About Robyn J Crook


(415) 338-1278


Associate Professor


BiologyCollege of Science and Engineering



At SF State Since:



I am an evolutionary biologist and behavioral neuroscientist. My lab studies the evolution and function of higher cognitive states, primarily pain. Our main animal models are cephalopods, and techniques in my lab include electrophysiology, genomics, and behavioral assays. 

We focus on plasticity in primary nociceptive neurons, looking at how this plasticity is mediated at the molecular level, and in turn, how this cellular plasticity mediates changes in neural circuits, behaviors and ultimately, the fitness of individual animals coping with injury or other painful experiences.

I have a long standing interest in the ethical basis of research animal regulation, and in the philosophical views of scientists and members of the public relating to the use of various animal species in scientific research. Through our lab's work on the evolution and functions of pain, we seek to advance the fields of sensory neurobiology, animal behavior and physiology, and in parallel inform the debate over appropriate levels of protection for invertebrate animals used in research.