Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce

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Valerie Paul

    Valerie Paul
    Head Scientist

  • Phone: (772) 462-0982
  • Fax: (772) 461-8154
  • E-mail:
  • Mailing and Shipping Address:
  • Dr. Valerie Paul
    Smithsonian Marine Station
    701 Seaway Drive
    Fort Pierce, FL 34949 USA


Ph.D. 1985 - University of California at San Diego, Scripps Inst. of Oceanography, Marine Biology
B.A. 1979 - University of California at San Diego, Biology and Studies in Chemical Ecology

Research Interests

Ecological Roles of Marine Natural Products

Temporal and Spatial Variability of Benthic Cyanobacteria (Lyngbya spp.) in the Indian River Lagoon, Florida and Carrie Bow Cay, Belize

Impact of Toxic Cyanobacterial Blooms (Lyngbya spp.) on Coral Reef Habitats

Settlement and Metamorphosis of Larvae of Reef-Building Corals

Professional Activities

Council member, International Society for Reef Studies, 1992-1996, Advisory Editor for journal Coral Reefs (1993-present)

Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Natural Products, 2004-2008

Elected and served as Chair, Marine Natural Products Gordon Research Conference 2000, Vice-Chair of Conference in 1998

Member, California Sea Grant Committee, 2000-2001, 2006-2007

Program Director, NIH Minority Biomedical Research Support Grant, 1990-2002, advisor and mentor for numerous undergraduate and graduate (M.S. degree) Pacific Islander students

Recent Publications

Campbell, Justin E., Fisch, Jay, Langdon, Chris and Paul, Valerie J. 2016. Increased temperature mitigates the effects of ocean acidification in calcified green algae (Halimeda spp.), Coral Reefs, 35(1):357-368

Ritson-Williams, Raphael, Arnold, Suzanne N. and Paul, Valerie J. 2016. Patterns of larval settlement preferences and post-settlement survival for seven Caribbean corals, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 548:127-138

Bousquet, Michelle S., Ma, Jia Jia, Ratnayake, Ranjala, Havre, Pamela A., Yao, Jin, Dang, Nam H., Paul, Valerie J., Carney, Thomas J., Dang, Long H. and Luesch, Hendrik. 2016. Multidimensional Screening Platform for Simultaneously Targeting Oncogenic KRAS and Hypoxia-Inducible Factors Pathways in Colorectal Cancer, ACS chemical biology, 11(5):1322-1331

Al-Awadhi, Fatma, Ratnayake, Ranjala, Paul, Valerie J. and Luesch, Hendrik. 2016. Tasiamide F, a potent inhibitor of cathepsins D and E from a marine cyanobacterium, Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry, 24(15):3276-3282

Gunasekera, Sarath P., Li, Yang, Ratnayake, Ranjala, Luo, Danmeng, Lo, Jeannette, Reibenspies, Joseph H., Xu, Zhengshuang, Clare-Salzler, Michael, Ye, Tao, Paul, Valerie J. and Luesch, Hendrik. 2016. Discovery, Total Synthesis and Key Structural Elements for the Immunosuppressive Activity of Cocosolide, a Symmetrical Glycosylated Macrolide Dimer from Marine Cyanobacteria, Chemistry – A European Journal, 22(24):8158-8166

Meyer, Julie L., Gunasekera, Sarath P., Scott, Raymond M., Paul, Valerie J. and Teplitski, Max. 2016. Microbiome shifts and the inhibition of quorum sensing by Black Band Disease cyanobacteria, The ISME journal, 10:1204-1216

Gamal, Abrahim El, Agarwal, Vinayak, Diethelm, Stefan, Rahman, Imran, Schorn, Michelle A., Sneed, Jennifer M., Louie, Gordon V., Whalen, Kristen E., Mincer, Tracy J., Noel, Joseph P., Paul, Valerie J. and Moore, Bradley S. 2016. Biosynthesis of coral settlement cue tetrabromopyrrole in marine bacteria by a uniquely adapted brominase–thioesterase enzyme pair, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113(14):3797-3802

Capper, Angela, Erickson, Amy A., Ritson-Williams, Raphael, Becerro, Mikel A., Arthur, Karen A. and Paul, Valerie J. 2016. Palatability and chemical defences of benthic cyanobacteria to a suite of herbivores, Journal of experimental marine biology and ecology, 474:100-108

Cai, Weijing, Matthews, James H., Paul, Valerie J. and Luesch, Hendrik. 2016. Pitiamides A and B, Multifunctional Fatty Acid Amides from Marine Cyanobacteria, Planta Medica, 82(9/10):897-902

Gunasekera, Sarath P., Imperial, Lorelie, Garst, Christiana, Ratnayake, Ranjala, Dang, Long H., Paul, Valerie J. and Luesch, Hendrik. 2016. Caldoramide, a Modified Pentapeptide from the Marine Cyanobacterium Caldora penicillata, Journal of natural products, 79(7):1867-1871

Salvador-Reyes, Lilibeth A., Sneed, Jennifer, Paul, Valerie J. and Luesch, Hendrik. 2015. Amantelides A and B, Polyhydroxylated Macrolides with Differential Broad-Spectrum Cytotoxicity from a Guamanian Marine Cyanobacterium, Journal of Natural Products, 78(8):1957-1962

DeBose, Jennifer L., Kiene, Ronald P. and Paul, Valerie J. 2015. Eggs and larvae of Acropora palmata and larvae of Porites astreoides contain high amounts of dimethylsulfoniopropionate, Journal of experimental marine biology and ecology, 473:146-151

Agarwal, Vinayak, Li, Jie, Rahman, Imran, Borgen, Miles, Aluwihare, Lihini I., Biggs, Jason S., Paul, Valerie J. and Moore, Bradley S. 2015. Complexity of Naturally Produced Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers Revealed via Mass Spectrometry, Environmental science & technology, 49(3):1339-1346

Sneed, Jennifer M., Ritson-Williams, Raphael and Paul, Valerie J. 2015. Crustose coralline algal species host distinct bacterial assemblages on their surfaces, The ISME journal, (9):2527-2536

Engene, Niclas, Tronholm, Ana, Salvador-Reyes, Lilibeth, Luesch, Hendrik and Paul, Valerie J. 2015. Caldora penicillata gen. nov., comb. nov. (Cyanobacteria), a pantropical marine species with biomedical relevance, Journal of Phycology, 51(4):670-681

Gómez, C. E., Paul, Valerie J., Ritson-Williams, R., Muehllehner, N., Langdon, C. and Sánchez, J. A. 2015. Responses of the tropical gorgonian coral Eunicea fusca to ocean acidification conditions, Coral Reefs, 34(2):451-460

Olsen, Kevin, Paul, Valerie J. and Ross, Cliff. 2015. Direct effects of elevated temperature, reduced pH, and the presence of macroalgae (Dictyota spp.) on larvae of the Caribbean coral Porites astreoides, Bulletin of Marine Science, 91(2):255-270

Soares, Angélica R., Engene, Niclas, Gunasekera, Sarath P., Sneed, Jennifer M. and Paul, Valerie J. 2015. Carriebowlinol, an Antimicrobial Tetrahydroquinolinol from an Assemblage of Marine Cyanobacteria Containing a Novel Taxon, Journal of natural products, 78(3):534-538

Meyer, Julie L., Dillard, Brian A., Rodgers, John M., Ritchie, Kim B., Paul, Valerie J. and Teplitski, Max. 2015. Draft genome sequence of Halomonas meridiana R1t3 isolated from the surface microbiota of the Caribbean Elkhorn coral Acropora palmata, Standards in Genomic Sciences, 10(1):75

Salvador-Reyes, Lilibeth, Engene, Niclas, Paul, Valerie J. and Luesch, Hendrik. 2015. Targeted Natural Products Discovery from Marine Cyanobacteria Using Combined Phylogenetic and Mass Spectrometric Evaluation, Journal of natural products, 78(3):486-492

Sharp, K. H., Sneed, J. M., Ritchie, K. B., Mcdaniel, L. and Paul, Valerie J. 2015. Induction of Larval Settlement in the Reef Coral Porites astreoides by a Cultivated Marine Roseobacter Strain, The Biological bulletin, 228(2):98-107

Hagedorn, Mary M., Farrell, Ann, Carter, Virginia, Zuchowicz, Nikolas, Johnston, Erika, Padilla-Gamiño, Jacqueline, Gunasekera, Sarath and Paul, Valerie J. 2015. Effects of Toxic Compounds in Montipora capitata on Exogenous and Endogenous Zooxanthellae Performance and Fertilization Success, PloS One, 10(2):1-17

Campbell, Justin E., Craft, Jonathan D., Muehllehner, Nancy, Langdon, Chris and Paul, Valerie J. 2014. Responses of calcifying algae (Halimeda spp.) to ocean acidification: implications for herbivores, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 514:43-56

Sneed, Jennifer M., Sharp, Koty H., Ritchie, Kimberly B. and Paul, Valerie J. 2014. The chemical cue tetrabromopyrrole from a biofilm bacterium induces settlement of multiple Caribbean corals, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281(1786):20133086

Kwan, Jason C., Liu, Yanxia, Ratnayake, Ranjala, Hatano, Ryo, Kuribara, Akiko, Morimoto, Chiko, Ohnuma, Kei, Paul, Valerie J., Ye, Tao and Luesch, Hendrik. 2014. Grassypeptolides as Natural Inhibitors of Dipeptidyl Peptidase 8 and T-Cell Activation, Chembiochem, 15(6):799-804

Ritson-Williams, R., Arnold, S. N., Paul, Valerie J. and Steneck, R. S. 2014. Larval settlement preferences of Acropora palmata and Montastraea faveolata in response to diverse red algae, Coral Reefs, 33(1):59-66

Krediet, Cory J., Meyer, Julie L., Gimbrone, Nicholas, Yanong, Roy, Berzins, Ilze, Alagely, Ali, Castro, Herman, Ritchie, Kim B., Paul, Valerie J. and Teplitski, Max. 2014. Interactions between the tropical sea anemone Aiptasia pallida and Serratia marcescens, an opportunistic pathogen of corals, Environmental Microbiology Reports, 6(3):287-292

Meyer, Julie L., Paul, Valerie J. and Teplitski, Max. 2014. Community Shifts in the Surface Microbiomes of the Coral Porites astreoides with Unusual Lesions, PLoS ONE, 9(6):1-9

Puglisi, Melany P., Sneed, Jennifer M., Sharp, Koty H., Ritson-Williams, Raphael and Paul, Valerie J. 2014. Marine chemical ecology in benthic environments, Natural Product Reports, 31:1510-1533

DeBose, Jennifer L. and Paul, Valerie J. 2014. Chemical signatures of multi-species foraging aggregations are attractive to fish, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 498:243-248

Sauvage, Thomas, Wynne, Michael J., Paul, Valerie J. and Fredericq, Suzanne. 2014. Morphological and molecular clarification of the enigmatic Caulerpa floridana W.R. Taylor (Chlorophyta, Bryopsidales) from the Dry Tortugas, Florida, European Journal of Phycology, 49(3):370-383

Olsen, K., Ritson-Williams, R., Paul, Valerie J. and Ross, C. 2014. Combined effects of macroalgal presence and elevated temperature on the early life-history stages of a common Caribbean coral, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 509:181-191

Krediet, Cory J., Ritchie, Kim B., Paul, Valerie J. and Teplitski, Max. 2013. Coral-associated micro-organisms and their roles in promoting coral health and thwarting diseases, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 280(1755):20122328-20122328

Craft, Jonathan D., Paul, Valerie J. and Sotka, Erik E. 2013. Biogeographic and phylogenetic effects on feeding resistance of generalist herbivores toward plant chemical defenses, Ecology, 94(1):18-24

Clark, Kathryn E., Capper, Angela, Della Togna, Gina, Paul, Valerie J., Romero, Luz I., Johns, Timothy, Cubilla-Rios, Luis and Capson, Todd L. 2013. Ecology- and bioassay-guided drug discovery for treatments of tropical parasitic disease: 5alpha,8alpha-epidioxycholest-6-en-3beta-ol isolated from the mollusk Dolabrifera dolabrifera shows significant activity against Leishmania donovani, Natural Product Communications, 8(11):1537-1540

Montaser, Rana, Paul, Valerie J. and Luesch, Hendrik. 2013. Modular Strategies for Structure and Function Employed by Marine Cyanobacteria: Characterization and Synthesis of Pitinoic Acids, Organic letters, 15(16):4050-4053

Olsen, K., Ritson-Williams, R., Ochrietor, J. D., Paul, Valerie J. and Ross, C. 2013. Detecting hyperthermal stress in larvae of the hermatypic coral Porites astreoides: the suitability of using biomarkers of oxidative stress versus heat-shock protein transcriptional expression, Marine Biology, 160(10):2609-2618

Abed, Raeid M. M., Dobretsov, Sergey, Al-Fori, Marwan, Gunasekera, Sarath P., Sudesh, Kumar and Paul, Valerie J. 2013. Quorum-sensing inhibitory compounds from extremophilic microorganisms isolated from a hypersaline cyanobacterial mat, Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology, 40(7):759-772

Salvador, Lilibeth A., Taori, Kanchan, Biggs, Jason S., Jakoncic, Jean, Ostrov, David A., Paul, Valerie J. and Luesch, Hendrik. 2013. Potent Elastase Inhibitors from Cyanobacteria: Structural Basis and Mechanisms Mediating Cytoprotective and Anti-Inflammatory Effects in Bronchial Epithelial Cells, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 56(3):1276-1290

Morrow, Kathleen M., Liles, Mark R., Paul, Valerie J., Moss, Anthony G. and Chadwick, Nanette E. 2013. Bacterial shifts associated with coral–macroalgal competition in the Caribbean Sea, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 488:103-117

Ratnayake, Ranjala, Liu, Yanxia, Paul, Valerie J. and Luesch, Hendrik. 2013. Cultivated Sea Lettuce is a Multiorgan Protector from Oxidative and Inflammatory Stress by Enhancing the Endogenous Antioxidant Defense System, Cancer Prevention Research, 6(9):989-999

Ross, C., Ritson-Williams, R., Olsen, K. and Paul, Valerie J. 2013. Short-term and latent post-settlement effects associated with elevated temperature and oxidative stress on larvae from the coral Porites astreoides, Coral Reefs, 32(1):71-79

Yotsu-Yamashita, Mari, Abe, Yuka, Kudo, Yuta, Ritson-Williams, Raphael, Paul, Valerie J., Konoki, Keiichi, Cho, Yuko, Adachi, Masaatsu, Imazu, Takuya, Nishikawa, Toshio and Isobe, Minoru. 2013. First Identification of 5,11-Dideoxytetrodotoxin in Marine Animals, and Characterization of Major Fragment Ions of Tetrodotoxin and Its Analogs by High Resolution ESI-MS/MS, Marine Drugs, 11(8):2799-2813

Pawlik, Joseph R., Amsler, Charles D., Ritson-Williams, Raphael, McClintock, James B., Baker, Bill J. and Paul, Valerie J. 2013. "Marine Chemical Ecology: A Science Born of Scuba". Pp. 53-69 in Research and Discoveries: The Revolution of Science through Scuba ().

Engene, Niclas, Gunasekera, Sarath, Gerwick, William H. and Paul, Valerie J. 2013. Phylogenetic Inferences Reveal Large Extent of Novel Biodiversity in Chemically Rich Tropical Marine Cyanobacteria, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 79(6):1882-1888

Wang, Rui, Paul, Valerie J. and Luesch, Hendrik. 2013. Seaweed extracts and unsaturated fatty acid constituents from the green alga Ulva lactuca as activators of the cytoprotective Nrf2-ARE pathway, Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 57:141-153

Engene, Niclas, Paul, Valerie J., Byrum, Tara, Gerwick, William H., Thor, Andrea and Ellisman, Mark H. 2013. Five chemically rich species of tropical marine cyanobacteria of the genus Okeania gen. nov. (Oscillatoriales, Cyanoprokaryota), Journal of Phycology, 49(6):1095-1106

Montaser, Rana, Paul, Valerie J. and Luesch, Hendrik. 2012. Marine Cyanobacterial Fatty Acid Amides Acting on Cannabinoid Receptors, Chembiochem, 13(18):2676-2681

Paerl, Hans W. and Paul, Valerie J. 2012. Climate Change: Links to Global Expansion of Harmful Cyanobacteria, Water research, 46:1349-1363

Sharp, Koty H., Distel, Dan and Paul, Valerie J. 2012. Diversity and dynamics of bacterial communities in early life stages of the Caribbean coral Porites astreoides, The ISME Journal, 6(4):790-801

Morrow, Kathleen M., Ritson-Williams, Raphael, Ross, Cliff, Liles, Mark R. and Paul, Valerie J. 2012. Macroalgal Extracts Induce Bacterial Assemblage Shifts and Sublethal Tissue Stress in Caribbean Corals, PLoS ONE, 7(9):1-12


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