Biology & Marine Biology

Faculty & Staff

Koester.JPGJulie A. Koester, Lecturer & Researcher

Ph.D., Biological Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 2012
M.S., Botany and Plant Pathology, University of Maine, Orono, ME, 2005
Honors B.S., Marine Biology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 1991
Friday Hall 3031| (910) 962-7366 | 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403-5915 |


BIOL 335: Genetics Lab Coordinator and Instructor

BIO 471: Phytoplankton

BIO 201: Cell Biology (online)

BIOL 495: Applied Learning Senior Seminar in Bioinformatics

BIOL 362: Marine Biology Labs

Research: Electrical Signaling and Membrane Physiology of Unicellular Organisms

Voltage-gated ion channels facilitate rapid long-distance signaling in animals, yet homologs of these channels are found in phytoplankton, bacteria, and Archaea. We characterize individual channels by expressing them in heterologous systems and measuring the electrical currents using electrophysiology. We also use non-invasive techniques, including voltage-sensing dyes, to test for electrical activity in cellular membranes of the living organisms. I am currently developing an experimental model to test electrical signaling in Archaea, with the goal of identifying the environmental signal that the cell receives and how the resulting membrane depolarization is transduced within the cell.

I am also interested in the evolution of membrane proteins and processing pathways.

I employ a variety of bioinformatics to answer specific questions through comparative and phylogenetic analyses.

Recent Publications

Helliwell, K.E. Chrachri A., Koester, J.A., Wharam, S. Verret, F. Taylor, A.R., Wheeler G.L., Brownlee, C. (2019) Alternative mechanisms for fast Na+/Ca2+ signalling in eukaryotes via a novel class of single-domain voltage-gated channels. Current Biology

Liang, Y., Koester, J.A., Liefer, J.D., Irwin, A.J., Finkel, Z.V. (2019) Molecular mechanisms of temperature acclimation and adaptation in marine diatoms. ISME Journal

Koester, J.A., Berthiaume, C., Hiranuma, N., Parker, M. S., Iverson, V., Morales, R., Ruzzo, W.L., Armbrust, E.V. (2018) Sexual ancestors generate an obligate asexual and globally dispersed clone within the model diatom species Thalassiosira pseudonana. Scientific Reports 8:10492, doi:10.1038/s41598-018-28630-4

Behringer, G., Ochsenkühn, M.A., Cong, F., Fanning, J., Koester, J.A., Amin, S.A. (2018) Bacterial communities of diatoms display strong conservation across strains and time. Frontiers in Microbiology 9:659, doi:10.3389/fmicb.2018.00659

Durkin, C.A., Koester, J.A., Bender, S.J., Armbrust, E.V. (2016) The evolution of silicon transporters in diatoms. J. Phycol. 52(5): 716-731, doi:10.1111/jpy.12441