Katrina M. Pagenkopp Lohan
Marine Invasions Lab 2012-2014

Research Interests

Marine parasite diversity, host specificity, population genetics of parasites, prostistan diversity, ecology of infectious diseases, ecological role of reservoir hosts


Current Research

My research uses genetic techniques to examine the ecology and evolution of marine parasites. Marine parasites can comprise a large amount of biomass and can be responsible for greatly altering host population dynamics as well as entire ecosystems. Unfortunately, we currently know little about the distribution of marine parasites and other microorganisms in the ocean. Additionally, studies have shown that the detection rate of marine invasions is increasing, but few studies have examined the role or inclusion of parasites in marine invasions. The diversity and distributions of parasites, pathogens, and toxic microorganisms in tropical waters is of particular importance when considering how species range shifts or host switching may occur with global climate change. My project will use a metagenomic approach to characterize the distribution and diversity of microorganisms associated with water samples and bivalves, with particular emphasis on marine parasites, over a latitudinal gradient from the Chesapeake Bay to the coast of Belize. This information can be used to track the future movements of these micoorganisms. This research is a collaborative effort between the Center of Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics at the National Zoological Park and the Marine Invasions Laboratory at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and is a MarineGEO project.

Education and Degrees

2011        Ph.D. in Marine Science,  The College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA
2006        M.S. in Biology, American University, Washington, DC
2004        B.S. in Marine Science, Southampton College of Long Island University, Southampton, NY
KM Pagenkopp Lohan, JR McDowell, JD Shields, and KS Reese (in press) Genotypic variation of Hematodinium perezi along the Delmarva Peninsula, Virginia. Marine Biology.
KM Pagenkopp Lohan, HJ Small, JD Shields, AR Place, and KS Reece (2013) Conservation in the first internal transcribed spacer (ITS1) region of Hematodinium perezi genotype III from Callinectes sapidus. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms. 103:65-75.
I Davidson, G Ashton, G Ruiz, C Scianni, C Brown, K Pagenkopp Lohan, R Fleischer (2012) Richness, extent, condition, reproductive status, and parasitism of fouling communities on commercial vessels. Report to the California State Lands Commission Marine Invasive Species Program, Sacramento, California. 54 pp.
KM Pagenkopp Lohan, JR McDowell, JD Shields, J Xiao, TL Miller, and KS Reece (2012)
Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci for the parasitic dinoflagellate, Hematodinium perezi, a parasite of Callinectes sapidus. Molecular Ecology Resources. 12: 570-572.
KM Pagenkopp Lohan, KS Reece, TL Miller, KN Wheeler, HJ Small, and JD Shields (2012) The role of alternate hosts in the ecology and life history of Hematodinium, a parasitic dinoflagellate of the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus). The Journal of Parasitology. 98: 73-84.
HJ Small and KM Pagenkopp (2011) Alternate hosts and potential reservoirs for disease causing organisms of commercially important crustaceans. (invited review) Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. 106: 153-164.
C Li, KS Reece, T Miller, H Small, KM Pagenkopp, and JD Shields (2010) A real-time assay for detection and quantification of the parasitic dinoflagellate Hematodinium spp. in environmental water samples. Harmful Algae. 9: 515-521.
KM Pagenkopp, J Klicka, KL Durrant, JC Garvin, and RC Fleischer (2008) Geographic variation in malarial parasite lineages in the Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas). Conservation Genetics. 9(6): 1577-1588. 
Contact details

Marine Invasions Laboratory
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
P.O. Box 28
Contees Wharf Road
Edgewater, Maryland 21037-0028

Center for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
National Zoological Park
3001 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

NZP Office: 202-633-0550