People in the Kier Lab
William M. Kier
I received my Ph.D. in Zoology in 1983 at Duke University, where I was a student of Stephen A. Wainwright. After leaving Duke I was a Postdoctoral Scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA. Following my postdoc at WHOI, I was a National Science Foundation-NATO Postdoctoral Scholar and worked at the Marine Biological Association of the UK Laboratories in Plymouth, England and the Stazione Zoologica in Naples, Italy. I joined the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1985 and am currently Chair of the Department of Biology. For additional information, please see my CV.
Students / Postdocs
Justin Shaffer, SPIRE Postdoctoral Fellow
I am interested in the diversity of protein sequence, structure, and
function, and how changes in sequence can lead to (sometimes drastic) changes in
function. As a postdoc in the Kier lab, I am studying the diversity of the
motor protein myosin, the major contractile protein in muscle, in cephalopods
including squid, octopus and cuttlefish. I am also devoted to
undergraduate education, teaching, and mentoring. Starting in spring 2012
I will be teaching introductory biology as an Adjunct Professor at North
Carolina A&T State University while continuing my research here in Chapel Hill.
Title of Ph.D. Dissertation: Interactions between cardiac myosin binding protein-C and actin contribute to the regulation of muscle contraction, 2010.
Jessica Kurth, Ph.D. Student
I am a Ph.D. student interested in invertebrate functional morphology.
I graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers University with a bachelors
degree in marine science/biology. I was also the first student the Marine
Sciences Department at Rutgers to graduate with a 4.0 grade point average.
I began graduate school at UNC in August 2010. My dissertation project
concerning scaling effects on the structure and function of burrowing
invertebrates with hydrostatic skeletons. My science blog:
Proposed Title of Ph.D. Dissertation: Scale effects on the mechanics and kinematics of soft-bodied burrowers.
Carlos M. De Castro, Undergraduate Student
Former students and postdocs
Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Biology, Ithaca College
Title of Ph.D. Dissertation: Adhesion and the Tensile Strength of Water in Nature, 1992
Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Duke University
Title of Ph.D. Dissertation: The Optical Design of the Photic System of Ophiuroids, 1996
Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Franklin and Marshall University
Title of Ph.D. Dissertation: The Ontogeny of Mantle Structure and Function in the Oval Squid Sepioteuthis lessoniana (Cephalopoda, Loliginidae), 2000
Associate Professor, Department of Natural Science & Mathematics, Dominican University of California
Title of Ph.D. Dissertation: Peristaltic Locomotion in Holothuroids: Morphology and Movement, 2002
Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, University of
Title of Ph.D. Dissertation: The Function, Macroevolution, and Macroecology of the Internal Ornamentation in Neogastropods, University of Chicago, 2003.
SPIRE Postdoctoral Scholar, 2004-2006
Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Indiana University-Purdue
Title of Ph.D. Dissertation: Hydrostatic Skeletons in the Crustacea: Support During Molting in an Aquatic and a Terrestrial Crab, 2007
Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Valdosta State University
Title of Ph.D. Dissertation: The Morphology and Biomechanics of the Muscle Articulation: A New Class of Soft Tissue Joint, 2007