Sonoma State University Professor and Chair, Biology
Dr. Daniel Crocker is a world-renowned researcher and expert on how human-created stressors such as noise and contaminants affect the survival and reproduction of thousands of species that live in the oceans.
He holds a nearly unparalleled record on campus for successful research funding; bringing in nearly $8 million in capacity building and transforming the university’s biology program. His vertebrate endocrinology lab has received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) to better understand the strategies that seals use to survive extended fasting and breath-holds. These studies not only inform scientists’ knowledge of how these animals develop these capabilities but also hold important implications for human health issues such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Crocker’s groundbreaking research continues to be recognized by the global scientific community, and his research has been cited nearly 10,000 times. He has published more than 230 peer-reviewed papers, including 23 in the past two academic years alone. He served on a prestigious National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine committee where he coauthored a report that has informed much of the global research on the conservation physiology of marine mammals from the past decade. He currently serves on the Population Consequences of Multiple Stressors working group, funded by the Department of Defense’s Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program, to develop modeling frameworks for understanding the impacts of disturbances on marine mammals.
Additionally, Crocker is deeply committed to mentoring and training university students in research skills. He has been instrumental in developing the master’s program in biology at Sonoma State, with his funding efforts supporting paid research for more than 40 graduate students in the university’s campus lab. Many of these students have gone on to doctoral programs and become professors within the CSU.
Crocker’s research projects have also involved the recruitment of more than 100 undergraduates, many of whom are first-generation college students, including McNair, Sally Casanova, and Koret scholars from underserved communities. Several of these students have gone on to do graduate work and become professors, researchers and teachers.
Crocker earned his bachelor’s degree in applied biology from the Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as a master’s degree in marine sciences and a doctorate in biology from University of California, Santa Cruz.