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Amanda Kahn

 Amanda Kahn







I am describing two new species of deep-sea hexactinellid sponges found in the northeast Pacific Ocean. These sponges have a distinct plate-like morphology and may act as microhabitats for other deep-sea benthic organisms. I am also sequencing the mitochondrial genomes of these two species.  Mitochondrial genomics seeks to study and compare the evolution of this metabolic organelle, which is found in almost all eukaryotes. A resulting phylogeny will help us evaluate the taxonomic levels at which  mitochondrial gene sequences can be used to evaluate remaining hypotheses in sponge systematics.


BS Biological Sciences, California State University, East Bay 2007
BA Chemistry, California State University, East Bay 2007

Research Experience

As an undergraduate, I used cold-vapor atomic absorption spectroscopy and x-ray absorption spectroscopy to study the accumulation and speciation ofn mercury in Spartina foliosa, a native cordgrass, and Spartina alterniflora, an invasive cordgrass, in San Francisco Bay.

In the summers of 2007 and 2008, I was an intern in Ken Smith's lab at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. I studied population demographics of deep-sea 'plate" sponges from 1989 to 2006 using data from a long-term study site in the northeast Pacific, and I performed a feasibility study for a new method of estimating rates of sponge growth.


Kahn, A.S., G.I. Matsumoto, Y.M. Hirano, and A.G. Collins (2010). Haliclystus californiensis, a "new" species of stauromedusa (Cnidaria: Staurozoa) from the northeast Pacific, with a key to the species of Haliclystus.  Zootaxa, 2518:49-59.

Patty, C., B. Barnett, B. Mooney, A. Kahn, S. Levy, Y. Liu, P. Pianetta, and J.C. Andrews (2009).  Using X-ray microscopy and Hg L3 XANES to study Hg binding in the rhizosphere of Spartina cordgrass.  Environmental Science and Technology, 43(19):7397-7402.

Kahn, A.S., H.A. Ruhl, and K.L. Smith, Jr. (in prep). Temporal changes in population density and size of two hexactinellid sponge species in the abyssal northeast Pacific.

Curriculum Vitae