Ana Beardsley Christensen


Associate Professor of Biology

Office: 205-2 Hayes Biology Building

Phone: 409-880-8260


View Dr. Christensen's CV.


1985 B.S. in Biology, College of William and Mary

1989 M.A. in Biology, College of William and Mary

1997 Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, Clemson University

Courses Taught:

Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II (Biol 2401, 2402)

Advanced Physiology (Biol 3440)

Comparative Physiology (Biol 4401/5490)

Cell Biology  (Biol 4470/5475)

Marine Invertebrate Zoology (Biol 4401/5401)

Life in the extreme (Biol 4300/5301)

Marine Biology (Biol 4450/5455)

Tropical Marine Biology (4401/5401)

Invertebrate Zoology (Biol 3460)


Research interests:

I am primarily an invertebrate physiologist, specializing in factors affecting respiration in estuarine and marine organisms (especially the echinoderms).  I am also interested in the occurrence of respiratory pigments (such as hemoglobin) in invertebrate organisms and determining how it benefits the organism (i.e. is it used in transporting oxygen, oxygen storage, or some other function?).  My current research is focusing on the expression patterns of hemoglobin in an Ophiactis species and environmental variables that may affect expression. My lab is also looking at how variables associated with climate change affect the metabolism of various species of brittle star.

Publications and Abstracts:

Alitto, R.S., M.I. Bueno, P.D.B. Guilherme, M. di Domenico, A.B. Christensen, M. Borges (2018) Shallow-water brittle stars (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea) from Araçá Bay (Southeastern Brazil), with spatial distribution considerations. Zootaxa, 4405: 1-66

Christensen, A.B., K. Radivojevich, and M.I. Pyne (2017). Effects of CO2, pH, and temperature on respiration and regeneration in the burrowing brittle stars Hemipholis cordifera and Amphipholis gracillima JEMBE, 495: 13-23. 

A.B. Christensen, J.L. Herman; M.R. Elphick, K.M. Kober, D. Janies, G. Linchangco, D.C. Semmens, X. Bailly, S.N. Vinogradov, D. Hoogewijs (2015) Phylogeny of Echinoderm Hemoglobins.  PloSOne. 10(8):e0129668.

Kashiwagi, T, Maxwell, EA, Marshal, A, and Christensen, AB (2015) Evaluating manta ray mucus as an alternative DNA source for population genetics study: underwater-sampling, dry-storage and PCR success. PeerJ 01/2015; 3:e1188. DOI:10.7717/peerj.1188

Radivojevich, K. and A.B. Christensen. 2012. A tale of two brittlestars: A comparison of the effects of decreased pH and increased temperature on the respiration rates of Hemipholis cordifera and Amphipholis gracillima (Echinodermata, Ophiuroidea). Gulf of Mexico Science 29:151-152.

Christensen, A.B., and E.F. Christensen. 2011. Comparisons of Populations of North American Ophiactid Brittle Stars Possessing Hemoglobin Using Intronic Variation. in Echinoderms in a Changing World: Proceedings of the 13th International Echinoderm Conference, C. Johnson (ed.). Pp.127-129.

Christensen, A.B., H.D. Nguyen, M. Byrne. 2011. Thermotolerance and the effects of hypercapnia on the metabolic rate of the ophiuroid Ophionereis schayeri: inferences for survivorship in a changing ocean. JEMBE 403:31-38.

Christensen, A.B., E.F. Christensen, and D.W. Wiesrock. 2008. Population structure of North American Ophiactis spp. possessing hemoglobin. Marine Biology 154:755-763.