Ph.D Students

Leann Frank

LeeAnn Frank

Alumni: University of West Georgia, B.S.
Focus: Environmental metabolic cost in marine teleosts 

I received my bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in chemistry from the University of West Georgia. During my undergraduate career, I studied the incorporation of plastids in kleptoplastic sea slugs, Elysia clarki. After graduation, I completed an ecotoxicology internship at Mote Marine Lab where I studied the accumulation of brevetoxins in shellfish.

I am interested in the effects humans have, primarily through climate change, on the physiology of marine life. My first experiment as a Ph.D. student is looking at the metabolic cost of osmoregulation with increased salinity, supposedly leading to a prolonged SDA in toadfish.

Kristen Ranges

Kristen Ranges

Alumni: University of Delaware, B.S.
Focus: Impact of oil exposure on fish swim performance 

Kristen, a joint J.D./Ph.D. student, is studying the effects of oil exposure on the lateral line system/neuromasts in fish as well as their startle responses. Inefficient swimming has been observed in exposed fish, which, it has been proposed, is due to the potential impairment in neuromast function. She plans to explore this impairment on an individual level and extrapolate it to population levels to determine what behavioral and ecological outcomes can be expected after an oil spill. Understanding the impacts of spills on fish populations can help form a stronger basis for first responders/recovery, mitigation decision making, and liability lawsuits, all of which are increasingly important as the government expands the ability for oil and gas companies to excavate and drill offshore.