Biology & Marine Biology

Faculty & Staff

Carolina Priester, Lecturer

Ph.D., Marine Biology, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC, 2012
M.S., Biology, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC, 2003
B.S., Marine Biology, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC, 2001
Osprey Hall 2020B | (910) 962-2943 | 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403-5915

Research interests:
My research projects involve investigating skeletal muscle structure and function in vertebrates and invertebrates, in collaboration with Drs. Dillaman and Kinsey. We use a comparative approach to investigate muscle fiber ultrastructure and organelle distribution in a wide range of species that undergo extreme increases in body size during post larval growth (mainly fishes and crustaceans). Our research uses various microscopy techniques including confocal microscopy, immunohistochemistry, transmission electron microscopy, and histology. We collaborate with Florida State University to develop mathematical models to test how molecular diffusion limitations may affect muscle fiber structure. We also collaborate with a lab at UC Davis in a research project that compares lipid content in the flight muscle of migratory and non-migratory species of sparrows.

Undergraduate students interested in learning and applying microscopy techniques and seeking BIO 491 credit hours (directed individual study) are welcome to contact me. I typically accept up to two students per semester.

Another opportunity for BIO 491 or internship credits is available through a collaborative project I have with BeUnlimited Yoga (Wilmington, NC). This project consists of developing content (for example a booklet, manual, website, or app) describing what muscle groups are used during the practice of hot yoga, and which body systems benefit from each yoga posture (student must have taken Human Anatomy I and II in order participate). Interested students should email me at


Priester, C., Braude, J.P., Morton, L.C., Kinsey, S.T., Watanabe, W.O., Dillaman, R.M. 2012. Ring bands in fish skeletal muscle: Reorienting the myofibrils and cytoskeleton within a single cell. Journal of Morphology. 273, 1246-1256.

Pathi, B., Kinsey, S.T., Howdeshell, M.E., Priester, C., McNeill, R.S., Locke, B.R. 2012. The formation and functional consequences of heterogeneous mitochondrial distributions in skeletal muscle. Journal of Experimental Biology. 215, 1871-1883

Priester C., Morton L.C., Kinsey S.T., Watanabe W.O., Dillaman R.M. 2011. Growth patterns and nuclear distribution in white muscle fibers from black sea bass, Centropristis striata: evidence for the influence of diffusion. Journal of Experimental Biology. 214, 1230-1239.

Hancock, A., Priester, C., Kidder, E., Keith, J.R. 2009. Does 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) disrupt cell proliferation and neuronal maturation in the adult rat hippocampus in vivo? Behavioural Brain Research. 199, 218-221.

Keith, J.R., Priester, C., Ferguson, M., Salling, M., Hancock, A. 2008. Persistent increases in the pool of doublecortin-expressing neurons in the hippocampus following spatial navigation training. Behavioural Brain Research. 188, 391-397.

Priester, C., Dillaman, R.M., Gay, D.M. 2005. Ultrastructure, histochemistry, and mineralization patterns in the ecdysial suture of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus. Microscopy and Microanalysis. 11, 479-499.