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Darnell Lab

Kevin Dillon


Zachary Darnell, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Division of Coastal Sciences


Gulf Coast Research Laboratory
703 East Beach Drive
Ocean Springs, MS 39564


My research focuses on the environmental constraints imposed on marine and estuarine invertebrates. More specifically, this encompasses (1) physiological, behavioral, and ecological responses to environmental change and environmental stress, (2) environmental effects on life histories, distributions, and population dynamics, and (3) anthropogenic impacts on organism-environment interactions.

Research in my lab is primarily experimental, and we take an integrative approach that combines perspectives and techniques from multiple disciplines including ecology, physiology, behavioral ecology, and fisheries science to better understand the complex behavioral and physiological interactions between organisms and their abiotic environment. We work primarily at the organismal level, which allows for studies linking physiological mechanisms and ecological significance. This research also has a strong applied focus, using ecophysiological approaches to address fisheries management and conservation questions. We work closely with state and regional management agencies and look forward to expanding such partnerships in the future to improve our understanding and management of coastal invertebrate species.