Victoria (Vicky) Watson-Zink

Victoria (Vicky) Watson-Zink

Graduate Student


I am interested in reconstructing the mechanisms underlying major macroevolutionary life-history transitions, particularly the evolution of marine-to-terrestrial transitions. My research focuses on several iconic groups of crabs that have, to varying degrees, made the transition to land. I use classical approaches, as well as genomic and transcriptomic tools, to explore the molecular and genetic basis for their convergently evolved terrestrial adaptations, and the evolutionary contexts under which these physiological, physical, and behavioral traits have arisen.

I was raised by a single mother in Miami, FL, and grew up exploring our local beaches and wetlands, which instilled in me a deep love for nature and marine science. As a child, I’d always imagined I’d be a wildlife biologist when I grew up, so I’m thrilled that today, I’m not very far off from that dream.

When I’m not thinking about crabs, I love self-learning Japanese, traveling/exploring new restaurants with my husband, practicing archery, and playing video games.


  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Macroevolution
  • Invertebrate Biology
  • Sea-to-land transitions
  • BS in Biological Sciences, 2013

    Cornell University