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Faculty & Staff

Meet Our Team

Brian S. Arbogast

Professor: Conservation Biology | Graduate Faculty

I study the conservation and biogeography of terrestrial vertebrates. Research in my lab often combines fieldwork and molecular genetic studies to investigate ecological, evolutionary and conservation questions.

Dr. Arbogast | Arbogast Lab | Wildsumaco Biological Station

Friday Hall 2061

Stuart R. Borrett

Associate Provost for Research and Innovation & Professor: Quantitative Ecology 
| Graduate Faculty

Borrett Lab | Google Scholar

Alderman Hall 109B

Christian Briseño-Avena

Assistant Professor| Graduate Faculty

Center for Marine Science 2337

Julia C. Buck

Assistant Professor: Disease Ecology | Graduate Faculty

My research program in disease ecology explores the population-, community-, and ecosystem-level consequences of parasites in coastal systemsMy research projects cut across taxonomic boundaries and employ empirical approaches, observational studies, and mathematical modeling.

Buck Lab | Google Scholar

Center for Marine Science 2330

Lawrence B. Cahoon

Professor: Biological Oceanography | Graduate Faculty

I am a biological oceanographer and limnologist. My basic research interests include primary production, grazing, and nutrient dynamics, and my applied research interests include various aspects of water quality analysis and remediation.

Friday Hall 1051

Joseph A. Covi

Associate Professor: Integrative and Compartive Biology | Graduate Faculty

Broadly speaking, I am an integrative physiologist interested in the impact of environmental toxicants on crustaceans. Students in my lab use an ever-changing set of experimental tools in their work with DNA, RNA, protein, isolated mitochondria, cultured tissues and whole animals

Dobo Hall 2100

Raymond M. Danner

Associate Professor: Evolutionary Ecology | Graduate Faculty

Dr. Danner is an integrative evolutionary ecologist. His current research assesses emerging challenges for birds with a goal of supporting science-based conservation solutions.

Friday Hall 1049

Beth Doyle

Academic Advisor

Dobo Hall 1004b

Michael J. Durako

Professor Emeritus: Coastal Plant Biology

Steven D. Emslie

Professor: Marine Ornithology, Paleoecology | Graduate Faculty

My research interests are interdisciplinary and focus on seabird ecology and paleoecology, especially on the Adelie Penguin in Antarctica. I apply stable isotope and radiocarbon analyses to investigate the foraging ecology of penguins and other seabirds, past and present, in relation to climate change. I also study the fossil record of birds in the Plio/Pleistocene of western North America and changes in avian biodiversity and species distributions at the end of the Pleistocene.

Emslie Lab

Dobo Hall 2075

Patrick M. Erwin

Associate Professor: Microbial Eology, Environmental Microbiology | Graduate Faculty

My primary fields of interest are microbial ecology and environmental microbiology, with particular focus on symbiotic microbial communities in marine invertebrates, including:The structure, function and dynamics of bacterial and archaeal symbiont communities, and The contribution of symbiont metabolism to host ecology and marine nutrient cycles.

Center for Marine Science 2324

Sarah R. Fausett

Assistant Professor | Graduate Faculty

Fausett Lab

Dobo Hall 2103

Christopher M. Finelli

Dean of the Graduate School & Professor: Biological Oceanography | Graduate Faculty

James Hall 211

Nicole D. Fogarty

Associate Professor: Coral Reef Ecology | Graduate Faculty

My laboratory focuses on coral reproduction and understanding how anthropogenic stressors have led to the decline of corals worldwide. We are one of only a few facilities in the world that spawns Caribbean corals in the laboratory using artificial light. Our 36-tank experimental system allows us to understand how changes in temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, light, and pollutants will impact the physiology of Caribbean corals under future oceanic conditions. 

Fogarty Lab

Center for Marine Science 2336

Arthur R. Frampton, Jr.

Pre-Health Advisor & Associate Professor: Virology | Graduate Faculty

Dobo Hall 1063

Kenneth M. Halanych

Executive Director of the Center of Marine Science & Professor: Genomics and Evolution of Invertebrates | Graduate Faculty

Marine invertebrate evolution, marine genomics, evolutionary origins and relationships of major metazoan lineages, molecular systematics and phylogenetic theory, Antarctic biogeography, diversification of chemosynthetic fauna (especially siboglinids)

Halanych Lab | Google Scholar

Center for Marine Science 1120

Paul E. Hosier

Professor Emeritus: Plant Ecology, Ecology of Coast Vegetation

Shea Huse

Academic Advising Coordinator

Dobo Hall 1004C

Jessie C. Jarvis

Associate Professor: Coastal/Marine Plant Biology | Graduate Faculty

I am a coastal plant ecologist interested in underwater grasses also known as submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV). My aim is to understand the effects of environmental stressors on large-scale physiological processes such as plant development and reproduction within SAV populations and to communicate these results to resource agencies and policy makers charged with their management

Center for Marine Science 2329

Stephanie J. Kamel

Graduate Coordinator & Associate Professor: Marine Evolutionary Ecology | Graduate Faculty

We are interested in many aspects of marine ecology, evolution, and conservation. Projects in the lab include the spatial genetics of oyster populations, the behavioral ecology of salt marsh predator-prey interactions, mechanisms of resilience in seagrasses, as well as the thermal biology of loggerhead sea turtles. We employ a range of tools in our research, including field studies, molecular genetics, and laboratory experiments.

Center for Marine Science 2338

Donald F. Kapraun

Professor Emeritus: Phycology

Stephen T. Kinsey

Professor: Comparative Biochemsity and Physiology | Graduate Faculty

Our lab is broadly interested in comparative physiology and biochemistry, with an emphasis on how cellular processes affect complex, whole animal phenotypic traits. Much of our effort at the cellular level is directed at understanding muscle energetics and the metabolic principles that drive cellular design

Dobo Hall 2106A

Kevin B. Kiser

Senior Lecturer

Sartarelli Hall 2020C

Heather N. Koopman

Department Chair & Professor: Marine Lipid Physiology | Graduate Faculty

I am a physiologist with research interests in the role and importance of marine lipids, and how the biochemical characteristics of these molecules fit into functional and evolutionary contexts in various groups of marine organisms. Our laboratory uses a combination of methods, including anatomical, histological, and biochemical techniques, to examine three facets of the physiology of marine animals: metabolism/health, specialized adaptations, and phylogenetic lineage

Dobo Hall 1010B

Pierre Le Pabic

Assistant Professor: Evolutionary Developmental Biology | Graduate Faculty

My research focuses on the genetic and molecular basis of craniofacial development and evolution. I use a combination of traditional and cutting-edge experimental approaches in fish models to understand how developmental mechanisms produce a functional craniofacial skeleton, and how changes in these mechanisms result in phenotypic variation during evolution or in human diseases.

Le Pabic Lab

Dobo Hall 2097

Zachary T. Long

Associate Professor: Coastal Plant Ecology | Graduate Faculty

I combine theoretical and experimental approaches to investigate how interactions among species allow for or prevent their coexistence, and how the number and identity of coexisting species (i.e., diversity) influences the collective performance or functioning of ecosystems.

Friday Hall 2067

Susanna Lopez-Legentil

Professor: Marine Molecular Ecology | Graduate Faculty

Multidisciplinary approaches to the biology and ecology of marine invertebrates as it relates to their susceptibility to anthropogenic impacts. Specific research lines include: invasive ecology of introduced ascidians and stability and significance of their symbiotic microbial communities.

iMesa Lab | ORCID Number : 0000-0001-8737-6729

Center for Marine Science 2327

Jennifer Martinez

Full-Time Lecturer

Friday Hall 2065

Matthew McLean

Assistant Professor | Graduate Faculty

Dobo Hall 2095

Diane L. Melroy

Senior Lecturer: Introductory Biology Courses

Friday Hall 2059

Andrew M. Miller

Lab Coordinator/Lecturer

Dobo Hall 1020A

Julie Neurohr

Full-Time Lecturer

Sartarelli Hall 1014

D. Ann Pabst

Professor Emeritus: Marine Mammalogy

Joseph R. Pawlik

Distinguished Professor: Marine Chemical Ecology | Graduate Faculty

Dr. Pawlik is a marine invertebrate zoologist with research interests in marine chemical ecology and coral reef ecology. Recent work in his lab has focused on the functions of unusual organic compounds derived from Caribbean coral reef sponges and sea whips, particularly as defenses against predation, fouling, and overgrowth

Center for Marine Science 2333

Darin S. Penneys

Associate Professor: Plant Systematics | Graduate Faculty

My primary interests are in the systematics, natural history, and evolution of angiosperms. I specialize in the Melastomataceae, focusing on the classification and phylogenetics of the family as a whole and some tribes and genera in particular, plus biogeography, morphology, anatomy, seeds, plant-animal interactions, biodiversity, and conservation. My current research also encompasses floristics of the southeastern USA and the Philippines.

Penneys Lab | Google Scholar | Research Gate 

Dobo Hall 2096

Zandra Pinnix

Full-Time Lecturer

Sartarelli Hall 1013

Carol Z. Plautz

Full-Time Lecturer

Friday Hall 1057

Martin H. Posey

Professor: Estuarine Ecology | Graduate Faculty

My colleagues and I are studying factors determining species composition in marine bottom communities. We are particularly interested in the effects of predation, competition, biological disturbance, introduced species and eutrophication on community structure. 

Center for Marine Science 1333

Carolina Priester

Full-Time Lecturer

Sartarelli Hall 2020B

Matthew Ramirez

Assistant Professor: Coastal and Marine Biology | Graduate Faculty

Our research group works at the intersections of population biology, food web ecology, and global change biology, with an emphasis on understanding how natural and anthropogenic stressors alter life history traits, trophic interactions, and food web structure and function in marine systems. Much of our work uses sea turtles or other marine vertebrates as model organisms to test ecological theory and build predicative frameworks describing ecological responses to ecosystem changes. To this end, we integrate a variety of traditional and novel research techniques, especially ecogeochemistry (e.g., stable isotope analysis), sclerochronology, and quantitative modeling. 

Ramirez Lab

Center for Marine Science 1339

Robert D. Roer

Professor Emeritus: Animal Physiology, Biomineralization

Ryan Rhodes

Full-Time Lecturer: Genetics

Friday Hall 2028B

Frederick S. Scharf

Professor: Fisheries Biology | Graduate Faculty

My primary research interests are in the role that ecological processes play in structuring aquatic communities and their implications for the population dynamics of marine and estuarine fishes. I am interested in identifying factors that affect vital rates of different life history stages and extending knowledge of individual processes to understand interactions among size-structured populations.

Scharf Lab

Friday Hall 1059

Lorian E. Schweikert

Assistant Professor: Comparative Neurophysiology | Graduate Faculty

Dr. Schweikert is a comparative neurophysiologist who works to understand the biological principles of sensory detection and sensory-guided behavior, primarily as it relates to marine animal vision. Current projects in the lab are focused on the sensory biology of dynamic color change, marine mammal vision, and the relationship of vision and bioluminescence in deep-sea systems.  

Schweikert Lab

Dobo Hall 1076A

Kerri Smith

Assistant Professor | Graduate Faculty

Center for Marine Science 1334

Lori Sutter

Assistant Professor | Graduate Faculty

Center for Marine Science 1336

Alison R. Taylor

Professor: Cell Biology & Director of the RMD Microscopy Facility | Graduate Faculty

Research in my lab has focused on the cell biology of diatoms and coccolithophores, two of the most significant groups of phytoplankton with respect to ocean primary productivity and marine biogeochemical cycles. 

Dobo Hall 1082A

Michael S. Tift

Assistant Professor: Comparative Physiology | Graduate Faculty

The primary focus of my research is on physiological adaptations to extreme conditions. As a comparative physiologist, my goal is to integrate the knowledge gained from these unique systems to advance our understanding of human and animal physiology. Currently, I am focusing on physiological mechanisms that allow certain model systems to tolerate hypoxia and ischemia.

Tift Lab

Dobo Hall 2081

Bradley B. Tolar

Assistant Professor: Environmental Microbiology, Microbial Ecology | Graduate Faculty

Microorganisms drive global elemental cycles and are crucial for ecosystem function. My research investigates relationships between biogeochemically-important microbes and their environment to establish a baseline of seasonal change and stress tolerance. Though I am interested in many Bacteria and Archaea, my focus is on Thaumarchaeotaammonia-oxidizing Archaea that transform fixed nitrogen (ammonia) to nitrite, connecting oxidized and reduced forms of bioavailable nitrogen.

Tolar Lab | Google Scholar

Center for Marine Science 2331

Carmelo R. Tomas

Professor Emeritus: Marine Phytoplankton

Blake Ushijima

Assistant Professor: Microbiology & Molecular Pathogenesis | Graduate Faculty

We work on exploratory and applied projects focused on the host-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions contributing to the health of marine invertebrates. Our research focuses on the molecular and genetic basis for infections by bacterial pathogens and host protection by beneficial microbes (e.g. probiotics).

Ushijima Lab | Google Scholar

Friday Hall 2024A 

Jacob F. Warner

Assistant Professor: Marine Embryology | Graduate Faculty

Our lab uses marine invertebrates to study how organisms develop from a single cell to an embryo. We’re particularly interested in how genes are arranged into regulatory networks to effect cell fate decisions and morphological changes in the early embryo.

Warner Lab

Dobo Hall 2083

Wm. David Webster

Professor and Curator of Mammals: Mammalogy | Graduate Faculty

My research primarily involves the evolution, systematics, and ecology of New World mammals, especially rats, bats, and shrews. I encourage my students to use a combination of molecular, chromosomal, morphological, and ecological analyses to examine the phylogenetic relationships among closely related taxa.

Bear Hall 170B

Ami E. Wilbur

Director, UNCW Shellfish Research Hatchery & Professor: Shellfish Genetics and Mariculture
| Graduate Faculty

My research focuses on the application of modern molecular techniques to basic and applied questions in shellfish genetics and mariculture. I am particularly interested in the development and application of genetic markers to resolve issues in the design, implementation, and evaluation of culture efforts, and fisheries management practices involving marine bivalve molluscs.

Center for Marine Science 2314

Amanda Southwood Williard

Professor: Animal Physiology | Graduate Faculty

My research projects are inspired by an interest in how animals respond physiologically and behaviorally to changes in environmental conditions. I have been involved in a wide variety of studies, ranging from diving physiology to chemical ecology, but am particularly interested in the thermal biology of sea turtles.

Williard Lab

Dobo Hall 1061

Stephan Woditschka

Lecturer: Health Sciences

Sartarelli Hall 2020A

Kara E. Yopak

Associate Professor: Comparative Neuroscience | Graduate Faculty

My research focuses on the evolution of neural systems, particularly how brains have diversified within some of the earliest vertebrate groups, namely sharks, skates, rays, and chimaerids (the cartilaginous fishes). My lab focuses on comparative neuroanatomy within this clade and how the development of major brain areas between species in conjunction with the adaptive evolution of their sensory and motor systems.

Center for Marine Science 2332

Mr. Troy D. Alphin

Adjunct & Part-Time Faculty

Dr. Eric Bolen


Dr. Tim Ballard

Part-Time Faculty

Dr. Sussane Brander


Dr. Rebecka L. Brasso


Dr. Suzanne Budge


Dr. Elizabeth Darrow Condon


Dr. Ted Cranford


Dr. Jennifer Culbertson


Dr. John S. Cummings


Dr. Andrea Currylow


Mr. David DuMond


Dr. Sheila Baztan Hanby


Dr. Claire Hohenwarter


Dr. Judson W. Kenworthy


Dr. John Kucklick


Ms. Annew Markwith

Part-Time Faculty

Dr. Vicki Martin


Dr. Michael McCartney


Dr. Jean McNeil


Dr. David Meyer


Mr. Andrew Miller

Part-Time Faculty

Mr. Louis Muzyczek

Part-Time Faculty

Dr. Thomas Nolen


Dr. Douglas Nowacek


Dr. Michael Polito


Ms. Anne Porter

Part-Time Faculty

Dr. David Rabon


Dr. Warren Ramp


Dr. Andrew J. Read


Mr. Fred C. Rohde


Dr. Steve W. Ross


Dr. Laela Sayigh


Dr. Eric Schuettpelz


Dr. Jerzy Smykla


Ms. Jessica Snoberger

Part-Time Faculty

Dr. Bongkeun (BK) Song


Dr. Xavier Turon


Dr. Randall W. Wells


Dr. J. Wilson White


Dr. G. Frank Yelverton


Dr. Carlos B. Zavalaga


Troy D. Alphin

Research Associate: Estuarine Ecology


Alyson Fleming

Research Faculty

D. Wilson Freshwater

Research Analyst: Marine Botany


Michael A. Mallin

Research Professor: Estuarine Ecology

Myrtle Grove 1331

William A. McLellan

Research Associate: Marine Mammalogy

Wade O. Watanabe

Director, UNCW Finfish Aquaculture Facility & Research Professor: Finfish Aquaculture

Andrew Westgate

Research Professor: Marine Vertebrate Physiology

Friday Hall 2035

Mia Hayes Aguilar

Manager: Kresge Greenhouse

Friday Hall 2075

Tracie J. Chadwick

Administrative Associate: Purchasing

Dobo Hall 1010

Brenda Jarrell Reeves

Administrative Specialist

Dobo Hall 1010A

Lisa E. Noah

Administrative Associate: Graduate Programs

Dobo Hall 1010

Rachel Gentry

Administrative Associate: Travel

Dobo Hall 1010

Contact Us

UNCW Department of Biology and Marine Biology

Phone: (910) 962-3487
Fax: (910) 962-4066

601 S. College Road
Dobo Hall 1010
Wilmington, North Carolina 28403-5915