Biology & Marine Biology

Faculty & Staff

Aswani K. Volety, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences & Professor

Volety Ph.D., Marine Science, School of Marine Science, College of William & Mary, Gloucester Point, VA,1995
M.S., Zoology with Specialization in Marine Biology, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India, 1988
B.S., Zoology, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India, 1985
Bear Hall 146 | (910) 962-7232 | 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC, 28403-5912

My research focuses on how natural (e.g. salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, algal biotoxins) and anthropogenic (e.g. heavy metals, pesticides and polyaromatic hydrocarbons) stressors affect marine organisms. I use shellfish (oysters, clams, mussels, crabs etc.) as model organisms in examining the effects of these stressors on cellular, biochemical, physiological and ecological responses of organisms, model these responses and provide resource managers with guidance on environmental management of rivers, estuaries and coastal areas. My research expertise includes host-parasite interactions, pathophysiology and ecotoxicology of shellfish. Community outreach and engagement, and adaptive management in collaboration with resource managers are significant components of my research.

On-going projects:

  • Effects of watershed alteration and salinity on responses of oysters Crassostrea virginica
  • Investigation of Deepwater Horizon oil and dispersants on various life stages of oysters Crassostrea virginica
  • Interactions between native (oysters Crassostrea virginica) and non-native (green mussels Perna viridis) species in coastal environments
  • Impacts of redtide organism Karenia brevis) on long-term reproductive impacts of shellfish.
  • Impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on shellfish

Selected publications: * denotes student author

Vignier, Julien*, Anne Rolton*, Philippe Soudant, Fu-Lin E Chu, Rene Robert, Aswani K. Volety. 2018. Evaluation of toxicity of Deepwater Horizon slick oil on spat of the oyster Crassostrea virginica.    Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 25 :1176-1190.

Loh, A. N., L. Hermabessiere*, P. Goodman*, A. K. Volety, and P. Soudant. 2017. Impacts of altered hydrology on the sources of particulate organic carbon on the diet of Crassostrea virginica in the northern Everglades, Florida, USA. Journal of Shellfish Research. 36: 707-715.

Boulais, Myrina*, Kyle J. Chenevert**, Ashley T. Demey**, Elizabeth S. Darrow*, Madison R. Robison*, John P. Roberts* and Aswani Volety. 2017. Oyster reproduction is compromised by acidification experienced seasonally in coastal regions. Scientific REPORTS. 7: 13276. https://DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-13480-3

Vignier, Julien*, Aswani K. Volety, Nelly Le Goïc, Anne Rolton*, Fu-Lin E. Chu, Rene Robert, Philippe Soudant. 2017. Sensitivity of Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) gametes to dispersed oil: cellular responses of spermatozoa and oocytes and impacts on fertilization and embryogenesis. Environmental Pollution. 225: 270-282. DOI:

Vignier, Julien*, Philippe Soudant, Fu-Lin E. Chu, Jeff Morris, Michael Carney, Claire Lay, Michelle Krasnec, Rene Robert and Aswani K. Volety2016. Lethal and sub-lethal effects of Deepwater Horizon slick oil and dispersant on oyster (Crassostrea virginica) larvae. Marine Environmental Research 120 (2016) 20-31.

Rolton, Anne*, Julien Vignier*, Aswani K. Volety, Richard H. Pierce, Michael Henry, Sandra E. Shumway, V. Monica Bricelj, Hélène Hégaret, Philippe Soudant. 2016. Effects of field and laboratory exposure to the toxic dinoflagellate Karenia brevis  on the reproduction of the eastern oyster, Crassotrea virginica, an subsequent development of offspring. Harmful Alagae. 57: 13-26.

McFarland, Katherine*, Philippe Soudant, Fred Jean and Aswani K. Volety. 2016. Reproductive strategy of the invasive green mussel may allow for increased competition with native fauna in the Southeastern United States. Aquatic Invasions. 11 (4): 411-423.

Volety, Aswani K., Myrina Boulais*, Ludovic Donaghy*, Julien Vignier*, Ai Ning Loh and Philippe Soudant. 2016. Application of flow cytometry to assess Deepwater Horizon oil toxicity on the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica spermatozoa. Journal of Shellfish Research. 35 (1): 1-9.

McFarland, Katherine, Fred Jean, Julien Thebault, and Aswani K. Volety. 2016. Potential impacts of blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate Karenia brevis on the growth, survival and juvenile recruitment of the non-native green mussel Perna viridis in southeastern United States. Toxicon. 109: 94-102.

Vignier, Julien*., Ludovic Donaghy, Philippe Soudant, Fu-Lin Chu, Jeff Morris, Michael Carney, Claire Lay, Michelle Krasnec, Renee Robert, and Aswani K. Volety. 2015. Impacts of Deepwater Horizon oil and associated dispersants on early development of the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 100 (1): 426-437.

Rolton, Anne*, Philippe Soudant, Julien Vignier*, Richard Pierce, Mike Henry, Sandra E. Shumway, Monica V. Bricelj, and Aswani K. Volety. 2015. Susceptibility of gametes and embryos of the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, to Karenia brevis and its toxins. Toxicon. 99: 6-15.

McFarland, Katherine*, Fred Jean, Philippe Soudant, and Aswani K. Volety. 2015. Uptake and elimination of brevetoxin in the invasive green mussel, Perna viridis, during natural Karenia brevis blooms in southwest Florida. Toxicon. 97: 46-52.

Aswani K. Volety, Lesli Haynes, Patricia Goodman*, and Patricia Gorman. 2014. Ecological condition and value of oyster reefs of the Southwest Florida shelf ecosystem. Ecological Indicators. 44: 108-119.

McFarland, Katherine, Shirley Baker, Patrick Baker, Molly Rybovich, and Aswani K. Volety. 2015. Temperature, Salinity, and Aerial Exposure Tolerance of the Invasive Mussel, Perna viridis, in Estuarine Habitats: Implications for Spread and Competition with Native Oysters, Crassostrea virginica. Estuaries and Coasts. 38(5): 1619-1628.  

Rolton, Anne*, Julien Vignier, Philippe Soudant, Sandra Shumway, Monica Bricelj, and Aswani Volety. 2014. Effects of the red tide dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis, on early development of the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica and northern quahog Mercenaria mercenaria. Aquatic Toxicology. 155: 199-206.  

Rumbold, Darren, Robert Wasno*, Neil Hammerschlag, and Aswani Volety. 2014. Mercury accumulation in sharks from coastal waters of southwest Florida. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology.  67: 402-412.  

Philippe Soudant, Fu-Lin E. Chu, and Aswani K. Volety. 2013. Host-Parasite Interactions: Marine Bivalve Molluscs and Protozoan parasites, Perkinsus species. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. 114: 196-216.

Buzzelli, Christopher., Doering, Peter H., Wan, Yonghan., Gorman, Patricia., Volety, Aswani K. 2013. Simulation of Potential Oyster Density with Variable Freshwater Inflow (1965-2000) to the Caloosahatchee River Estuary, Southwest Florida, USA.  Environmental Management. 52: 981-994. DOI 10.1007/s00267-013-0136-3  

Katherine McFarland*, Ludovic Donaghy, Aswani K. Volety. 2013. Effect of acute salinity changes on hemolymph osmolality and clearance rate of the non-native mussel, Perna viridis, and the native oyster, Crassostrea virginica, in Southwest Florida. Aquatic Invasions (2013) Volume 8, Issue 3: 299–310. doi:

Cécile Jauzein, Ludovic Donaghy, Aswani K. Volety. 2013. Flow cytometric characterisation of hemocytes of the sunray venus clam Macrocallista nimbosa and influence of salinity variation. Fish and Shellfish Immunology. 35(3): 716-724.

Andrew Griffith*, Sandra Shumway, Aswani K. Volety. 2013. Bioaccumulation and depuration of brevetoxins in the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) and the northern quahog (=hard clam, Mercenaria mercenaria). Toxicon. 66: 75-81. DOI: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2013.01.016

Abeels, H. A*., A. N. Loh, A. Volety. 2012. Trophic transfer and habitat use of oyster Crassostrea virginica reefs in southwest Florida using stable isotope analysis. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 462: 125–142, 2012. 

Ludovic Donaghy, Cécile Jauzein, Aswani K. Volety. 2012. First report of severe hemocytopenia and immunodepression in the sunray venus clam, Macrocallista nimbosa, a potential new aquaculture species in Florida. Aquaculture. 364-365 (2012) 247–251. DOI: 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2012.08.045

Ludovic Donaghy, Edouard Kraffe, Nelly Le Goïc, Christophe Lambert, Aswani K. Volety, Philippe Soudant. 2012. Reactive oxygen species in unstimulated hemocytes of the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas: a mitochondrial involvement. PLoS ONE 7(10): e46594. http://dx.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046594

 Donaghy, L., and A. K. Volety. 2011. Functional and metabolic characterization of hemocytes of the green mussel, Perna viridis: in vitro impacts of temperature. Fish and Shellfish Immunology. 31: 808-814. http://dx.DOI:10.1016/j.fsi.2011.07.018.