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., Altieri, Andrew H., Johnston, Lane N., Kuempel, Caitlin D., Paperno, Richard, Paul, Valerie J. and Duffy, J. Emmett. 2018. Herbivore community determines the magnitude and mechanism of nutrient effects on subtropical and tropical seagrasses, Journal of Ecology, 106(1):401-412

Galimany, E., Lunt, J., Domingos, A. and Paul, V. J. 2018. Feeding Behavior of the Native Mussel Ischadium recurvum and the Invasive Mussels Mytella charruana and Perna viridis in FL, USA, Across a Salinity Gradient, Estuaries and Coasts, ():1-11

Al-Awadhi, Fatma, Paul, Valerie J. and Luesch, Hendrik. 2018. Structural Diversity and Anticancer Activity of Marine-Derived Elastase Inhibitors: Key Features and Mechanisms Mediating the Antimetastatic Effects in Invasive Breast Cancer, ChemBioChem, 19(8):815-825

Al-Awadhi, Fatma, Gao, Bowen, Rezaei, Mohammad A., Kwan, Jason C., Li, Chenglong, Ye, Tao, Paul, Valerie J. and Luesch, Hendrik. 2018. Discovery, Synthesis, Pharmacological Profiling, and Biological Characterization of Brintonamides A-E, Novel Dual Protease and GPCR Modulators from a Marine Cyanobacterium, Journal of medicinal chemistry, 61(14):6364-6378

Matthews, James H., Liang, Xiao, Paul, Valerie J. and Luesch, Hendrik. 2018. A Complementary Chemical and Genomic Screening Approach for Druggable Targets in the Nrf2 Pathway and Small Molecule Inhibitors to Overcome Cancer Cell Drug Resistance, ACS chemical biology, 13(5):1189-1199

Cai, Weijing, Salvador-Reyes, Lilibeth, Zhang, Wei, Chen, Qi-Yin, Matthew, Susan, Ratnayake, Ranjala, Seo, Soo Jung, Dolles, Simon, Gibson, Daniel J., Paul, Valerie J. and Luesch, Hendrik. 2018. Apratyramide, a Marine-Derived Peptidic Stimulator of VEGF-A and Other Growth Factors with Potential Application in Wound Healing, ACS chemical biology, 13(1):91-99

Freeman, Christopher J., Janiak, Dean S., Mossop, Malcolm, Osman, Richard and Paul, Valerie J. 2018. Spatial and temporal shifts in the diet of the barnacle Amphibalanus eburneus within a subtropical estuary, PeerJ, 6():-

Engene, Niclas, Tronholm, Ana and Paul, Valerie J. 2018. Uncovering cryptic diversity of Lyngbya : the new tropical marine cyanobacterial genus Dapis (Oscillatoriales), Journal of Phycology, 54(4):435-446

Cai, Weijing, Matthew, Susan, Chen, Qi-Yin, Paul, Valerie J. and Luesch, Hendrik. 2018. Discovery of new A- and B-type laxaphycins with synergistic anticancer activity, Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry, 26(9):2310-2319

Ross, C., Fogarty, N. D., Ritson-Williams, R. and Paul, V. J. 2017. Interspecific Variation in Coral Settlement and Fertilization Success in Response to Hydrogen Peroxide Exposure, The Biological bulletin, 233(3):206-218

Campbell, Justin E., Sneed, Jennifer M., Johnston, Lane and Paul, Valerie J. 2017. Effects of ocean acidification and contact with the brown alga Stypopodium zonale on the settlement and early survival of the coral Porites astreoides, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 577():67-77

dos Santos, Larissa A. H., Clavico, Etiene E. G., Parra, Lizbeth L. L., Berlinck, Roberto G. S., Ferreira, Antonio G., Paul, Valerie J. and Pereira, Renato C. 2017. Evaluation of Chemical Defense and Chemical Diversity in the Exotic Bryozoan Amathia verticillata, Journal of the Brazilian Chemical Society, 28(3):435-442

Sneed, Jennifer M., Meickle, Theresa, Engene, Niclas, Reed, Sherry, Gunasekera, Sarath and Paul, Valerie J. 2017. Bloom dynamics and chemical defenses of benthic cyanobacteria in the Indian River Lagoon, Florida, Harmful Algae, 69(Supplement C):75-82

Meyer, Julie L., Paul, Valerie J., Raymundo, Laurie J. and Teplitski, Max. 2017. Comparative Metagenomics of the Polymicrobial Black Band Disease of Corals, Frontiers in Microbiology, 8():-

Al-Awadhi, Fatma, Salvador, Lilibeth A., Law, Brian K., Paul, Valerie J. and Luesch, Hendrik. 2017. Kempopeptin C, a Novel Marine-Derived Serine Protease Inhibitor Targeting Invasive Breast Cancer, Marine Drugs, 15(9):-

Demko, Alyssa M., Amsler, Charles D., Hay, Mark E., Long, Jeremy D., McClintock, James B., Paul, Valerie J. and Sotka, Erik E. 2017. Declines in plant palatability from polar to tropical latitudes depend on herbivore and plant identity, Ecology, 98(9):2312-2321

Al-Awadhi, Fatma H., Law, Brian K., Paul, Valerie J. and Luesch, Hendrik. 2017. Grassystatins D-F, Potent Aspartic Protease Inhibitors from Marine Cyanobacteria as Potential Antimetastatic Agents Targeting Invasive Breast Cancer, Journal of natural products, 80(11):2969-2986

Galimany, Eve, Lunt, Jessica, Freeman, Christopher J., Reed, S., Segura-García, Iris and Paul, Valerie J. 2017. Feeding behavior of eastern oysters Crassostrea virginica and hard clams Mercenaria mercenaria in shallow estuaries, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 567():125-137

Agarwal, Vinayak, Blanton, Jessica M., Podell, Sheila, Taton, Arnaud, Schorn, Michelle A., Busch, Julia, Lin, Zhenjian, Schmidt, Eric W., Jensen, Paul R., Paul, Valerie J., Biggs, Jason S., Golden, James W., Allen, Eric E. and Moore, Bradley S. 2017. Metagenomic discovery of polybrominated diphenyl ether biosynthesis by marine sponges, Nature Chemical Biology, 13(5):537-543

Meyer, Julie L., Rodgers, John M., Dillard, Brian A., Paul, Valerie J. and Teplitski, Max. 2016. Epimicrobiota Associated with the Decay and Recovery of Orbicella Corals Exhibiting Dark Spot Syndrome, Frontiers in Microbiology, 7():-

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

Ritson-Williams, Raphael, Ross, Cliff and Paul, Valerie J. 2016. Elevated Temperature and Allelopathy Impact Coral Recruitment, PloS One, 11(12):1-16

Olsen, Kevin, Sneed, Jennifer M. and Paul, Valerie J. 2016. Differential larval settlement responses of Porites astreoides and Acropora palmata in the presence of the green alga Halimeda opuntia, Coral Reefs, 35(2):521-525

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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