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Patricia L. Blackwelder, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Dept. of Marine and Environmental Sciences
(954) 262-3667


  • B.A. - Queens College of the City University of NY
  • M.S. - Duke University
  • Ph.D. - University of South Carolina

Area(s) of Research

My interests over the decades I have been at NSU include biomineralization and calcification in invertebrates, ecology and paleoecology of benthic microorganisms, and coccolithophorids from modern and paleoceanographic environments. Current work includes  ultrastructural (TEM and SEM) studies of recent and fossil invertebrates including sponges and corals with NSU, University of Miami, and FIU colleagues. I am also working on a collaborative project with NOAA/AOML on particulate analysis in Biscayne Bay. I teach the graduate Marine Geology core course as well as courses in invertebrate ultrastructure.

Current students

Ph.D. Candidate Abby Renegar


2011 Miller, A.W., Blackwelder, P.L., Alsayegh, H., and Richardson, L., Fine-structural analysis of black band disease-infected coral reveals boring cyanobacteria and novel bacteria. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms. Vol.93, 179-190.

2011 Lopez, J., White, J., Patel, J., Ottesen, A., Blackwelder, P., Pop, M. and Allard, M. Dynamics of the microbial symbiont communities in the Florida reef sponge, Axinella corrugata measured by deep DNA sequencing. International Human Microbiome Congress. March 9 - 11, 2011. Vancouver, BC.

2011 Peptide conjugated PAMAM dendrimer as a novel platform for effective DNA vaccination. Pirouz D., Kaifer, A, Wei L., Blomberg, B., Frasca, D. Roth, l Chowdhury, R., Berg, E., Fishman J., Al Sayegh, H., Blackwelder, P., Inverardi, L., Perez, V., Lemmon, V., and Serafini.P., Accepted: Journal of Cancer Research

2011 Montague, N., Blackwelder, P., Alsayegh, H., Ochao, R., Vial. X., and Byrne, G., Platelet satellitism and dual surface immunoglobulin light-chain expression in circulating splenic marginal zone lymphoma cells. In Press: Annals of Diagnostic Pathology.

2011 Richardson, L., Miller, A.W., Blackwelder, P.L. and Alsayegh, H., Cyanobacterial Associated Colored Band Diseases of the Atlantic/Caribbean In: Diseases of the Coral. Eds: Downs, C., Woodley, C., Bruckner, A., and J.W. Porter, In Review.

2010 Negandhi, K., Blackwelder, P.L., Ereskovsky, A.V., and Lopez, J., Coral Disease-Associated Microbial Communities within Florida Reef Sponges. Symbiosis, 51(1): 117-129.

2010 Blackwelder, P., Alsayegh, H., and D. Renegar, Tissue/Skeleton Interactions in Porites astreoides and Acropora cervicornis: Ultrastructure of Regenerating and Larval Coral. ISRS Conference, The Netherlands, Dec 2010.

2010 Carsey, T., Featherstone, C., Goodwin, K.Sinigalliano, C., Stamates,J., Zhang, J., Proni, J., Bishop, J., Brown, C., Adler, M., Blackwelder, P., Alsayegh, H. The Boynton-Delray Costal Water Quality Monitoring Program, Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory Technical Report, Miami, Florida January 2010

2009 Featherstone, C.A., Proni, J.R., Carsey, T.P, Brown, C., Adler, M., Blackwelder, P.L., Alsayegh, H., Hood, T. Piela, C., and McCorquodale, D. Spatial Distribution of Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Blind Pass Sediment Cores. NOAA Technical Memorandum OAR AOML-97, Dec 2009.

2009 Renegar, D.A., Blackwelder, P.L., Moulding, A.L., Coral Ultrastructural response to Elevated pCO2 and Nutrients during Tissue Repair and Regeneration. Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, 7-11 July 2008

2007 Renegar, D.A, Blackwelder, P., Alsayegh. Portnoy, D. Microscopy and Microanalyses in Marine Invertebrate Biology (Invited), Microscopy and Microanalysis Meeting, August 2007

2006 Prince, J., Lynn, M. Blackwelder, P. White Vesicles in the Skin of Aplysia californica cooper: A Proposed Calcium Excretory Function. Journal of Molluscan Studies, 72, 405-412.

2006 Zarikian, C.A., Soter, S., Katsonopoulou, D., Blackwelder P., Hood, T. Microfaunal Evidence for Paleoenvironments of the Helike Delta: 1991-2000. Third International Conference on Ancient Helike and Aigialeia: Archaeological Sites in Geologically Active Regions (D.Katsonopoulou, S. Soter & I.K. Koukouvelas, eds.), Athens: Helike Society, pp. 183-195.

2005 Blackwelder, P., Renegar, D.A., Vargas-Angel, B., Miller, A.W., Portnoy, D.A. Dodge, R.E., Gilliam, D.S., Effects of Sedimentation Stress on Ultrastructure and Calcification in Montastraea cavernosa. ASLO Ocean Sciences Meeting, February 2006, Honolulu, Hawaii.

2005 Featherstone, C.M. and Blackwelder.P.L. Monthly Variability in Florida Bay Benthic Foraminifera Community Structure, Florida Bay Science Conference, Marathon, Florida.

2005 Zarikian, C.A., Swart, P.K, Gifford, J.A., and Blackwelder, P.L. Holocene Paleohydrology of Little Salt Spring, Florida, based on Ostracod Assemblages and Stable Isotopes, Paleogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 225, 134-156.

2004 Blackwelder.P.L., Zarikian, C. A., Hood T, Featherstone, C., Proni,J., Craynock, J., Microfauna as Tracers of Sediment Transport: Ft. Pierce Dredge Spoils Sediment Study, CIMAS, University of Miami, Annual Report to NOAA 2004, 81-82.

2002 Lugo, D., Lynn, M., Downum, K., Blackwelder, P., Arsenic Localization and Distribution in Brake Fern using Laser Ablation-ICP/MS and ESEM, American Chemical Society National Meeting, Analytical Chemistry,17, Orlando.

2002 Nelsen, T.A., H. R. Wanless, J. H. Trefry, C.A. Alvarez Zarikian, T.Hood, P.L. Blackwelder, P.K. Swart, L. Tedesco, W-J. Kang, S. Metz, J., Garte, C. Featherstone, C. Souch, J. F. Pachut, M. O'Neal, and G. Ellis. Linkages between the South Florida peninsula and coastal zone: Assessment-based History of Natural and Anthropogenic Influences. In: Karen and James Porter (Eds.) The Everglades, Florida Bay, and Coral Reefs of the Florida Keys: An Ecosystem Sourcebook. CRC Press.

2001 Alvarez-Zarikian, C.A., Swart, P.K., Hood, T., Blackwelder, P.L., Nelsen, T.A., and Featherstone, C., A Century of Environmental Variability in Oyster Bay using Ostracod Ecological and Isotopic Data as Paleoenvironmental Tools. In Wardlaw, B. R. (Ed.), Paleoecological studies of South Florida. Bulletin of American Paleontology, 361,133-143.

2001 Soter, S. Blackwelder, P.L., Tziavos, C., Katsonopoulou, D., Hood, T., and Alvarez Zarikian, C.A., Environmental Analysis of Cores from the Helike delta, Gulf of Corinth, Greece. Journal of Coastal Research, 17(1): 95-106

2000 Alvarez-Zarikian, C.A., Blackwelder, P.L., Hood, T., Nelsen, T.A., and Featherstone, C. Ostracods as Indicators of Natural and Anthropogenically-Induced Changes in Coastal Marine Ecosystems. Proceedings from the Coastal Society Conference: Coast at the Millennium, Portland, Oregon, 896-905.

1999 Blackwelder, P. Hood, T. Swart, Featherstone, C. and T. Nelsen. Historical Salinity Effects on Microfauna in the Lower Everglades and Florida Bay. Florida Bay and Adjacent Systems Science Conference, Key Largo. 18.

1998 Blackwelder, P., Hood, Alvarez-Zarikian, C. Featherstone, C. Nelsen, T., Trefry, T., and Wanless, H. Paleoecological Reconstruction of the Everglades Florida Bay System, I. Microfaunal Abundance and Diversity. Florida Bay Paleoecology Workshop, Jan 1998.

1998 Alvarez Zarikian, C., Hood. Blackwelder, P. Nelsen, T., Trefry, J. Wanless, H., Paleoecological Reconstruction of the Everglades/Florida Bay System 11. Do Total Microfaunal Assemblages Reflect In-Situ Populations? Florida Bay Paleoecology Workshop, Jan 1998.

1998 Ellis, G., Swart, P, Lutz, P. Alvarez Zarikian, C. Hood, T., Blackwelder P., Nelsen, T. Wanless, H., Trefry, T. The stable Isotope Composition of Foraminifera, Ostracods and Organics from a Core in Whitewater Bay. Florida Bay Paleoecology Workshop, Jan. 1998.

1996 Robbins, L.L., Yates, K.K., Shinn, E.A., and Blackwelder, P., Whitings on the Great Bahamas Bank: A Microscopic Solution to a Macroscopic Mystery. Bahamas Journal of Science. 4: 2-7.

1996 Levinson, H.S., Mahler, I., Blackwelder, P., Hood, T. Lead Resistance and Sensitivity in Staphylococcus aureus. FEMS Microbiology Letters. 145, 421-425.

1996 Blackwelder, P., Hood, T., Alvarez-Zarikian, Nelsen, T. and McKee, B., Benthic Foraminifera from the NECOP Study Area Impacted by the Mississippi River Plume and Seasonal Hypoxia. Quaternary International, vol.31, 11-36.

1995 Nelsen, T.A., Blackwelder, P.L., Hood, T., Alvarez Zarikian, C.A., Trefry, J. and Metz, S., Eadie, B. and McKee, B. Retrospective Analysis of NECOP Area Sediments: Biogenic, Inorganic and Organic Indicators of Anthropogenic Influences since the Turn of the Century, 90-101. In: Nutrient Enhanced Coastal Ocean Productivity, Proceedings of 1994 Synthesis Workshop, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

1994 Nelsen, T.A., Blackwelder, P.L., Hood, T., Alvarez Zarikian, C.A., Trefry, J. and Metz, S. 1994. The Sedimentary Record in the NECOP Study Area: A History of Anthropogenic Impact. EOS, 75:51.

1994 Nelsen, T, Blackwelder, F., Hood.T, Mckee, B. Romer, N. Alvarez-Zarikian, C. Metz, S. Time Based Correlation of Biogenic, Lithogenic and Authigenic Sediment Components in the Gulf of Mexico NECOP Study Area. Estuaries, Dec. 1994.

1992 Robbins, L. and Blackwelder, P. Biochemical and Ultrastructural Evidence for the Origin of Whitings: A Biologically Induced Calcium Carbonate Precipitation Mechanism. Geology. Vol 20, 464-468.

1992 Takahashi, K. and Blackwelder, P. Silicoflagellate Distribution in the NW Atlantic and Warm Core Rings. Deep Sea Research. Vol.39, 327-346.

1991 Walsh, P., Blackwelder, P. Gill K., Danulat E., and T.P. Mommsen. Carbonate Production in the Intestine of a Marine Fish: A New Source of Carbonate Sediment. Limnology and Oceanography, 36(6): 1227-1232.

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