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Kevin A. Zelnio
August 2009: M.Sc. Biology at Pennsylvania State University (advisor: Dr. Charles R. Fisher)
June 2004: B.Sc. Evolution & Ecology (additional coursework in Geology) at University of California, Davis
December 1999: Diploma in Audio Engineering at Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences
January 1997: High School Diploma from Bettendorf High School, Iowa
June 2011-Present: Blogger at EvoEcoLab on the Scientific American blog network
January 2008-Present: Freelance Science Writer and Science Communications Consultant
February 2007-Present: Contributor, Webmaster and Assistant Editor at Deep Sea News
August 2010-May 2011: Research Assistant at Center for Marine Science and Lecturer at Biology and Marine Biology Department, UNC Wilmington
September 2008-August 2010: Research Technician at the Marine Conservation Molecular Facility, Duke Marine Lab
July 2004-July 2008: Teaching and Research Assistant, Department of Biology, Penn State
August 2002-April 2004: Student Assistant III, Dr. James Richards, Dept. of Land, Air and Water Resources and Dr. Richard Grosberg, Section of Evolution and Ecology, UC-Davis
Prior work experience was as a cook, chef’s apprentice, kitchen manager, audio engineer, musician, sales associate and math tutor
UNC Wilmington: Lecturer for Deep Sea Biology (Bio 462), a course I developed that impacted 94 students. This course was designed for senior undergraduate students as an elective and explored the deep-sea environment and challenges facing organisms inhabiting it, culminating in examining the research behind how human actions have affected the deepest most remote places on Earth.
Penn State: Laboratory Instructor for Biology: Basic Concepts and Biodiversity (BIOL 110) Taught 7 classes, including one honors class and one LEAP class, impacting over 150 students. Co-instructor and teaching assistant for Symbiosis (BIOL 406), impacting over 30 students.
Monterey Peninsula College: Tutor in Math (basic arithmetic to beginning calculus) at Academic Support Services. Impacted more than 25 students from various backgrounds, including many with special needs, one-on-one and in group settings.
April 2010 – December 2011: Stable isotope sample preparation and statistical consultation in trophic fisheries ecology. Duke University.
September 2009: DNA barcoding of fish and invertebrates, K-12 student and teacher science outreach, international workshop organization and media campaign organization aboard the Brazilian tall ship Tocorimé. Supported by Tocorimé and The HMS Beagle Project through a grant from the British Council. (10 days)
November – December 2006: Taxonomic training and research on anemones from hydrothermal vents at Lau Basin in the lab of Dr. Marymegan Daly, Ohio State University. Supported by the Census of Marine Life‘s ChEss TAWNI initiative with additional support from the Cnidarian Tree of Life project. (6 weeks)
September 2006: Research cruise to the Lau Basin hydrothermal vents in the Southwest Pacific. PI: Charles Fisher, R/V Melville, Jason II ROV. Supported by NSF. (4 weeks)
June 2005: Research cruise to the Lau Basin hydrothermal vents in the Southwest Pacific. PI: Charles Fisher, R/V Melville, Jason II ROV. Supported by NSF. (4 weeks)
July 2004: Research cruise to the Gulf of Mexico methane seeps. PI: Charles Fisher, R/V Seward Johnson II, Johnson Sea Link II submersible. Supported by the USDI Mineral Management Service. (2 weeks)
November 2003: Research cruise to the East Pacific Rise Hydrothermal Vents, latitudes 8-13°N. PI: Janet Voight, R/V Atlantis, Alvin submersible. Supported by UC-Davis Geology Department and the Chicago Field Museum. (4 weeks)
August 2003-June 2004: Researcher in Dr. Richard Grosberg‘s Lab, UC-Davis. Worked on projects involving self-nonself recognition systems in a colonial marine hydroid, the evolutionary ecology of neretid snails and population genetics of a deep-sea stalked barnacle.
May-August 2003: Internship in Dr. Richard Grosberg‘s Lab, UC-Davis. Maintained colonies of hydroids for research.
April-June 2003: Internship in Dr. E. Lee Fitzhugh‘s Lab, Dept. of Wildlife, Fisheries and Conservation Biology, UC-Davis. Worked on a project involving correlations of puma attacks and human population growth since 1850.
August 2002-June 2003: Researcher in Dr. James Richards‘ Lab, Dept. of Land, UC-Davis. Studied the restoration ecology of a dry lake in a high-altitude desert in Southern California, heavy metal and stable isotope analyses involving three salt-tolerant plants.
December 2001-May 2002: Volunteer tracker with Sea Otter Research and Conservation (SORAC), Monterey Bay Aquarium.
June 2001-July 2002: Volunteer caretaker of 15 South African Blackfooted Penguins at Monterey Bay Aquarium.
CURRENT TOOL KIT
Operating systems – Mac OSX, Windows, Android mobile OS
Analytical software – Minitab, SAS, Stata, R, Primer, EstimateS, MEGA, PHYLLIP, CLUSTAL, Geneious, Genemarker, CodonCode
Productivity software – OpenOffice, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, EndNote, Adobe Acrobat, Photoshop and Illustrator, iMovie, Final Cut Pro, GarageBand, Audacity, Cubase
Web Tools – Movable Type, WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, Audio/Video Editing, HTML, CSS, iWeb, Quicktime Pro, Podcasting
Genetics – PCR troubleshooting, ABI 3730XL maintenance/repair, Sanger sequencing, cloning, primer design, microsatellite development
Taxonomy – Light microscopy, identification, dissection, knowledge of fixation and preservation methods for a variety of taxa and research aims, working from and writing identification keys
Stable Isotope Analysis – carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, Carlo Erba, ICP-AES
Statistics – ANOVA, regression, multivariate, non-parametric tests, sampling strategies
Lab management, including training and management of undergraduate student projects
GRANTS, HONORS & AWARDS
Best Science Writing on the Web 2007, 2008, 2010
Homer Braddock Scholarship from Pennsylvania State University 2008 $1200
Zelnio, K.A. 2006. “Systematics, phylogenetics and food sources of anemones from hydrothermal vents at the Lau back-arc basin.” $4000 TAWNI (Training AWard to New Investigators) grant to train with a taxonomic expert in anemones (Dr. Marymegan Daly at Ohio State) from the Census of Marine Life’s Biogeography of Deep-Water Chemosynthetic Ecosystems (ChEss) field project.
Ridge2000 travel award 2005 $800
Homer Braddock Scholarship from Pennsylvania State University 2004 $1000
Outstanding Senior Award from UC-Davis 2004
Dean’s Honors 1 semester and Dean’s High Honors 2 semesters at Monterey Peninsula College 2001-2002
Dean’s list at Vista Community College, 2000
- Thaler, A.D., K.A. Zelnio, A. Freitag, R. MacPherson, D. Shiffman, H. Bik, M.C. Goldstein, C. McClain (2012). Digital Environmentalism: Tools and strategies for the evolving online ecosystem. In D. Gallagher (ed.) Environmental Leadership: A Reference Handbook. SAGE Reference (Preprint pdf). Chapter 38.
- Thaler, A.D., K.A. Zelnio, W. Saleu, T. Schultz, J. Carlsson, C. Cunningham, R. Vrijenhoek, C.L. Van Dover (2011). The spatial scale of genetic subdivision in populations of Ifremeria nautilei, a hydrothermal-vent gastropod from the southwest Pacific. BMC Evolutionary Biology 11: 372. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-11-372 (Open Access). BMC Highly Accessed paper!
- Godet, L., K.A. Zelnio, C.L. Van Dover (2011). Scientists as stakeholders in hydrothermal vent conservation. Conservation Biology 25(2): 214-222. DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2010.01642.x (html | pdf).
- Sinniger F., K.A. Zelnio, M. Taviani, J.D. Reimer (2010) Presence of Abyssoanthus sp. (Anthozoa: Zoantharia) in the Mediterranean Sea: an indication of non dependence of Abyssoanthus to chemosynthetic-based ecosystems? Cahiers Biologie Marine 51(4): 475-478 (html | pdf).
- Schultz T.F., P.-Y. Hsing, A. Eng, A.D. Thaler, K.A. Zelnio, J. Carlsson, C.L. Van Dover (2010) Characterization of 18 polymorphic microsatellite loci from the deep-sea hydrothermal vent mussel Bathymodiolus manusensis (Mollusca, Bivalvia, Mytilidae). Conservation Genetics Resources 3(1): 25-27 DOI: 10.1007/s12686-010-9272-8 (html | pdf).
- Zelnio, K.A., A.D. Thaler, R.E. Jones, W. Saleu, T.F. Schultz, C.L. Van Dover, J. Carlsson (2010) Characterization of nine polymorphic microsatellite loci in Chorocaris sp. (Crustacea: Caridea: Alvinocarididae) from deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Conservation Genetics Resources 2(1): 223-226 DOI: 10.1007/s12686-010-9243-0 (html | pdf).
- Thaler, A.D., K.A. Zelnio, R. Jones, J. Carlsson, C.L. Van Dover, T.F. Schultz (2010) Characterization of 12 polymorphic microsatellite loci in Ifremeria nautilei, a chemoautotrophic gastropod from deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Conservation Genetics Resources Published online 2(1): 101-103 DOI: 10.1007/s12686-010-9174-9 (html | pdf).
- Zelnio, K.A., E. Rodríguez, M. Daly (2009) Taxonomy and ecology of the sea anemone fauna (Anthozoa: Actiniaria) from hydrothermal vents in the South-western Pacific. Marine Biology Research 5(6): 547-571 DOI: 0.1080/17451000902729662 (html | pdf).
- Podowski, E.L., T.S. Moore, K.A. Zelnio, G.W. Luther III, and C.R. Fisher (2009) Distribution of diffuse flow megafauna in two sites on the Eastern Lau Spreading Center, Tonga. Deep-Sea Research I 56(11): 2041-2056 DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr.2009.07.002 (html | pdf).
- Zelnio, K.A., S. Hourdez (2009) A new species of Alvinocaris (Crustacea: Decapoda: Alvinocarididae) from hydrothermal vents at the East-Lau Spreading Center, Western Pacific. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 122 (1): 52-71 DOI: 10.2988/07-28.1 (html | pdf). Blog coverage at Deep Sea News and Neurodojo.
- Zelnio, K.A., P. Davoodi, J.P. Montoya, C.R. Fisher. A bioassay for hydrocarbon seep primary production of particulate organic matter at a Gulf of Mexico Brine Pool. Planned submission to PLoS One.
- Zelnio, K.A., L.L. Miles, M. Steele, C.R. Fisher. Community structure of hydrothermal vent communities at the East-Lau Spreading Center, southwest Pacific. Planned submission to Marine Ecology Progress Series.
- Komai, T., K.A. Zelnio, S. Tsuchida. New records of Alvinocarididae (Crustacea: Decapoda: Caridea) from the West Pacific hydrothermal vents, with a brief review of Chorocaris Martin & Hessler and descriptions of three new genera and three new species. Planned submission to Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.
- Thaler, A.D., K.A. Zelnio. A model-based assessment of microsatellite makers for estimating genetic differentiation. Planned submission to Conservation Genetics.
Popular Press and Reports:
- Zelnio, K.A. (2012) Should orcas be kept in captivity? New Scientist, 215 (2873): 46 (html)
- Zelnio, K.A. (2011) A World Ocean. Scientific American Guest Blog. 06/08/2010 (html)
- Zelnio, K.A. (2011) Black Tide Is Rising (poem). In Open Lab 2010: The Best Science Writing on the Web (J. Goldman ed.). Cortunix, Chapel Hill. p 200 (html)
- Zelnio, K.A. (2011) Pouring Oil on ‘Troubled Waters’. In Open Lab 2010: The Best Science Writing on the Web (J. Goldman ed.). Cortunix, Chapel Hill. pp 206-210 (html)
- Zelnio, K.A. (2010) To Catch a Fallen Sea Angel: a mighty mollusc detects ocean acidification. Scientific American Guest Blog. 11/5/2010 (html | pdf)
- Zelnio, K.A. (2010) Beyond Words: Major marine oil spills over the last 50 years. Environmental Law Review 40. (pdf)
- Billett, D., S. Boxall, K. James, D. Lort-Phillips, M. Lehmann, A. Perusin, M. Barratt, D. Garrison, F. Di Dario, P. Miloslavich, J. Díaz de Astarioa, E. Soto Oyarzún, L. Rörig, C. Oyarzún González, K. Zelnio (2010) Darwin and The Adventure: A British Council Darwin Now Network Report. 27 pp. (pdf)
- Zelnio, K.A. (2010). Deep sea corals and methane seeps: a link? In The Open Laboratory 2009: The Best Science Writing on the Web. Cortunix, Chapel Hill. (html)
- Zelnio, K.A. (2008). Why I do science: on the allure of the ocean’s novelty. SEED Magazine. August Issue: 34. (html | pdf)
- Zelnio, K.A. (2008). Anemones raise a tentacle in support of evolution. In The Open Laboratory 2007: The Best Science Writing on the Web (R.A. Cartwright ed.). Cortunix, Chapel Hill: 120-123. (html)
- Voight, J.R., R.A. Zierenberg, J. McClain, P. Batson, K. Beers, M. Daly, B. Dushman, S. Gollner, B. Govenar, T.A. Haney, S. Hourdez, L.H. Liow, K. Von Damm, J. Zekely, K.A. Zelnio (2004) FIELD cruise to the Northern EPR: discoveries made during biological investigations from 8°37′N to 12°48′N. Ridge 2000 Events 2:22–24 (archived here | pdf)
- Von Damm, K., C. Parker, K. Beers and the FIELD03 Science Party (2004). Update on the hydrothermal and biological status of the EPR ISS “Bull’s-Eye” at 9°50″N. Ridge 2000 Events 2(1): 25-26 (archived here | pdf)
- Panel: K.A. Zelnio, J. Foley, M. Hurteau, D. Wardrop (2012). “The changing ecosystem of science communication.” Penn State CarbonEARTH STEM Symposium, PA 5 April.
- Zelnio, K.A. (2012). “Evolving practices and challenges in STEM communication”. Penn State CarbonEARTH STEM Symposium, PA 5 April.
- Zelnio, K.A., E. Finke (2012). “Understanding audiences and how to know when you are really reaching out”. Science Online 2012. Raleigh, NC 20 January.
- Panel: D. Cavalier, J.T. Vernon, M. Webster, K.A. Zelnio (2011). “Matching medium and messengers to meet the masses”. Science Online NYC 8 December, Rockefeller University, NY 8 December. (event details)
- Thaler, A.D., K.A. Zelnio, T. Schultz, C. Cunningham, C.L. Van Dover (2011). “Historical and contemporary patterns of gene flow among populations of hydrothermal vent-endemic species from Manus Basin, southwestern Pacific.” Benthic Ecology Meeting. Mobile, AL 17 March.
- Van Dover, C.L., L. Godet, D. Dunn, P. Halpin, K.A. Zelnio (2011). “Hydrothermal vents: understanding what’s at risk and tools for effective management.” ALSO Aquatic Science Meeting. San Juan, Puerto Rico 2 February. (abstract)
- Zelnio, K.A., E.M. Johnson, C. Bondar (2011). “Parenting with Science Online.” Science Online 2011. Research Triangle Park, NC 15 January.
- Panel: Goldstein, M., K.A. Zelnio, H. Bik, C.M. McClain, A.D. Thaler, J. Amos (2011). “The first line of response: the BP oil spill – science, outrage, spin, and dead pelicans.” Science Online 2011. Research Triangle Park, NC 15 January.
- Zelnio, K.A., L.K. Jarvis, M.A. McCartney (2011). “ALFP fingerprinting confirms that hybridization contributes genetic diversity to natural populations of pitcher plants.” Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Meeting. Salt Lake City, UT 5 January.
- Thaler, A.D., K.A. Zelnio, R.E. Jones, W. Saleu, T.F. Schultz, C.L. Van Dover, J. Carlsson (2010). “Population genetics at hydrothermal vents in the western Pacific”. Benthic Ecology Meeting. Wilmington, NC 11 March.
- Zelnio, K.A. (2010). “Ex omnia conchis: Darwin and his beloved barnacles” Duke Marine Laboratory Darwin Day Seminar. Beaufort, NC 12 February.
- Zelnio, K.A., M. Goldstein, B. Beck, J. Ives, K. James (2010). “Broader impacts done right”. Science Online 2010. Research Triangle Park, NC, 17 January.
- James, K., K.A. Zelnio (2010). “Darwin and the Adventure – the (i)Movie”. Science Online 2010. Research Triangle Park, NC, 17 January.
- Zelnio, K.A. (2009). “Darwin and the Adventure: Sailing, Science and Outreach in South America” Duke Marine Laboratory. Beaufort, NC, 23 October.
- Zelnio, K.A., K. James, R. MacPherson, T. Page, A.-M. Hodge, M. Barrett, V. Woods (2009). “Blogging adventure: posting from strange locations.” Science Online 2009. Research Triangle Park, NC, 17 January.
- Zelnio, K.A., D. Bennu (2009). “Nature writing online.” Science Online 2009. Research Triangle Park, NC, 18 January.
- Zelnio, K.A., M.A. Wilson (2008). “A Natural History of Unintelligent Design.” Biology Department Graduate Student Association Special Darwin Day Seminar. Penn State University, 15 February.
- Zelnio, K.A., R. MacPherson, K. James, P. Etnoyer, J. Robertshaw (2008). “Real-Time Blogging in the Marine Sciences”. North Carolina Science Blogging Conference. Research Triangle Park, NC, 19 January.
- Zelnio, K.A. (2007). “300 Years of Linnaeus.” Biology Department Graduate Student Association Seminar. Penn State University, 23 March.
- Zelnio, K.A. (2006). “Critters Living on Critters: Community Ecology of Lau Basin Hydrothermal Vents.” Biology Department Graduate Student Association Seminar, 27 October.
- Zelnio, K.A. (2006). “Hooker, Huxley, Haeckel: Darwin’s Apostles.” Biology Department Graduate Student Association Special Darwin Day Seminar. Penn State University, 10 February.
- E. Podowski, C. Fisher, G. Luther, S. Kim, T. Waite, T.Moore, K.A. Zelnio, B. Zook, G. Telesnicki, H. Hsu, A. Paschal, S. Hourdez, D. Desbruyères (2005). “Understanding the Composition and Distribution of Megafauna at Diffuse Flow Sites in the East Lau Basin Back-Arc Spreading Center.” Fall American Geophysical Union Meeting. San Francisco, 14 December.
- E. Podowski, G. W. Luther, T. Waite, T. Moore, A. Paschal, H. Hsu-Kim, K.A. Zelnio, C. R. Fisher (2005). “Influence of chemical and biological factors on the composition and distribution of megafauna at the Lau Basin back-arc spreading center evaluated using GIS and photomosaics.” RIDGE2000 Progress and Planning Meeting. Vancouver BC Canada, 31 October.
- Zelnio, K.A. (2005). “Sir Charles Lyell’s and Geology’s Influence on Darwin’s Theories.” Biology Department Graduate Student Association Seminar. Penn State University, 14 October.
- Zelnio, K.A., P. Davoodi, J.P. Montoya, C.R. Fisher (2005). “A Bioassay for Seep Primary Production of Particulate Organic Carbon and Nitrogen in a Gulf of Mexico Brine Pool.” Benthic Ecology Meeting. Williamsburg, VA, 6-10 April.
- Zelnio, K.A., Charles R. Fisher, P. Davoodi, Joseph P. Montoya (2005). “Using Stable Carbon and Nitrogen Isotopes to Differentiate Consumption of Chemosynthetic Primary Production from Photosynthetic Particulate Matter in a Gulf of Mexico Methane Seep”. Northeast Ecology and Evolution Conference. University Park, PA, 18-20 March.
- Thaler, A.D., K.A. Zelnio (2012). “An assessment of microsatellite markers for conservation and management.” ASLO Ocean Sciences Meeting. Salt Lake City, UT 20-24 February.
- Waples, D., K.A. Zelnio, H. Koopman, A. Read (2011). “The effects of DMSO preservation on stable isotope signatures of short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus).” Society for Marine Mammology. Tampa, FL 26 November-2 December.
- Zelnio, K.A., P. Collins, M. Mungkaje, R. Jones, C.L. Van Dover (2009). “Community Structure at active and inactive hydrothermal vents at the Manus Basin.” 4th International Symposium on Chemosynthetic-Based Ecosystems. Okinawa, Japan 28 June- 3 July.
- Sinniger, F., K.A. Zelnio, M. Taviani, J.D. Reimer (2009). “Presence of Abyssoanthus sp. (Anthozoa: Zoantharia) in the Mediterranean Sea: indication of a new cold seep or of ecological tolerance of Abyssoanthus to non-chemotrophic environments?” 4th International Symposium on Chemosynthetic-Based Ecosystems. Okinawa, Japan 28 June- 3 July.
- Carlsson, J., T. Schultz, R. Jones, A. Sobel, A. Thaler, K.A. Zelnio, C.L. Van Dover (2009). “Facilitating small-scale population genetic studies at the Manus Basin hydrothermal vent fields (Bismarck Sea)” 4th International Symposium on Chemosynthetic-Based Ecosystems. Okinawa, Japan 28 June- 3 July.
- Zelnio, K.A., E. Rodríguez, M. Daly (2008). “New Species Of Anemone And Zoanthid From Hydrothermal Vents At The East-Lau Spreading Center And Global Vent And Seep Anemone Diversity And Distribution.” ASLO Ocean Sciences Meeting, Census of Marine Life Special Session. Orlando, FL 2-7 March.
- Zelnio, K.A., P. Davoodi, J.P. Montoya, C.R. Fisher (2005). “A Bioassay for Seep Primary Production of Particulate Organic Carbon and Nitrogen in a Gulf of Mexico Brine Pool.” Hydrothermal Vent and Seep Biology Symposium. La Jolla, CA 11-16 September.
August 15-16, 2009: Night nature hike leader for incoming Duke University freshmen as part the P-Waves program (Duke Marine Lab, Beaufort, NC)
May 19, 2008: Judge for Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science 74th annual meeting (PSU campus)
August 3, 2006: Diversity of seeps and vents tour/presentation for Life in Extreme Environments teacher’s workshop. (PSU campus, teachers)
May 15, 2006: Judge for Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science 72nd annual meeting (PSU campus, grades 8 & 10)
April 22, 2006: Volunteer with Ridge2000 exhibit at the 2006 PSU Space Days exhibition (general public)
April 2006: Filmed for National Geographic Channel’s Naked Science series, episode: The Deep. Aired June 2006.
May 17, 2005: Lab tour and presentation (junior high school students)
May 16, 2005: Judge for Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science 71st annual meeting (PSU campus, grades 7, 11 & 12)
April 2, 2005: Volunteer with the Ridge2000 exhibit at the 2005 PSU Space Days (general public)
March 21, 2005: Lab tour and presentation (high school students)
November 2, 2004: Interviewed by the Daily Collegian about research
January 2003-June 2004: Wrote several position papers as Policy committee chair for the Davis Chapter of Society for Conservation Biology (politicians and general public)
June 2001-July 2002: Volunteer caretaker and science interpreter for 15 South African Blackfooted Penguins at Monterey Bay Aquarium (general public and school tours)
January-August 2008: Recruitment subcommittee for the Biology Dept. Graduate Student Association
January 2007-August 2008: Graduate Student/Faculty Laison for the Biology Dept. Graduate Student Association
January 2005-January 2007: Secretary of the Biology Dept. Graduate Student Association
January 2003-June 2004: Policy Committee Chair for UC-Davis Chapter, Society for Conservation Biology
Reviewed Manuscripts for: Biological Bulletin, Journal of Biogeography, Marine Biology Research, Zoological Studies