THE imesa LAB


Welcome to the iMESA webpage


I_ntegrated M_olecular E_cology of S_ponges and A_scidians

Created in 2010

The iMESA Lab is part of the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) and the Department of Biology and Marine Biology. The Lab is located at the Center for Marine Science, 5600 Marvin K. Moss Lane, Wilmington NC 28409

The iMESA Lab usually has no more than six graduate students and six undergraduate students at a time. Both graduate and undergraduate students are expected to attend weekly Lab Meetings and report their progress or discuss any issues or new ideas they may have.


  1. -Undergraduate students: MOTIVATION

  2. -Graduate students: Motivation is also critical but a little bit more is expected from you as well... Please, check the ‘Graduate Expectations’ document below and make sure you agree with its terms and conditions before you contact us for potential admission.

Prospective Graduate Students Information

Follow us on Twitter at iMESALab

Our Lab seeks to advance current knowledge on the biology and ecology of marine invertebrates as it relates to their susceptibility to anthropogenic impacts and climate change.

Specific research lines include:

  1. 1.Stability and significance of symbiotic microbial communities in sponges and ascidians, and in particular

    - Biodiversity and specificity

    - Symbiont stability over time and space

    - Symbiont metabolism and function

    - Host ecology and resilience

    - Secondary metabolite production and ecological significance

  1. 2.Invasive ecology of introduced ascidians, including

    - Species identification and barcoding

    - Population connectivity and phylogeography

    - Life cycle characterization