Post Doctoral Researchers

Rachael Heuer

Rachael Heuer

Alumni: University of Florida, B.S., University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Ph.D.  
Email: rheuer@rsmas.miami.edu
Focus: Impacts of ocean acidification on physiology in marine fish (Ph.D.); Impacts of crude oil on cardiac function in marine fish (Postdoctoral)

Rachael Heuer is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate. Rachael works with Dr. Martin Grosell and Dr. Dane Crossley (University of North Texas) in the RECOVER consortium, examining the effects of crude oil on heart cell function in the mahi-mahi. Rachael also examines the impacts of temperature on swim performance in Mahi-mahi. In addition, to RECOVER projects, Rachael also examines the impacts of ocean acidification on the behavior and physiology of the California sea hare, Aplysia californica.

Rachael obtained her Ph.D. in Marine Biology and Fisheries in 2015 in Martin Grosell’s lab at the University of Miami (RSMAS) as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, where she examined the impacts of CO2 and future projected ocean acidification on intestinal transport physiology and brain chemistry in marine fish. In her position, Rachael has the opportunity to draw upon her previous training in fish physiology to delve into the aspects of the cardiac system of high performing pelagic fish species.




Christina Pasparakis

Christina Pasparakis

Alumni: University of Miami, B.S., San Francisco State University, M.S., University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Ph.D. 
Email: cpasparakis@rsmas.miami.edu
Focus: Metabolic rate and buoyancy control in early - life stage mahi

Christina Pasparakis is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Martin Grosell’s lab and is a member of the RECOVER consortium. Her research interests are in physiology and toxicology and the ways in which animals adapt to changing environmental conditions. Specifically, Christina studies the sublethal effects of crude oil exposure from the DWH disaster of 2010, in combination with multiple additional environmentally relevant stressors, such as high temperature and ultraviolet radiation on the early life stages of mahi-mahi, Coryphaena hippurus. In addition, her research focuses on the mechanisms behind embryonic buoyancy control and how different stressors known to occur in surface waters affect embryonic buoyancy throughout development. 

Christina obtained her Ph.D. in Marine Biology and Ecology in 2018 in Martin Grosell’s lab at the University of Miami (RSMAS). She received her MSc at San Francisco State University under the supervision of Anne Todgham, where she explored heat hardening in the intertidal, fingered limpet, Lottia digitalis.




Yadong Wang

Yadong Wang

Alumni: Ocean University of China, B.S., University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Ph.D. 
Email: yadong.wang@rsmas.miami.edu
Focus: Molecular toxicology and physiology in fish

A recent study has shown that mahi larvae exposed to crude oil have displayed increased oxygen consumption suggesting an increased metabolic rate which is mainly fueled by protein catabolism from the yolk sac. In teleosts, protein is usually catabolized into ammonia or urea. My research is focused on the effects of crude oil on ammonia and urea handling in early life stages of mahi and the role of cardiovascular systems in ammonia and urea excretion in early life stages of zebrafish. I hope my research can help to understand the underlying mechanism of toxicity from crude oil in early life stages of pelagic fish.