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Sean P. Place

Professor & Department of Biology Chair

Sean Place
Sean P. Place


(707) 664-3054


Darwin Hall 220

Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara 2005

Postdoctoral Experience: 
Mayo Clinic; University of California, Santa Barbara

Research Interests: 
Genomics and Transcriptomics, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Stress Response, Molecular and Biochemical Adaptations to Extreme Environments, Environmental Control of Cell Cycle, Signal Transduction

Research Program: 
Research projects in the Place lab are grounded in the field of molecular and ecological physiology of marine organisms. Our research questions specifically address the mechanistic underpinnings of the physiological response of marine organisms that inhabit near shore environments. Through the integration of experimental approaches at the molecular, cellular, and biochemical level, we address how organisms have adapted to cope with both acute perturbations, which can often be measured through the genomic response of the organism, and persistent environmental changes, frequently marked by changes at the level of protein function. We are currently focusing on the genomic response of marine invertebrates to environmental perturbations and seasonal changes in habitat temperature, oxygen levels and environmental pH. By analysis of these pathways, we aim to better understand how stress-response pathways, cellular energy demands, and cell-cycle control integrate to determine the limits of physiological plasticity.

Course Offerings:

  • BIOL 334 - Biology of Fishes
  • BIOL 342 - Molecular Genetics
  • BIOL 484 - Applied Bioinformatics
  • BIOL 500s - Graduate Seminar


Selected Publications & Presentations

 Tercero, A.D. and Place, S.P. (2020). Characterizing Gene Copy Number of Heat Shock Protein Gene Families in the Emerald Rockcod, Trematomus bernacchii. Genes, 11, 867.

Bogan, S.N and Place, S.P. (2019). Accelerated evolution at chaperone promoters among Antarctic notothenioid fishes. BMC Evol. Biol.

Tolomeo, A.M., Carraro, A, Bakiu, R, Toppo, S., Garofalo, F., Pellegrino, D., Gerdol, M., Ferro, D., Place, S.P., Santovito, G. (2019). Molecular characterization of novel mitochondrial peroxiredoxins from the Antarctic emerald rockcod and their gene expression in response to environmental warming. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C: Toxicology & Pharmacology. 225:

Vasadia, D.J., Zippay, M.L., Place, S.P. (2019). Characterization of thermally sensitive miRNAs reveals a central role of the FoxO signaling pathway in regulating the cellular stress response of an extreme stenotherm, Trematomus bernacchii. Marine Genomics. DOI: 10.1016/j.margen.2019.100698.

Enzor, L.A., Hunter, E.M. and Place, S.P. (2017). The effects of elevated temperature and ocean acidification on the metabolic pathways of notothenioid fish. Conserv Physiol. 5 (1): cox019. DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cox019.

Hancock, J. R. and Place, S.P. (2016). Impact of ocean acidification on the hypoxia tolerance of the woolly sculpin, Clinocottus analis. Conserv Physiol. 4: DOI 10.1093/conphys/cow040.

Huth, T. J. and Place, S.P. (2016) RNA-seq reveals a diminished acclimation response to the combined effects of ocean acidification and elevated seawater temperature in Pagothenia borchgrevinki. Marine Genomics. DOI: 10.1016/j.margen.2016.02.004

Huth, T. J. and Place, S.P. (2016) Transcriptome wide analyses reveal a sustained cellular stress response in the gill tissue of Trematomus bernacchii after acclimation to multiple stressors. BMC Genomics. DOI: 10.1186/s12864-016-2454-3.

Tolomeo, A.M., A. Carraro, R. Bakiu, S. Toppo, S. P. Place, D. Ferro, G. Santovito (2015). Peroxiredoxin 6 from the Antarctic emerald rockcod: molecular characterization of its response to warming. Journal of Comparative Physiology B 186: 59-71.

Enzor, L. A. and S. P. Place (2014). Is warmer better? Decreased oxidative damage in notothenioid fish after long-term acclimation to multiple stressors J Exp Biol, DOI:10.1242/jeb.108431

Huth, T. J. and S. P. Place (2013). De novo assembly and characterization of tissue specific transcriptomes in the emerald notothen, Trematomus bernacchii. BMC Genomics,14:805 DOI: 10.1186/10.1186/1471-2164-14-805

Enzor, L. A., M. L. Zippay and S. P. Place (2013). High latitude fish in a high CO2 world: Synergistic effects of elevated temperature and carbon dioxide on the metabolic rates of Antarctic notothenioids. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. A, 164(1) 154-161. DOI: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2012.07.016

Place, S. P. and B. W. Smith (2012). Effects of seawater acidification on cell cycle control mechanisms in Strongylocentrotus purpuratus embryos. PLoS ONE 7(3): e34068. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0034068.

Place, S. P., B. A. Menge and G. E. Hofmann (2012). Transcriptome profiles link environmental variation and physiological response of Mytilus californianus between Pacific tides. Functional Ecology, 26: 144–155. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2435.2011.01924.x

Place, S. P. (2011). Single-point mutation in a conserved TPR domain of Hip disrupts enhancement of glucocorticoid receptor signaling, Cell Stress & Chaperones 16:469–474 DOI 10.1007/s12192-010-0254-2.

Place, S. P., M. J. O'Donnell and G. E. Hofmann (2008). Gene expression in the intertidal mussel, Mytilus californianus: physiological response to environmental factors on a biogeographic scale. Feature Article MEPS 356:1-14 DOI: 10.3354/meps07354.

Hofmann, G.E. and S.P. Place (2007). Genomics-Enabled Research in Marine Ecology: Challenges, Risks & Pay-Offs. Invited review: MEPS 332: 249-255.

Place, S. P. and G. E. Hofmann (2005). Temperature differentially affects adenosine triphosphatase activity in Hsc70 orthologues from Antarctic and New Zealand notothenioid fishes. Cell Stress & Chaperones 10(2): 104-113.

Place, S. P. and G. E. Hofmann (2005). Comparison of Hsc70 orthologues from polar and temperate notothenioid fishes: differences in prevention of aggregation and refolding of denatured proteins. Amer. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol. 288: R1195-R1202.

Hofmann, G. E., S. G. Lund, S. P. Place and A. C. Whitmer (2005). Some like it hot, some like it cold: The heat shock response is found in New Zealand but not Antarctic notothenioid fishes. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 316: 79-89.

Place, S. P., M. L. Zippay and G. E. Hofmann (2004). Constitutive roles for inducible genes: Differential expression of hsp70 mRNA in Antarctic notothenioid fishes. Amer. J. Phys. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol. 287: R429-R436.

Buckley, B. A., S. P. Place and G. E. Hofmann (2004). Regulation of heat shock genes in isolated hepatocytes from an Antarctic fish (Sub-order Notothenioidei) Trematomus bernacchii. J. Exp. Biol. 207: 3649-3656.

Zippay, M. L., S. P. Place and G. E. Hofmann (2004). The molecular chaperone Hsc70 from a eurythermal marine goby exhibits temperature insensitivity during luciferase refolding assays. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 138: 1-7.

Hofmann, G. E., B. A. Buckley, S. P. Place and M. L. Zippay (2002). Molecular chaperones in ectothermic intertidal animals: biochemical function and gene expression. Integr. Comp. Biol. 42: 808-814.

Place, S. P. and G. E. Hofmann (2001) Temperature interactions of the molecular chaperone Hsc70 from the eurythermal marine goby, Gillichthys mirabilis. J. Exp. Biol. 204: 2675-2682.

Book Chapters
Cheung-Flynn, J., S. P. Place, M. B. Cox, V. Prapapanich and D. F. Smith (2007). FKBP Cochaperones in Steroid Receptor Complexes. In: Protein Reviews (vol. 7) - Cell Stress Proteins. Calderwood, S. K (ed.). Kluwer Academic/ Plenum Publishers, New York.