I trained in medical physiology for my PhD, and my graduate and post-doctoral research focused on comparative enzymology and non-mammalian cancer genetics. While at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Marine Biological Laboratory, I investigated some of the basic science behind molecular biomarkers for use in wild populations. As an independent school educator and director of science research at Riverdale Country School in The Bronx, I became interested in the molecular basis of stress adaptation for wild species. This research area has proved fruitful in multiple ways. Working as a team, with high school students, we have received external grant support and published our findings regarding molecular adaptation across broad ranges of environmental stressors. Most importantly, direct involvement in this hands on field based research has empowered young people at the high school level to take on some of the most critical questions of our time.
I am specifically interested in the molecular basis of adaptive processes that allow organisms to cope with various stressors such as urbanization and climate change. Research in my lab merges urban ecology and field biology with subcellular and molecular analysis. We are most interested in addressing the ways in which the epigenome controls adaptation and evolution. We collect empirical data based on novel model systems that include wild populations of molluscs and plants. I am especially interested in understanding how transient epigenetic changes can drive evolutionary change.
Worked with educators from NYC independent schools to establish the Interschool Covid Research team where students and teachers have stepped up to research critical aspects of the 2020 SARS-Co-V2 pandemic.
DeCarlo, L., Meckler, F., Hans, M., Kelemen, S., Magun, H., Noah, M., Pappajohn, L., Anderson, N., Berger, R., Berkel, J., Brooke, N., Chen, L., Chijioke, O., Connolly, R., Dewees, N., Falkner P., Forester, B., Frank, J., Holzman, W., Marino, V., Ravascheire, A. ,Wang, Y., Williams, A., Williams, Z., Gentile, D., and Cox, R.L. (2021) Molecular response to urban stress in an estuarine species: smooth cordgrass (Sporobolus alterniflorus). Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, in submission.
Ravaschiere, A. Cutler, C. Edleson, K. Halem, Z. Magun, H. Meckler, F., Cox, R.L. (2017) Quantification of heat shock protein 70 and acetylcholinesterase over a time course suggests environmental adaptation in a foundational molluscan species. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 142: 222-229.
Halem, Z.M., Ross, D.J. and Cox, R.L. (2014) Evidence for intraspecific endocrine disruption of Geukensia demissa (Atlantic ribbed mussel) in an urban watershed. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A 175: 1-6.
Bisikirska, B., Adam, S.J., Alvarez, M.J., Rajbhandari, P., Cox, R.L., Lefebvre, C., Wang, K., Rieckhof, G.E., Flesher, D.W., Califano, A. (2013) STK38 is a Critical Upstream Regulator of MYC’s Oncogenic Activity in Human B-cell lymphoma. Oncogene (Nature Publishing Grp): 1-9.
Cox, R.L. (2012) “Beyond the Genes”. The Riverdale Reader, Number III, Riverdale, NY
Muttray, A.F., Cox, R.L., Reinisch, C.L., Baldwin, S.A. (2007) Identification of Delta N Isoform and Polyadenylation Site Choice Variants in Molluscan p63/p73-like Homologues. Marine Biotechnology (NY) Mar-Apr 9 (2): 217-30. Epub 2007 Jan 22.
Muttray, A.F., Cox, R.L., St-Jean, S., van Poppelen, P. Reinisch, C.L. Baldwin, S.A. (2005) Identification and phylogenetic comparison of p53 in two distinct mussel species (Mytilus). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part C 140: 237-50.
Cox, R.L., Stephens, R.E. and Reinisch, C.L. (2003) p63/p73 homologues in surf clam: novel signaling motifs and implications for control of expression. Gene 320 (C): 49-58.
McArthur A.G., Hegelund, T., Cox, R.L., Stegeman, J. J., Liljenberg, M., Olsson, U. Sundberg P., Celander M.C. (2003) Phylogenetic analysis of the cytochrome P450 3 (CYP3) gene family. J Molecular Evolution 57 (2): 200-11.
Oleksiak, M.F., Wu, S., Parker, C. Qu, W., Cox, R.L., Zeldin, D.C., Stegeman, J.J. (2003) Identification and regulation of a new vertebrate cytochrome P450 subfamily, the CYP2Ps and functional characterization of CYP2P3, a conserved arachidonic acid epoxygenase/19 hydroxylase. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 411 (2): 223-34.
Cox, R.L., Mariano, T., Heck, D.E., Laskin, J.D., Stegeman, J.J. (2001) Nitric oxide synthase sequences in the marine fish Stenotomus chrysops and the sea urchin Arbacia punctulata, and phylogenetic analysis of nitric oxide synthase calmodulin binding domains. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part B 130: 479-91.
Cox, R.L. (1999) Nitric oxide synthase in non-mammalian species: sequence identification and phylogenetic analysis. Doctoral dissertation, Boston University School of Medicine.
Cox, R.L. and Stegeman, J.J. (1996) Characterization of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in fish liver: enzyme activity and immunoblot analysis. In The Biology of Nitric Oxide, Part 5, S. Moncada, J. Stamler, S. Gross and E.A Higgs, Eds. Portland Press, London.
Cox, R.L., Glick D.L., Strumwasser, F. (1991) Isolation and protein sequence identification of Aplysia californica lens crystallin. Biological Bulletin 181 (2): 333-335.
Meilleur, B.A., Hunn, E.S. Cox, R.L. (1990) Lomatium dissectum (Apiaceae): Multi-purpose plant of the Pacific Northwest. Journal of Ethnobiology 10 (1): 1-22.
Cox, R.L., Kuo, C.-C. Grayston J.T., Campbell, L.A. 1988. International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology 38 (3),* 265-268.
Cox, R.L., Kuo, C.-C. Grayston J.T., Campbell, L.A. 1988. Deoxyribonucleic Acid Relatedness of Chlamydia sp. strain TWAR to Chlamydia trachomatis and Chlamydia psittaci. International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology 38 (3),* 265-268.