PhD Candidate

School of Biological Sciences

Georgia Institute of Technology


B.S. Marine Biology, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC, USA

B.S. Chemistry, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC, USA

I graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with honors and a B.S in marine biology and a B.S. in chemistry. As a part of my honors in marine biology under Dr. Carmelo Tomas I studied the temperature and salinity dependence of maximum growth rate for several species in the harmful algae genus Alexandrium. I also worked under Dr. Jeffrey Wright isolating toxins and secondary metabolites from dinoflagellates and cyanobacteria for natural products research. I started my graduate research in the Kubanek Laboratory in the fall of 2015.

Research Interests

I am broadly interested in understanding ecological interactions that drive toxin production in marine algae that are typically classified as harmful algal bloom species. My thesis research is focused on predator-prey interactions (both direct and interdirect) between phytoplankton from the genus Alexandrium and their copepod predators. My projects involve both laboratory based ecological experiments as well as nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry metabolomics.


Emily R. Brown and Julia Kubanek. 2020. Harmful alga trades off growth and toxicity in response to cues from dead phytoplankton. Limnology and Oceanography. DOI: 10.1002/lno.11414.

Emily R. Brown, Marisa Cepeda, Samantha J. Mascuch, Kelsey L. Poulson-Ellestad, and Julia Kubanek. 2019. Chemical ecology of the marine plankton. Natural Product Reports. 36 (8): 1093-1116. DOI: 10.1039/C8NP00085A.

Remington X. Poulin, Scott Hogan, Kelsey L. Poulson-Ellestad, Emily Brown, Facundo M. Fern√°ndez, Julia Kubanek. 2018. Karenia brevis allelopathy compromises the lipidome, membrane integrity, and photosynthesis of competitors. Scientific Reports. 8 (1): 9572. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-27845-9.

Emily R. Schwartz, Remington X. Poulin, Nazia Mojib, and Julia Kubanek. 2016. Chemical ecology of marine plankton. Natural Product Reports. 33 (7): 843-860. DOI: 10.1039/C6NP00015K.