Biology & Marine Biology

Faculty & Staff

kamels2022.jpgStephanie J. Kamel, Associate Professor & Graduate Program Coordinator

Ph.D., Evolution and Ecology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, 2006
B.S. (Hon), Marine and Freshwater Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada, 2000
Myrtle Grove 2328 | (910) 962-2841 | Center for Marine Science,
5600 Marvin K. Moss Lane, Wilmington, NC 28409-5928

Research Interests:

A central theme of our work is that social context – the density, genetic composition, and trait distribution in groups of interacting conspecifics – can significantly influence the life histories, productivity, and functioning of individuals and populations. Characterizing the distribution of genetic diversity at spatial and temporal scales relevant to these interactions thus enables a deeper understanding of the processes of trait evolution and diversification. Importantly, determining what aspects of intraspecific diversity most closely predict population success offers practical guidance to management and restoration efforts, in the face of contemporary anthropogenic change to marine coastal habitats. 

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.

Selected publications

Stachowicz, J.J.*, Kamel, S.J.*, Hughes, A.R., and Grosberg, R.K. 2013. Genetic relatedness influences plant biomass accumulation in eelgrass (Zostera marina). The American Naturalist 181: 715-724.
*equal contributions

Kamel, S.J. 2013. Vegetation cover predicts temperature in nests of the hawksbill sea turtle: implications for offspring sex ratio and beach management. Endangered Species Research 20: 41-48.

Kamel, S.J., and Grosberg, R.K. 2012. Exclusive male care despite extreme female promiscuity and low paternity in a marine snail. Ecology Letters 15: 1167-1173.

Kamel, S.J., Hughes, A.R., Grosberg, R.K., and Stachowicz, J.J. 2012 Fine-scale genetic structure and relatedness in the eelgrass Zostera marina. Marine Ecology Progress Series 447: 127-137.

Kamel, S.J., Grosberg, R.K. and Marshall, D.J. 2010. Family conflicts in the sea. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 25: 442-449.

Kamel, S.J., Oyarzun, F.X., and Grosberg, R.K. 2010. Reproductive biology, family conflict, and size of offspring in marine invertebrates. Integrative and Comparative Biology 50: 619-629.

Mrosovsky, N., Kamel, S.J., van Dam, R., and Diez, C.E. 2009. Methods of estimating natural sex ratios of sea turtles from incubation temperatures and laboratory data. Endangered Species Research 8: 147-155.

Boulding, E.G., Hay, T., Holst, M., Kamel, S.J., Pakes, D. and Tie, A.D. 2007. Modelling the genetics and demography of step cline formation: gastropod populations preyed on by experimentally introduced crabs. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 20: 1976-1987.

Kamel, S.J. and Mrosovsky, N. 2006. Inter-seasonal study of individual preferences for nest-site

microhabitat reveals a behavioral polymorphism for nest-site choice within a single population of hawksbill sea turtles. Ecology 87: 2947-2952.

Kamel, S.J. and Mrosovsky, N. 2006. Deforestation: risk of sex ratio distortion in hawksbill sea turtles. Ecological Applications 16: 923-931.

Kamel, S.J. and Mrosovsky, N. 2005. Repeatability of nesting preferences in the hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) and their fitness consequences. Animal Behaviour 70: 819-828.

Kamel, S.J. and Mrosovsky, N. 2004. Nest site selection in leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea): individual patterns and their consequences. Animal Behaviour 68: 357-366.