Martindale Lab News

Dr. Barbara Anne Battelle Excellence in Scientific Communication Fall Awards

Three women smiling

Congratulations to the fall semester recipients of the Dr. Barbara Anne Battelle Excellence in Scientific Communication Award - Lauren Kunselman, Seaver Lab (Graduate Student Winner) and Dr. Federica Scucchia, Martindale Lab (Postdoctoral Research Associate Winner) Read More


Martindale Lab Welcomes Mayline Goëb

Goëb, Mayline

Please welcome Mayline Goëb to the Whitney Laboratory! Mayline Goëb is a visiting research scholar in the Martindale Lab and will be study adherens junctions in ctenophores at the Whitney Lab. Read More


Brent Foster Wins Art Awards at the Node - BSDB's Virtual Art Exhibition

Art of Nautilus and Octopus by Brent Foster

The exhibit showcased the variety of interests and artistic talents among the developmental biology community. Read More


Martindale Lab Biomineralization work covered by Science

A genetically engineered anemone produces a coral protein (red) that is concentrating calcium (blue)

Reefs are vibrant, living structures laid down over time by tiny tentacled animals. But how exactly corals construct the crystals that become the reefs’ craggy rocks—a process known as biomineralization—has long been a mystery. Now, researchers have finally made a breakthrough. Read More


Martindale Lab welcomes Raul Chavarria

Chavarria, Raul.

Please welcome Raul Chavarria to the Whitney Laboratory! He recently joined the Martindale Lab as a graduate student.  Read More


Dr. Mark Martindale Visits the Academia Sinica in Taipei, named ACC member for ICOB

ICOB Advisory Committee 2023

The Academia is the national PhD training research institute that consistently ranks in the Reuters top 20 “Most Innovative International Research Institutions” in life and physical sciences. Martindale was invited to be a member of the Academic Advisory Committee (ACC) for the Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology (ICOB). Read More


Martindale Lab welcomes Tessa Gebert

Gebert, Tessa

Tessa joins the Martindale lab to pursue a Ph.D. in Zoology, studying the biomineralization processes in cnidarians. Read More


Whitney Scientists and Collaborators Awarded National Science Foundation Grant to understand fundamental aspects of biomineralization

The tentacle of a one week old sea anemone expressing a coral biomineralizing protein (red) that was injected in its fertilized egg

"We hope to uncover universal rules that cells use to control their microenvironmental 'reaction spaces' and regulate the biomineralization process across animals," says Martindale. “From this knowledge we hope to generate biominerals new to man.” Read More


Beyond the Birds and the Bees - Brent Foster Publishes article in The Node

Cassiopea polyp undergoing asexual budding, photo credit: Bailey Steinworth

Brent spoke with Whitney Lab graduate student Bailey Steinworth about her “basic” biology research at the lab with the upside-down jellyfish, Cassiopea. Read More


Martindale Lab welcomes Dr. Federica Scucchia

Scucchia, Federica

Please welcome Dr. Federica Scucchia to the Whitney Laboratory! She recently joined the Martindale Lab as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. Read More


Tweaking a single gene can remind cells of their ancestral roots

Developing stinging cells (magenta and aqua) in a larva of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis

In an effort to understand how genes can drive the evolution of new cell types, UF Whitney Laboratory biologists have inactivated a gene from the starlet sea anemone and recreated an ancient cell type that is not normally found in this animal. Congratulations to former Whitney scientist Dr. Leslie Babonis (currently an Assistant Professor at Cornell University), Dr. Camille Enjolras, Brent Foster, Dr. Fredrik Hugosson, Dr. Joseph Ryan, Dr. Mark Martindale and colleagues who recently published in Nature Communications, "Single-cell atavism reveals an ancient mechanism of cell type diversification in a sea anemone". Read More


Graduate Student Bailey Steinworth Publishes Paper with Cover Image

Cover of Genome Biology and Evolution Publication

Congratulations to Bailey Steinworth, graduate student in the Martindale Lab, for her publication and making the cover of Genome Biology and Evolution. Read More


Martindale Lab welcomes Anhadvir Singh

Singh, Anhadvir

Anhadvir is currently visiting the Ryan and Martindale labs as part of a collaborative project to synthesize Yeast two Hybrid cDNA libraries for early diverging animals including M. leidyi (ctenophore), E. mulleri (poriferan) and N. vectensis (cnidarian). Read More


Lucas Guttieres Receives UF Grinter Fellowship

Guttieres, Lucas

Congratulations to Lucas Guttieres, graduate student in the Martindale Lab, for receiving a University of Florida Grinter Fellowship! Read More


Martindale Lab welcomes Lucas Guttieres

Guttieres, Lucas

Please welcome Lucas Guttieres to Whitney Laboratory! He recently joined the Martindale Lab as a graduate assistant. Read More


Dr. Allison Edgar Talks Ctenophores at the Alachua County Library Ocean Tales Program

Alachua Library Ctenophore

Whitney Lab Postdoctoral Research Associate Dr. Allison Edgar talks ctenophores (commonly known as comb jellies) at the Alachua County Library District Ocean Tales summer program. The program includes learning, reading, and exploring the ocean! 🌊 Read More


Dr. Newkirk and Dr. Martindale Publish New Paper investigating the relationship between corals and algae with genetic approach

Figure 1. Breviolum minutum infect and are maintained within sea anemones kept in dark

Congratulations to Dr. Casandra Newkirk and Dr. Mark Q. Martindale for their contributions to a recent paper entitled, "Cnidarian-Symbiodiniaceae symbiosis establishment is independent of photosynthesis" published in the journal Current Biology. Read More


Dr. Allison Edgar and Coauthors publish paper with new insights on the ctenophore life cycle

Appearance of reproductive cydippids’ gonads and progeny

Congratulations to Dr. Allison Edgar who published a paper with Dr. Mark Martindale and coauthors in the Proceedings in the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) - "Ctenophores are direct developers that reproduce continuously beginning very early after hatching." 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


St. Augustine Record Article - Rare blue button jellyfish washing up on St. Johns County beaches

Matanzas Inlet

Whitney Laboratory Director Dr. Mark Martindale talks with the St. Augustine Record about Porpita porpita or blue buttons, a colony of hydrozoan polyps that were recently appearing on St. John's County beaches. Read More


Martindale Lab welcomes Dr. James Townsend

 Townsend, James

Please welcome Dr. James Townsend to Whitney Laboratory! He recently joined Dr. Mark Martindale's lab as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. Read More


I can see clearly now: unexpected benefits of Rain-X discovered by Whitney Lab scientists

Dorothy Michell and Dr. Alison Edgar

Palm Coast Observer Article - Whitney Laboratory Martindale Lab graduate student Dorothy Mitchell made a discovery while trying to take pictures of comb jellies with a microscope. Read More


Cody Miner Joins the Martindale Lab

Miner, Cody

Please welcome Cody Miner to Whitney Laboratory! He recently joined Dr. Mark Martindale's lab as a graduate student. Read More


Automotive Product Preserves Ctenophores for Study - Martindale Lab Discovery Published in Frontiers in Zoology

M. leidyi cydippid

Congratulations to Dorothy Mitchell, Dr. Allison Edgar and Dr. Mark Q. Martindale who recently published a paper in Frontiers in Zoology entitled ‘Improved histological fixation of gelatinous marine invertebrates'. They discovered that the commercial product used to treat automotive glass allows for thorough tissue fixation and morphological preservation of ctenophore and other delicate specimens. Read More


Welcome Emilia Cayelli, Cliff Townsend Scholar

Cayelli, Emilia

Emilia is spending a month interning in Dr. Mark Martindale’s Lab this summer, studying the early development stages of Cassiopea. Emilia notes “Having the opportunity to work in Dr. Mark Martindale’s lab at Whitney has not only taught me endless information about Cassiopea and Ctenophores, but also has given me a sneak peek into what a future career in Marine Sciences may hold.” Read More


Martindale Lab Publishes Paper in Genes

Ctenophores

Congratulations to Dr. Allison Edgar, Dorothy Mitchell and Dr. Mark Q. Martindale who recently published a paper in Genes entitled ‘Whole-Body Regeneration in the Lobate Ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi’. Read More


Former Martindale Lab Ph.D. Graduate Receives NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology

Cassandra Newkirk

Former Ph.D. graduate with Dr. Mark Martindale at Whitney Laboratory, Dr. Casandra Newkirk, recently received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology, in the area of Broadening Participation of Groups Underrepresented in Biology. Read More


Brent Foster Publishes article in the Palm Coast Observer about Dr. Allison Edgar's Ctenophore research

 Ctenophore

Combing through science with comb jellies, at Whitney Laboratory - Allison Edgar, a post-doc at the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, is researching the life cycle and regeneration abilities of these simple animals, also known as sea walnuts. Read More


Sip 'N Science YouTube Link - The Value of Marine Labs in Discovering Diverse Animals of the Sea

Sip 'N Science Screenshot of Dr. Martindale's Webinar

If you missed our Sip 'N Science recently with Dr. Mark Martindale the webinar is now on our YouTube channel. Read More


Whitney Sip 'N Science Free Webinar Jan. 14 - Dr. Mark Martindale | The Value of Marine Labs in Discovering Diverse Animals of the Sea

Sip N Science

Join us for our January Webinar! Dr. Martindale will share the role of marine laboratories in discovery, animal evolution, and biodiversity. Read More


Dr. Seaver and Dr. Martindale publish in Nature Communications

Brachiopod and Annelid Larvae

Congratulations to Whitney scientists Dr. Elaine Seaver and Dr. Mark Q. Martindale for their collaborative research recently published in Nature Communications. The paper is entitled ‘Genes with spiralian-specific protein motifs are expressed in spiralian ciliary bands’. Read More


National Postdoc Appreciation Week Martindale Lab Postdoc Spotlight

Pictures of postdocs at Whitney Laboratory

Please join us in celebrating Whitney Laboratory Postdocs and the contributions they make to the lab, U.S. research and discovery! Today we spotlight postdocs in the Martindale Lab. Read More


Former Martindale Lab Post Docs Earn Tenure at their Universities

Two men

Congratulations to Dr. Michael Layden of Lehigh University and Dr. Dave Q. Matus of Stonybrook University who recently earned tenure and promotion to Associate Professor at their universities. Read More


Dr. Allison Edgar Awarded Fellowship from the National Science Foundation

Allison Edgar

Congratulations to Dr. Allison Edgar, postdoctoral research associate in the Martindale Lab, for receiving a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology from the National Science Foundation for the project titled: "Evolution of genomic regulatory control of ctenophore development and regeneration" Read More


First Coast News Story on Horseshoe Crabs and COVID-19 Research

Horseshoe Crab

Whitney Laboratory Director Dr. Mark Martindale talks with First Coast News and Whitney horseshoe crabs make their news debut! Read More


Green Kids: Virtual Dive into the Florida Keys with Dr. Martindale on June 17

Green Kids Dive Into the Keys

Tell your kids to grab their drawing kits and imaginary snorkels as guest host Dr. Mark Q. Martindale, Director of the UF Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, takes them on a tour through NOAA’s virtual dives of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Read More


Dr. Newkirk, Dr. Martindale and Dr. Schnitzler Publish Paper in Frontiers in Microbiology

Cassiopeia

Congratulations to recent Whitney Ph.D. graduate Dr. Newkirk, Whitney Laboratory's Dr. Martindale, Dr. Schnitzler, along with Dr. Thomas Frazer, Professor and Director of UF’s School of Natural Resources and Environment, who recently published a paper in the Frontiers in Microbiology titled "Adaptation to Bleaching: Are Thermotolerant Symbiodiniaceae Strains More Successful Than Other Strains Under Elevated Temperatures in a Model Symbiotic Cnidarian?" Read More


Dr. Leslie Babonis Accepts Faculty Position at Cornell University!

Leslie Babonis

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. Read More


Congrats Whitney Gator Grads!

Graduation

Congratulations to Whitney Laboratory Gator Grads Dr. Alexis Lanza and Dr. Casandra Newkirk. We wish you the best in your scientific career and further pursuits in science! Read More


Jessica Farrell and Alexis Lanza Receive Florida International Center Awards

Students

Congratulations to Whitney Laboratory Ph.D. candidate Jessica Farrell and recent Ph.D. graduate Alexis Lanza for receiving the University of Florida International Certificate of Excellence at the 2019 International Student Achievement Award Ceremony on November 19. Read More


Casandra Newkirk of the Martindale Lab defends her PhD!

Cassandra Newkirk

On October 28th, Casandra Newkirk, a graduate student co-advised by Tom Frazer, Professor and Director of UF’s School of Natural Resources and Environment, (and the State of Florida’s first Chief Science Officer), and Mark Q. Martindale, Professor and Director of the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, gave her exit seminar entitled “Experimental system for the ecological and cellular study of cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis” and successfully earned her Ph.D. Read More


Martindale Lab Publishes Paper in BMC Biology

 Ctenophore

Congratulations to Dr. Mark Martindale and Julia Ramon, who recently published a paper in BMC Biology titled "Regeneration in the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi occurs in the absence of a blastema, requires cell division, and is temporally separable from wound healing." Read More


Welcome Dr. Radim Zidek to Whitney Laboratory

 Zidek, Radim

Please welcome Dr. Radim Zidek to Whitney Laboratory! Radim joins the Martindale Lab as a Research Scholar where he will investigate the formation of body axes in cnidarians, acoels and other early branching marine invertebrates in order to achieve better understanding of the evolution of animal body plans. Read More


Brent Foster Joins the Martindale Lab

 Foster, Brent.

Please welcome Brent Foster to Whitney Laboratory! He recently joined Dr. Mark Martindale's lab as a lab technician. Read More


Dr. Allison Edgar joins the Martindale Lab

Allison Edgar

Please welcome Dr. Allison Edgar to Whitney Laboratory! She recently joined Dr. Mark Martindale's lab where she will work with a variety of marine invertebrates to examine the evolution of gene expression in early development. Read More


Dr. Martindale and Dr. Schnitzler receive UF Office of Research Award

Two people

Congratulations to Dr. Mark Martindale and Dr. Christine Schnitzler for recently receiving a UF Office of Research Award. Two out of only fifteen funded UF Office of Research awards were made to Whitney Laboratory faculty's research - both awards are collaborative with other colleges on campus! Read More


Dorothy Mitchell joins the Martindale Lab

Dorothy Mitchell

Please welcome graduate student Dorothy Mitchell to Whitney Laboratory! She recently joined Dr. Mark Martindale's lab where she is investigating stem cell development in relation to reproduction and regeneration in Mnemiopsis leidyi. Read More


Casandra Newkirk shares her research with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis during University of Florida visit

Group discussion

Prior to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' press conference, Ph.D. candidate Casandra Newkirk of the Whitney Laboratory Martindale lab and other UF student researchers participated in a roundtable discussion with Governor DeSantis and UF President Kent Fuchs. Read More


Recent Publication in Communications Biology Shares Sea Turtle Research by Dr. David Duffy and Dr. Mark Martindale

Congratulations to Dr. David Duffy, courtesy faculty at Whitney Lab, and Dr. Mark Martindale, director and professor of biology at Whitney Lab, for their recent publication in Communications Biology titled “Perspectives on the expansion of human precision oncology and genomic approaches to sea turtle fibropapillomatosis.” Read More


Welcome Dr. Fredrik Hugosson to Whitney Laboratory

Fredrik Hugosson

Please welcome Dr. Fredrik Hugosson to Whitney Laboratory! Fredrik is a molecular biologist whose main research interest is to understand cell signaling during development. Read More


Martindale Lab Publishes Paper in Journal of Experimental Marine Biology

Congratulations to Casandra Newkirk, graduate student at Whitney Laboratory, and Mark Martindale, director at Whitney Laboratory, on the recently published paper in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. Read More


Nature Article Highlights Dr. Mark Martindale's Work

Confocal micrograph of a tentacle of a juvenile Florida Pleurobrachia ctenophore stained for filamentous actin (green) and neurons (red)

A recent article in Nature titled What is a Lab Animal? shares information about using marine models and ctenophores in research. Read More


Martindale Lab Publishes Paper in eLife

Congratulations to the Martindale Lab for the recent article published in eLife titled “Germ layer specific regulation of cell polarity and adhesion gives insight into the evolution of mesoderm.” The authors are Miguel Salinas-Saavedra, graduate student at Whitney Laboratory, Amber Rock, REU 2016 Whitney Laboratory summer intern and Choose Development! Fellow from the Society of Developmental Biology, and Mark Martindale, director at Whitney Laboratory. Read More


Martindale Lab Publishes Paper in Nature’s Protocol Exchange

Mark Martindale, director and professor of biology at Whitney Lab, and Miguel Salinas-Saavedra, graduate student at Whitney Lab, recently published a paper in Nature’s Protocol Exchange. Read More


Article Written by Graduate Student Jessica Farrell Receives National Press

An article written by Jessica Farrell, graduate student here at Whitney Lab, was written for The Conversation and picked up by Smithsonian.com. Read More


Whitney Laboratory Director Mark Martindale Spoke at Regenerative Medicine UF Summit on June 15

Dr. Mark Martindale

Mark Martindale, director at Whitney Laboratory, spoke at the inaugural Regenerative Medicine UF Summit on June 15, 2018, at the Harrell Medical Education Building. Read More


Jessica Farrell Receives Friends of Gumbo Limbo Gordon Gilbert Graduate Research Grant

Jessica Farrell

Congratulations to Jessica Farrell, graduate student in the Martindale Lab, for receiving a Friends of Gumbo Limbo Gordon Gilbert Graduate Research Grant. Read More


Martindale Lab Publishes Article in Nature Communications

The Martindale Lab's work was recently published in Nature Communications. Read More


Congratulations, Miguel Salinas-Saavedra!

Miguel Salinas

Congratulations to Miguel Salinas-Saavedra, graduate student in the Martindale Lab, for being awarded travel funds from the University of Florida College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for a talk he will be giving at the European Evo-Devo meeting in Galway, Ireland this June. Read More


Welcome: Dr. Camille Enjolras

Camille Enjolras

Please welcome Dr. Camille Enjolras to Whitney Laboratory! Camille is a geneticist and developmental biologist whose main research interest is to better understand animal biology. Read More


Article Published in Current Biology Features Work by Martindale Lab

Congratulations to the Martindale Lab for the recent article published in Current Biology. Read More


Welcome to Whitney Lab, Julia!

Julia Ramon

Please welcome Julia Ramon to Whitney Laboratory! Julia is a recently graduated biologist student coming from Barcelona who is joining Dr. Martindale’s lab as a research scholar for the next seven months. Read More


Dr. Leslie Babonis and Dr. Mark Martindale have New Paper in EvoDevo

Dr. Leslie Babonis and Dr. Mark Martindale

Congratulations to Whitney Laboratory’s Dr. Leslie Babonis, postdoctoral research associate, and Dr. Mark Martindale, director, for their recent publication in “EvoDevo” about their work involving the starlet sea anemone. The publication is titled “PaxA, but not PaxC, is required for cnidocyte development in the sea anemone.” Read More


University of Florida News Interviews Mark Martindale about Starlet Sea Anemone Research

Nematostella

This University of Florida story interviews Mark Martindale, director of the Whitney Laboratory, about research on the starlet sea anemone. Genes known to form heart cells in humans and other animals are found in this sea anemone. 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


Nicole Miller joins the Martindale Lab

Nicole Miller

Welcome to Whitney Laboratory, Nicole! Nicole is a senior microbiology major at the University of Florida with a passion for the ocean, science, and surfing. She plans to attend graduate school in pursuit of a degree in biomedical science. Read More