Ethology and Behavioral Ecology of Otariids and the Odobenid. (Campagna, C & Harcourt, R. eds.), chapter ??, pp.. ???-???. Springer, Cham, in press.

DeRango, E.J., Schwarz, J.F.L., Zenth, F., Piedrahita, P., Paez-Rosas, D., Crocker, D.E., & Krüger, O. (2020) Developmental conditions promote individual differentiation of endocrine axes and behavior in a tropical pinniped. Oecologia, accepted.

DeRango, E. J., Schwarz, J. F., Kalberer, S., Piedrahita, P., Páez-Rosas, D., & Krüger, O. (2019). Intrinsic and maternal traits influence personality during early life in Galápagos sea lion, Zalophus wollebaeki, pups. Animal Behaviour, 154, 111-120.

DeRango, E.J., Prager, K.C., Greig, D.G., Hooper, A.W. & Crocker, D. (2019) Climate variability and life history impact stress, thyroid, and immune markers in California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) during El Niño conditions. Conservation Physiology.

DeRango, E. J., Greig, D. J., Gálvez, C., Norris, T. A., Barbosa, L., Elorriaga‐Verplancken, F. R., & Crocker, D. E. (2019). Response to capture stress involves multiple corticosteroids and is associated with serum thyroid hormone concentrations in Guadalupe fur seals (Arctocephalus philippii townsendi). Marine Mammal Science, 35(1), 72-92.