Schnitzler Lab Welcomes Dr. Zac Lane

Schnitzler Lab Welcomes Dr. Zac Lane

Published: Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Please welcome Dr. Zac Lane to the Whitney Laboratory! He recently joined the Schnitzler Lab as a Postdoctoral Associate.

Zac completed his B.S. in Biology at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, and then his master’s in marine biology at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. His B.S thesis focused on the invertebrate inhabitants of large woody debris in riparian systems, and during his master's he developed a novel system for rearing epibiotic barnacles and experimentally categorized their feeding behaviour.

Zac went on to complete his Ph.D. in Coastal Science at the University of Southern Mississippi. His dissertation research was centered on the reproductive behaviour, burrow construction, and territoriality of the Atlantic sand fiddler crab, Leptuca pugilator, which he studied extensively in the field. Throughout the final year of his Ph.D., Zac worked as a lab technician/lab manager in a neuroengineering laboratory at Rice University where the focus was to develop non-invasive, chemogenetic approaches to treating neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.

Throughout his career, Zac has been deeply driven to pester invertebrates of all sorts in various ways to a multitude of ends. Here at the Whitney Laboratory, he plans to continue following that drive, using the molecular toolkit he developed as a technician to answer the age-old question: How exactly do hydrozoans grow back so completely after being dismembered? By investigating the interstitial stem cells of Hydractinia, he hopes to bring the field one step closer to understanding the incredible regeneration of these organisms.

Outside of science, Zac enjoys being in nature, climbing, playing games of any sort (video-, board-, tabletop-, sports, etc.), making music, and reading.