Biology & Marine Biology

Faculty & Staff

Julie A. Koester, Full-time Lecturer

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
Dobo Hall 209 | (910) 962-7366 | 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403-5915

My research explores cellular mechanisms of adaptation to changing environments and drivers of speciation in marine micro-eukaryotes. These organisms are ecologically significant in that the primary production of phytoplankton equals that of land plants. In addition, the organisms, both autotrophic and heterotrophic, still have much to teach us about how environmental selection pressures affect cell biology, and in turn how that biology modifies the environment. In my work I use a variety of "tools." I grow phytoplankton in manipulated conditions, observe them with microscopy, and analyze genetic sequences from genomes and transcriptomes to link phenotypic adaptations to specific environmental conditions to the associated genes.

Koester, J.A, Swanson, W.J., and Armbrust, E.V. 2013. Positive selection in a diatom acts on conserved and lineage specific genes affecting transcriptional regulation and protein interactions. Mol. Biol. Evol.30:422-434. doi: 10.1093/molbev/mss242

Sharpe, S.C., Koester, J.A., Loebl, M., Cockshutt, A.M., Irwin, A.J., and Finkel, Z.V. 2012. Metabolic size scaling within and across cryptic species of Ditylum brightwellii (Bacillariophyceae). PLoS ONE 7(12): e52916. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0052916

Koester, J.A., Swalwell, J.E., von Dassow, P., and Armbrust, V.E. 2010. Genome size differentiates co-occurring populations of the planktonic diatom Ditylum brightwellii (Bacillariophyta). BMC Evolutionary Biology. 10:1 doi:10.1186/1471-2148-10-1

Koester, J.A., Brawley, S.H.B., Karp-Boss, L. and Mann, D. 2007. Sexual reproduction in the marine centric diatom Ditylum brightwellii (Bacillariophyta). European Journal of Phycology. 42(4):351-366