Assistant Professor of Marine Biology
As a teacher, I do not expect all of my students to become scientists, but I want them to be able to evaluate and understand biological concepts they encounter in the media and everyday life. My own experiences in the lab and improving myself as a teacher has inspired me to develop a student-centered active learning environment, which facilitates an understanding of biology and an appreciation of science.
building is Polk Science
- room is 129
I am an evolutionary biologist using comparative ‘omics approaches in sea anemones and other venomous animals to address questions concerning venom evolution, symbiosis, and protein function. In my research, I use sea anemones as a model to understand how ecological factors influence molecular diversity from a phylogenetic perspective.
Being originally from Nebraska I had a strange obsession with marine life and SCUBA diving since high school. I quit my first job after about a month to pursue something that would get me "closer" to animals (albeit was working a concession stand at a drive through zoo in Nebraska). I did my undergraduate degrees in Biology and Fisheries & Wildlife at Nebraska and exhausted every avenue of Marine Biology research or training while I was there. I was lucky enough to participate in undergrad research in Roatan, Honduras using remote sensing to monitor and identify corals. I also was selected for Disney's advanced internship program, where I maintained aquariums and feed the fish at The Living Seas (now known as "The Living Seas with Nemo and Friends") in EPCOT.
I did one year of my Masters in Puerto Rico and although the proximity to the ocean was great I returned to Nebraska to complete my Masters. I went to The Ohio State for my PhD where I started working with sea anemones and venom, then the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for a postdoc.
I consider myself a novice to intermediate zymurgist.
Since Joining FSC  (*Equipment Value)
Frias Vellon, AI; Cook, K; Macrander, J. 2022. Impact of microplastics in sea anemone Nematostella vectensis defense mechanisms, survivability and behavior. Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Phoenix, AZ
Statile, KA, Delgado, A, Benedict, C, Powell, E, Treese, J, Broems, L, Daly, M, Macrander, J. 2022.
Toxic Associations: Exploring toxin diversity among clownfish hosting sea anemones. Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Phoenix, AZ
Tarleton , AG; Frias Vellon, AI; Statile, KA; Macrander, J. 2022. Is reef safe sunscreen really safe? Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Phoenix, AZ