Research Labs

Julie Balko, Kate Bailey, and Lysa Posner Lab of Aquatic Animal Anesthesia, Analgesia, and Euthanasia

Our laboratory has a clinical focus and, thus, concentrates on aquatic animal species commonly found as household pets, in aquaria or zoological facilities, or at research or rehabilitation institutions, including fish, reptiles, and amphibians. We have two main objectives: our first aim is to provide evidence-based refinement of anesthetic and analgesic best practices for aquatic animal species; our second aim is to objectively evaluate and advance euthanasia methodology in aquatic animal species.

Greg Cope Lab of Aquatic Ecotoxicology

My research strives for a high impact program that delivers objective, science-based information to federal and state natural resource management agencies and to other policy or decision makers for effectively informing conservation, management, and recovery of imperiled species of native freshwater mollusks and fish. My research interests within this realm are in aquatic toxicology, ecology, and physiology, as well as in the transport, fate, and effects of aquatic pollutants and other human-mediated stressors such as temperature and climate change. This research utilizes sentinel aquatic organisms, biomarkers of exposure, effect, or susceptibility, or alternative toxicological models from which linkages to environmental and human health are evaluated.
Steven Hall Lab of Aquacultural Engineering

We work in conjunction with biologists, environmental scientists, practitioners and others to find ways to enhance sustainability in aquaculture and coastal systems. Our work includes focus on human health (e.g. treatment to improve food safety of shellfish for human consumption) and animal health (use of prebiotics and probiotics to enhance immune function in finfish). Overall we aim to develop smarter, safer, sustainable systems via aquacultural engineering approaches.

Craig Harms Lab of Marine Animal Health

Clinically applied research, fisheries interactions, environmental health.
Seth Kullman Lab of Toxicology
The Kullman laboratory employs molecular, comparative and functional genomic approaches to examine how exposure to environmental stressors (dys)regulate gene regulatory networks that govern critical steps of cell differentiation and embryonic development. Much of our work is focused on nuclear receptors and ligand activated transcription factor signaling with a strong focus on understanding alterations in the coordination of cell signaling pathways, transcriptional gene regulatory networks, and epigenetic modifications that facilitate stem cells commitment towards defined cell lineage.
Gregory A. Lewbart Ectotherm Health Group

My areas of interest include pharmacology, clinical pathology, anesthesia, analgesia, and surgery of invertebrates, fishes, amphibians, and reptiles. I am also interested in wildlife conservation and work to address the anthropogenic impacts on wildlife in North Carolina and the Galápagos Islands.

Kurt Marsden Lab of Behavioral Neuroscience

The overarching goal of the Marsden lab is to better understand the processes underlying neurological disease by uncovering the genetic and neural circuit basis of behavior and behavioral plasticity. Using zebrafish as our model system, we take a variety of experimental approaches including gene expression analysis, high-throughput behavioral testing, 3- and 4-D analysis of neural circuits, simultaneous imaging of neuronal activity and behavior, and optogenetic techniques.

Nanette Nascone-Yoder Lab of Morphogenesis and Organogenesis

The goal of our research is to understand the biological mechanisms that control the development of left-right asymmetry at the organ level, in order to illuminate the causes of birth defects. We are investigating LR asymmetric organ development at multiple scales, including studies of cell- and tissue-level morphogenesis in frogs and DNA sequence analyses from human patients.

Ben Reading Lab of Applied Ecology 

NC State University is the sole world source of domesticated striped bass in the world and the fish are bred specifically for culture at university field laboratory facilities. This program also directly interfaces with the aquaculture industry, state and federal natural resource agencies, and the USDA National Animal Genome Program.

David Reif Lab of Bioinformatics & Environmental Health

The overarching goal of research in the Reif Lab is to understand the complex interactions between human health and the environment. To accomplish this goal, we focus on developing bioinformatical/statistical methods, visual analytics, experimental designs, and software for the integrated analysis of high-dimensional, multi-scale data from diverse sources. We collaborate with zebrafish labs to generate data related to high-throughput screening (HTS) of environmental chemicals for developmental and neurobehavioral effects and gene-environment interactions (GxE).

Martha Burford Reiskind Lab of Conservation Genetics

Reade Roberts Lab of Evolutionary Genetics

Research in the Roberts laboratory examines the genomic basis of adaptation and speciation, with focus on dietary adaptation, host-microbiota interactions, sex determination and sex differences, and complex behavior. We utilize a broad range of approaches to examine genotype and phenotype, including genetic mapping in families and natural populations, comparative genomics, metagenomics, gene expression analysis, and developmental biology techniques. While our basic biology work is largely guided by evolutionary questions, it promises to ultimately impact our understanding of vertebrate molecular genetics and development.

Jeff Yoder Lab of Comparative Immunology

The overall focus of the Yoder Lab is on identifying novel mediators of innate immunity. My lab uses the zebrafish as a model for identifying novel mediators of immunity and for examining the immunotoxicological effects of environmental chemicals. We are also using comparative genomics and phylogenetic approaches to investigate the molecular mechanisms that drive diversity in immune receptor gene families in ray-finned fish.

Christina Zakas Lab or Evolutionary Developmental Genetics

We use a marine polychaete model to understand how switches in developmental program evolve in the genome. The lab uses a combination of population genetics, genomics, and embryology to understand how selective pressures on developmental programs result in different offspring types. This allows us to investigate the rules of gene regulation during development.