Publication Overview: Four Cerianthid Venoms!

My first first-author publication was recently accepted into Marine Drugs, a peer-reviewed open access journal that broadly explores how marine natural products can be used as therapeutic agents, including for drug discovery and other biotechnology applications. In our study, we reported, for the first time, the venom-like gene profiles of four species of tube anemones…… Continue reading Publication Overview: Four Cerianthid Venoms!

What Is the Worst a Jellyfish Could Do? Irukandji Syndrome

You may have heard that the Australian Box Jellyfish, Chironex fleckeri, has some of the most potent venom of any animal on the planet, powerful enough to kill an adult human in under two minutes. These animals can grow almost a foot-wide bell, and each animals has up to sixty tentacles, each up to three…… Continue reading What Is the Worst a Jellyfish Could Do? Irukandji Syndrome

Skype a Scientist Question Roundup – Fall 2018 and Spring 2019

A recent Twitter campaign, #SkypeaScientistQuestions, inspired me to write down some of the most common and most creative questions that I have gotten over the last six sessions with various classrooms through Skype a Scientist. Many of these were from 5th graders, of which only two were in coastal states and had regular access to…… Continue reading Skype a Scientist Question Roundup – Fall 2018 and Spring 2019

How Twitter has helped me in graduate school

I’ll be honest, when I started graduate school two years ago I believed I was “bad” at social media. I was inconsistent at best with platforms like Facebook and Snapchat, and I had no desire to learn about networking websites like LinkedIn. Anyway, platforms like Instagram and Twitter would just be distractions, right?    That being…… Continue reading How Twitter has helped me in graduate school

Man-of-War venom, and the discovery of anaphylaxis

Two jellies have contributed to Nobel Prize winning research: The Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1913 and the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008. In both cases the animals were actually hydrozoans: Physalia physalis, the Portuguese Man-of-War, and Aequorea victoria, the Crystal jelly. The 2008 prize was awarded for the discovery of green fluorescent protein, also…… Continue reading Man-of-War venom, and the discovery of anaphylaxis

Stung by a Moon – Celebration of the Aurelia aurita genome

On 3 December 2018, the first jellyfish genome was published online at Nature Ecology and Evolution. To clarify, the is the first genome of a cnidarian with a jellyfish stage (i.e. medusa). There are currently a few other jellies, like the hydroid Hydra vulgaris and starlet sea anemone Nematostella vectensis, that have had their genome available for…… Continue reading Stung by a Moon – Celebration of the Aurelia aurita genome

So many jelly photos!

My first visit to the National Aquarium was also a behind-the-scenes tour of the jellyfish room with Jennie Janssen (@JellyJanssen). I was completely mesmerized by hundreds of jellies in various industrial-sized aquaria. But I should also note, I am frequently mesmerized by jellies, big and small, be they in an aquarium or under the scope… Continue reading So many jelly photos!

Jellyfish are Good Eatin’!

A couple of weeks ago, New York Times’s science writer Carl Zimmer wrote about a recent review of Hays et al (2018), which asked: how important are jellyfish in marine ecosystems? The answer: important. In fact, probably more important than we have been giving them credit for. Jellyfish (often referring to both cnidarians and ctenophores)… Continue reading Jellyfish are Good Eatin’!