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Tamara Frank

Tamara Frank
Associate Professor
Dept. of Marine and Environmental Sciences
(954) 262-3637


  • B.S. - California State University, Long Beach
  • M.A. - University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Ph.D. - University of California, Santa Barbara: Vision and Bioluminescence in Deep-sea Crustaceans
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Connecticut Health Sciences Center: Intracellular studies on the role of Ca(2+) and IP(3) on Limulus photoreceptors
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Hatfield Marine Science Center: Effect of pyrethroid insecticides on nodose and petrosal ganglion cell sodium channel kinetics in trout vs. mice
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution: The role of UV visual pigments in deep-sea crustaceans

Area(s) of research

Visual and Zooplankton Ecology

  • Visual adaptations to the dim light environment in the deep-sea
  • The relationship between habitat/prey preferences and visual systems, i.e. how are differences in feeding modes, such as filter feeding versus active prey capture, reflected in visual Physiology in both shallow water and deep-sea species
  • The relationship between bioluminescence and visual adaptations in deep-sea environments
  • How light affects the vertical distributions and vertical migrations of deep-sea animals
  • Taxonomy and spatial distribution patterns of deep-sea crustaceans (micronektonic – I don’t do copepods, ostracods, etc.) in the Gulf of Mexico

Most of these studies require special temperature insulated, light-tight collectors deployed with my opening/closing midwater Tucker Trawl, or from submersibles and ROVs for benthic work.   I have had, or currently have, funding from NSF Organismal Systems/Integrative Biology/Biological Oceanography, NOAA OER, NOAA NRDA, NOAA CIOERT, Florida Institute of Oceanography, Whitehall Foundation and GOMRI.  

Graduate Students

  • Noelle Notarnicola
  • Charles Fine
  • Eric Burdett
  • Valerie Miranda
  • Mary Carson
  • Richard Hartland
  • Megan Weber
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