Ph.D Students

Leann Frank

LeeAnn Frank

Alumni: University of West Georgia, B.S.
Email: lcf51@rsmas.miami.edu
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.
Email: kristenranges@gmail.com
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.


Lela Schlenker

Lela Schlenker

Alumni: Smith College (B.A. Biology); College of William and Mary at Virginia Institute of Marine Science (M.S. Fisheries Science)
Email: lschlenker@rsmas.miami.edu
Focus: Marine fish olfaction and behavior 

My research is focused on understanding how oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon event in the Gulf of Mexico affected commercially and ecologically important fish species such as mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) and bicolor damselfish (Stegastes partitus). I am currently investigating the acute effects of oil exposure on the behavior and olfactory acuity of juvenile mahi-mahi and bicolor damselfish in the lab using behavior assays and an electro-olfactogram technique. Additionally, I use pop-up satellite archival tags to understand more about the migrations, habitat use, and spawning behavior of both control and oil exposed wild adult mahi-mahi. I hope to use both the data on the effects of crude oil on the physiology and behavior of fish in the laboratory along with the effects on the migrations, habitat use and spawning of fish in the wild to better understand how the larger population of mahi-mahi was affected by the Deepwater Horizon event.