Shirley Pomponi is Sr. Research Professor Cooperative Institute Ocean Exploration Research and Technology of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University. She received her Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from the University of Miami, RSMAS. She joined Harbor Branch in 1984. Shirley’s research interests are sponges—their biology, taxonomy, ecology, chemistry, molecular biology, and cell culture. She’s particularly interested in developing in vitro (i.e., cell culture) techniques for production of sponge-derived bioactive molecules. She has led numerous research expeditions worldwide and has made more than 300 dives in Harbor Branch’s Johnson-Sea-Link submersibles. She chairs the National Research Council's Ocean Studies Board, is Vice-Chair of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, and is President-elect of the Southern Association of Marine Laboratories. She is a member of the Florida Oceans and Coastal Council, the Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel, the U.S. National Committee for the Census of Marine Life, and the National Association of Marine Laboratories. Dr. Pomponi serves on the Board of Trustees of Midwest Research Institute and the Women Divers Hall of Fame.
Selected recent publications
- Pomponi, S.A., Baden, D.G., and Zohar, Y. 2007. Marine Biotechnology: realizing the potential. Marine Technology Society Journal. 41(3): 24-31.
- Pomponi, S. A. 2001. The Roger Revelle Commemorative Lecture. The oceans and human health: The discovery and development of marine-derived drugs. Oceanography. Vol. 14(1): 78 – 87.
Sponge Cell Culture & Aquaculture
- Pomponi, S.A. 2006. Biology of the Porifera: cell culture. Canadian Journal of Zoology: Special Series on Porifera. 84: 167-174.
- Duckworth, A.R. and Pomponi, S.A. 2005. Relative importance of bacteria, microalgae and yeast for growth of the sponge Halichondria melanadocia (De Laubenfels, 1936): a laboratory study. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 323: 151-159.
- Duckworth, A.R., Samples, G.A., Wright, A.E., and Pomponi, S.A. 2003. In vitro culture of the tropical sponge Axinella corrugata (Demospongiae): effect of food cell concentration on growth, clearance rate and biosynthesis of stevensine. Marine Biotechnology 5: 519-527.
- Lopez, J.V., Peterson, C.L., Willoughby, R., Wright, A.E., Enright, E., Zoladz, S., and Pomponi, S.A.. 2002. Characterization of genetic markers for in vitro cell line identification of the marine sponge, Axinella corrugata. Journal of Heredity 93(1): 27-36.
- Wijffels, R.H., Osinga, R., Pomponi, S., and Tramper, J. 2001. Marine sponges as biocatalysts. In Multiphase Bioreactor Design. Edited by J.M.S. Cabral, M. Mota, and J. Tramper. Taylor & Francis, London and New York, pp. 477-493.
Sponge Systematics, Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology
- Conejo, M., Bertin, M., Pomponi, S.A., and Ellington, W.R., 2008. The early evolution of the phosphagen kinases – insights from choanoflagellate and poriferan arginine kinases. Journal of Molecular Evolution, 66(1): 11-20
- Thiel, V., Blumenberg, M., Hefter, J., Pape, T., Pomponi, S.A., Reed, J., Reitner, J., Worheide, G., and Michaelis, W.. 2002. A chemical view of the most ancient metazoa – biomarker chemotaxonomy of hexactinellid sponges. Naturwissenschaften 89: 60-66.
- Pomponi, S.A., Kelly, M., Reed, J.K., and Wright, A.E. 2001. Diversity and bathymetric distribution of lithistid sponges in the tropical western Atlantic region. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 10: 344-353.