Ryan Lab News

Allen Institute Article: Comb jellies gives scientists hints of our nervous system’s past

Fragile ctenophores float in seawater

"Mucus always messes everything up." Allen Distinguished Investigator Dr. Joseph Ryan is making waves for his research on the biology of an extremely difficult creature to study - comb jellies. Read More


Ryan Lab welcomes Leandra Toledo

Toledo, Leandra

Please welcome Leandra Toledo to the Whitney Laboratory!  She recently joined the Ryan Lab as a student researcher. Read More


Remi Ketchum, PhD receives Graduate Dean’s Distinguished Dissertation Award from UNC Charlotte

Ketchum, Remi

Congratulations to Remi Ketchum, Ph.D, a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Ryan Lab, who received the 2023 Graduate Dean’s Distinguished Dissertation Award for the category of Biological Sciences/Life Sciences from UNC Charlotte’s Graduate School for her PhD work! Read More


Ryan Lab welcomes Natalia Padillo-Anthemides

Padillo-Anthemides, Natalia

Please welcome Natalia E. Padillo-Anthemides to the Whitney Laboratory! She recently joined the Ryan Lab as a Ph.D. student through the Genetics & Genomics program. Read More


Ryan Lab Welcomes Dr. Adolfo Lara

 Lara, Adolfo

Please welcome Dr. Adolfo Lara to Whitney Laboratory! He recently joined the Ryan Lab as a postdoctoral research associate and will be focused on the evolutionary genomics of doliolids. Read More


Paper Published in PNAS Reveals How New Cell Type Can Arise

Nematostella in lab

Congratulations to Dr. Leslie Babonis, Dr. Camile Enjolras, Dr. Joseph Ryan and Dr. Mark Q. Martindale for their contributions to a recent paper entitled, "A novel regulatory gene promotes novel cell fate by suppressing ancestral fate in the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis" published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Read More


Ryan Lab Welcomes Lana Dykes

Dykes, Lana

Please welcome Lana Dykes to Whitney Laboratory! She recently joined Dr. Joseph Ryan's lab as an undergraduate researcher. Read More


Dr. Joseph Ryan, Dr. Mark Martindale, and Dr. James Strother Named Allen Distinguished Investigators!

James Strother, Joseph Ryan, Mark Martindale

This grant will allow researchers to better understand the brains and nervous systems of animals and humans by studying gelatinous ocean comb jellies, sea creatures that can lead us to insights about how brains began. This is the first time the foundation has awarded the grant to the University of Florida! Read More


Alexandra Hernandez of the Ryan Lab Defends her PhD!

Dr. Alexandra Hernandez

On November 12, Alexandra M. Hernandez, a Ph.D. student working in the laboratory of Joseph Ryan, successfully defended her Ph.D. entitled “Unraveling Ctenophorology and its Implications on Early Animal Evolution". Read More


Daniel Groso joins the Ryan Lab

Daniel Groso

Please welcome Daniel Groso to the Whitney Laboratory! Daniel joined Dr. Joseph Ryan's laboratory as an undergraduate researcher in May of 2020. Read More


Dani Hayes joins the Ryan Lab

Danielle Hayes

Please welcome Dani Hayes to the Whitney Laboratory. Dani is working as a post-baccalaureate researcher in the Ryan Laboratory and is applying to Ph.D. programs for Fall 2021. She is broadly interested in phylogenetics and bioinformatics. Read More


Whitney's Joseph Ryan Promoted to University of Florida Associate Professor of Biology with Tenure

Dr. Joseph Ryan

We are pleased to announce that Whitney Faculty Dr. Joseph Ryan was granted promotion and tenure by the University of Florida Board of Trustees to Associate Professor of Biology. Read More


Dr. Joseph Ryan Awarded Grant from the National Science Foundation

Dr. Joseph Ryan

Congratulations to Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Joseph Ryan for receiving a three year grant from the National Science Foundation for the project titled "Interrogating Molecular and Physiological Adaptations in Antarctic Marine Animals." Read More


Dr. Joseph Ryan Receives UF 2020 Graduate Education Diversity Champion Award

Dr. Joseph Ryan

This award is presented annually to a UF faculty or staff member who has excelled in promoting diversity and inclusivity in the university environment through their positive interactions with others in graduate education. Read More


Ryan Lab Graduate Student Alex Hernandez on Antonio Farias’ podcast Level Up

Alexandra Hernandez

Alex Hernandez, a grad student studying comb jellies at Whitney Laboratory, was recently on Antonio Farias’ podcast Level Up. Are comb jellies the earliest animal on the Tree of Life? Tune in to find out! Read More


Congratulations to Jennifer Ortiz, 2019 REU Poster Contest Winner!

Faculty with Student

Congratulations to Jennifer Ortiz for being selected as the 2019 Whitney Laboratory REU Program’s poster contest winner. Jennifer worked with Dr. Joseph Ryan, assistant professor of biology at Whitney Laboratory, this summer during the program. Read More


Dr. Joseph Ryan Publishes Paper in GigaScience

 Box_Stalked_UpsideDown credit: Joseph Ryan

Congratulations to Whitney Laboratory's Dr. Joseph Ryan for his recent publication in Gigascience. A international collaboration involving 8 institutions led by Joseph Ryan at the Whitney Laboratory describes sequencing and analyses of genomes of three disparate jellyfish species: a box jellyfish (Alatina alata), a stalked jellyfish (Calvadosia cruxmelitensis), and an upside down jellyfish (Cassiopea xamachana). Read More


Jessica Whelpley Featured in Fearless Science Article

Congratulations to Jessica Whelpley, graduate student at Whitney Laboratory, for being highlighted in the article titled Fearless Science by UF News. Read More


Ryan Lab Publishes Paper in PeerJ

The Ryan Lab published the paper titled "Horizontally transferred genes in the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi" today in PeerJ. Read More


Welcome: Dr. Melissa DeBiasse joins the Ryan Lab

Melissa Debiasse

Dr. Melissa DeBiasse is a new Postdoc in the Ryan Lab Dr. Melissa DeBiasse is an evolutionary ecologist and is interested in the processes that generate biodiversity in the ocean. Her research examines the distribution of genetic and phenotypic variation within and among populations in marine invertebrates. Read More


Jessica Whelpley Receives UF Biodiversity Institute Graduate Fellowship

Jessica Whelpley

Congratulations to Jessica Whelpley, graduate student in the Ryan Lab, for receiving a University of Florida Biodiversity Institute Graduate Fellowship. Read More


Ryan Lab Outreach - 2018 Darwin Week

Dr. Joseph Ryan presenting to high school students

The Ryan Lab at Whitney Laboratory observed 2018 Darwin Week last week for the fourth straight year by going out and visiting area schools. Read More


Whitney Lab’s Barbara Battelle, Joseph Ryan & Karen Kempler Publish Work in Genome Biology and Evolution

Words - Genome Biology and Evolution

Whitney’s Drs. Barbara Battelle, Joseph Ryan and Karen Kempler along with Dr. Megan Porter from the University of Hawaii, Manoa headed a research team, which included members of the Limulus (American horseshoe crab) Genome Consortium to publish the Limulus genome and a comprehensive analysis of the expression of visual pigments in horseshoe crabs. Read More


Whitney Lab’s Leslie Babonis, Mark Martindale and Joseph Ryan Publish Paper in BioMed Central

Congratulations to Whitney Lab’s Leslie Babonis, postdoctoral research associate, Mark Martindale, Whitney Lab director and professor, and Joseph Ryan, assistant professor of biology, for publishing a paper in BioMed Central titled Do novel genes drive morphological novelty? An investigation of the nematosomes in the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis. Read More


Ryan Lab Observed 2017 Darwin Week with Annual Tour

The Ryan Lab at Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience observed 2017 Darwin Week (Feb. 12-17) for the third straight year by organizing educational events throughout the week. Read More


Whitney Laboratory Receives Funding from UF Biodiversity Institute to Develop New Bioinformatics Tools

Whitney Laboratory Director Mark Martindale and Biodiversity Scientist Francois Michonneau in collaboration with Whitney Laboratory Assistant Professor of Biology Joseph Ryan and Florida Museum of Natural History Curator of Marine Malacology Gustav Paulay received funding from the University of Florida Biodiversity Institute. Read More


Congratulations to Alexis Lanza and Alex Hernandez for Receiving Awards from UF’s Biology Graduate Student Association

Alexis Lanza, Alex Hernandez

Congratulations to Alexis Lanza and Alex Hernandez for each being honored with an award from the Graduate Student Association of the University of Florida Biology Department. Alexis received the Michael L. May Research Grant for her work titled “Insight into the mechanism of embryonic organizer activity in axis formation of annelids.” Read More