Dr. Leslie Babonis Accepts Faculty Position at Cornell University!

Dr. Leslie Babonis Accepts Faculty Position at Cornell University!

Published: Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Congratulations to Dr. Leslie Babonis of the Whitney Laboratory who recently accepted a tenure track faculty position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University beginning January 1, 2021.

Dr. Babonis joined the Whitney Laboratory as a Research Assistant Scientist in the Martindale Lab in 2012. Dr. Babonis has a long standing interest in the evolution of biological novelties, a phenomenon that even Charles Darwin had no clue about, starting with her graduate work on osmoregulatory organs of deadly sea snakes in the Department of Biology here at UF.  In her postdoctoral work, Dr. Babonis has leveraged the full suite of techniques, from transmission electron microscopy to comparative and functional genomics to understand the origin of unique cell types in animals such as cnidarians and ctenophores.

In addition to her scientific research, Dr. Babonis has served as the mayor of the Town of Marineland since May 2013.

"Leslie is fearless in the lab and not afraid to tackle difficult questions that others shy away from," says Director of the Whitney Laboratory Dr. Mark Martindale. "She is willing to learn new techniques and quantitative approaches that will most directly address the question she is interested in. She is truly an interdisciplinary thinker and a terrific mentor. Cornell University is lucky to have recruited her. Dr. Babonis will be sorely missed here at Whitney!"

Dr. Babonis earned her Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Florida and was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Kewalo Marine Laboratory in the Martindale Lab.

We wish you the best in your scientific career and further pursuits in the next chapter of life!