Department of Biology and Marine Biology, University of North Carolina Wilmington, 601 S. College Rd, Wilmington, NC 28403-5915



We have published in a variety of journals including the Journal of Experimental Biology, American Journal of Physiology, Marine Biology, and Nature Communications.  Click the link or image to see a list of publications.


We have received funding from a variety of sources, with the bulk coming from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Click the link or image to see a list of grants.


We work in several primary areas: 1) the relationship between muscle structure and metabolic and contractile function, 2) the effects of diabetic pharmaceuticals on muscle development in juveniles, 3) high altitude acclimation and exercise tolerance, and 4) the effect of dietary supplements on fish growth in an aquaculture setting.  Click the link or image to see what we're working on now.


I have graduate degrees in Marine Science and  Biology, and a diverse research background that has ranged from studies on deep-sea zooplankton to cellular biophysics.  I have been at UNCW since 1997, where I have drawn on all of these experiences to develop an integrative research approach.

PhD, 1996, Florida State University


Jeff has graduate degrees in Biology and Cell and Molecular Biology.  He is currently examining the effects of various drugs on muscle growth and development and muscle satellite cell function.

PhD, 2015, Rutgers University


Gradute students are the backbone of our lab, and these students work on projects that range from comparative physiology of marine animals to biomedical studies on muscle development.  

Julie Neurohr, PhD, Travis Ruffin, MS, Chelsea Crocker, MS

The lab in Spring 2017


A Group Effort

Our lab examines the influence of cell structure and metabolism on whole animal function in a variety of comparative and biomedical model organisms. We focus primarily on muscle tissue because molecular events in muscle are tied directly to whole animal locomotion and behavior.  In addition, muscle typically constitutes a large fraction of total body mass and it can be voluntarily activated, meaning variation in metabolic events in muscle can be an important driver of whole animal metabolism.

We take advantage of the wide diversity of muscle structure and function found in the animal kingdom, particularly in marine species, to characterize general principles of muscle design. In addition, we address more biomedically relevant aspects of muscle function using mouse and cell culture.  We make a variety of types experimental measurements at multiple levels of biological organization, and we often couple these measurements with metabolic simulations that enhance our understanding.  However, we always try to interpret molecular and cellular level events in the context of whole animal function.



University of North Carolina Wilmington
Department of Biology and Marine Biology

Stephen Kinsey, Professor



Our lab has a diverse group of undergraduate students working on both honors thesis research or conducting a directed independent study (DIS) project. Undergraduate students are a vital part of the lab research team and they work alongside graduate students conducting original research.

Spring 2017 Honors Students: Andrew Caliri, Maddie Cutrone, Meghann Dintino, Megan Ritchie, Kaylee Shope

Spring 2017 DIS Students: Sarah Park, Cassie Bongiorno, Collin Smith, Jonathan Stough


Comparative and Integrative


Courses Taught

I most regularly teach biochemistry lecture (BIO 465) and lab (BIOL 465), but I also teach a marine physiology course (BIO 603), and I have taught molecular biology (BIO 519), senior seminar (BIO 495), and special topics courses (BIO 585) as well.   I try to incorporate student participation and discussion by using a variety of pedagogical approaches as well as technology based approaches like in-class clickers.

BIO 465, BIOL 465, BIO 603, BIO 519, BIO 585, BIO 495


A Fundamental Mission

Department of Biology and Marine Biology, University of North Carolina Wilmington, 601 S. College Rd., Wilmington, NC 29403-5915


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