EDUCATION

2014    Ph.D.   University of Connecticut. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Advisor: Eric T. Schultz

2012    M.S.     University of Connecticut. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

2007    B.S.      Fairfield University. Biology. magna cum laude

Advisor: Brian Walker

Taking blood from an alewife during my PhD
Extracting blood from an alewife for my PhD research

PROFESSIONAL APPOINTMENTS

2017    National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow, Sponsors: Drs. Zachary Cheviron and Graham Scott

2015    Postdoctoral Scholar, Zachary Cheviron Lab, University of Montana, Division of Biological Sciences

GRANTS AND AWARDS

2017

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute ($177,000)

American Museum of Natural History, Gerstner Scholars Fellowship ($132,000; awarded, but did not accept)

2014

John Moring Student Travel Award to the Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society. Northeastern Division of the American Fisheries Society

2012

Walter Whitworth Fund to the University of Connecticut’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Connecticut State Museum of Natural History

American Fisheries Society Physiology Section, 10th International Congress on the Biology of Fishes Student Travel Award

Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Award, University of Connecticut

2011

Ralph M. Wetzel Endowment Fund to the University of Connecticut’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Connecticut State Museum of Natural History

The Sounds Conservancy of the Quebec-Labrador Foundation

2010

American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Graduate Student Travel Award

John Rankin Scholarship Fund to the University of Connecticut’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Connecticut State Museum of Natural History

2009

Connecticut Sea Grant, Developmental Grant

Multidisciplinary Environmental Research Award, University of Connecticut’s Center for Environmental Science and Engineering

Lerner-Gray Fund for Marine Research, American Museum of Natural History

Center for Conservation and Bio-diversity, University of Connecticut

Sigma-Xi: Grants-in-aid of Research

2007

Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society, Zeta Chapter of Fairfield University

INVITED TALKS

River Herring Technical Expert Working Group. Virtual conference and webinar. March 2017. Land-locking results in the evolution of transcriptome-wide responses to salinity in Alewives

Providence College, Department of Biology, Providence, RI. October 2015. How to live in freshwater: molecular and ecological adaptations in the Alewife.

Fairfield University, Department of Biology. Fairfield, CT. April 2014. Seawater to freshwater transitions and the evolution of physiology and performance in the Alewife

SCIENTIFIC PRESENTATIONS

2016

Velotta JP, Scott GR, Cheviron ZA. Plasticity and evolution of heart size and gene regulation in high-altitude deer mice. Evolution. Austin, TX

Velotta JP, McCormick SD, Schultz ET. Freshwater adaptation and the evolution of osmoregulation and gene expression in the Alewife. 12th International Congress on the Biology of Fishes. San Marcos, TX.

Velotta JP, Jones J, Wolf CJ, Cheviron ZA. Mechanisms of adaptation to cold-hypoxia in high-altitude deer mice: the role of non-shivering thermogenesis. Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology. Portland, OR

Cheviron ZA, Velotta JP, Wolf CJ, Scott GR. Evolutionary and functional genomics of the attenuation of maladaptive plasticity in highland deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus). Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology. Portland, OR

2014

Velotta JP, Schultz ET, Michalak P, O’Neill RJ, McCormick SD. Physiological and functional genomic mechanisms of salinity transitions in the Alewife. American Physiological Society Intersociety Meeting: Comparative Approaches to Grand Challenges in Physiology. San Diego, CA

Velotta JP, Schultz ET, McCormick SD. Physiological and performance consequences of landlocking in the Alewife. Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society. Quebec City, Canada

Velotta JP, Schultz ET, Michalak P, O’Neill RJ, McCormick SD. Genomic imprints of freshwater transitions in the Alewife. Evolution. Raleigh, NC

Velotta JP, Schultz ET, Michalak P, O’Neill RJ, McCormick SD. Genomic mechanisms of freshwater transitions in Alewives. Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology. Austin, TX

Velotta JP, Schultz ET, McCormick SD. Loss of anadromous migration results in reduced swimming performance and poor seawater growth in two landlocked populations of Alewife. Connecticut Conference on Natural Resources. Storrs, CT

2013

Velotta JP, Schultz ET, McCormick SD. Freshwater transitions and the evolution of osmoregulation in Alewives. Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology. San Francisco, CA

2012

Velotta JP, Schultz ET, McCormick SD. Freshwater transitions and the evolution of osmoregulatory function in Alewives. 10th International Congress on the Biology of Fishes. Madison, WI

2010

Velotta JP, Schultz ET, McCormick SD, O’Neill RJ. Microevolutionary changes to osmoregulatory physiology in Alewife. Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. Providence, RI

Velotta JP, Schultz ET, McCormick SD. Microevolutionary changes to osmoregulatory physiology in Alewife. Northeast Regional Sigma Xi Poster Session. New Haven, CT

Velotta JP, Schultz ET, McCormick SD. Climate change and the effects of land-locking on the osmoregulatory physiology of Alewife populations in Connecticut. Connecticut Conference on Natural Resources. Storrs, CT

Velotta JP, Schultz ET, McCormick SD. Inter-population differences in the osmoregulatory physiology of Alewife in Connecticut. American Fisheries Society Southern New England Chapter Winter Meeting. Groton, CT

2007

Harding SM, Velotta JP. Comparing the relative amount of testosterone required to restore sexual arousal, motivation, and performance in male rats. Northeast Undergraduate Research Organization for Neuroscience. New York, NY

TEACHING

Instructor – University of Connecticut

Field Methods in Fish Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (2013, 2014)

Intro to Fisheries and Wildlife, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment (2012)

The Field Methods of Fish Biology 2013 crew
Field Methods of Fish Biology crew

Teaching Assistant – University of Connecticut, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

The Biology of Fishes (2009, 2011)

Limnology (2009, 2013)

Laboratory Techniques in Functional Genomics (2010)

Human Evolution and Diversity (2014)

Principles of Biology II – for biology majors (2011, 2012, 2014)

Foundations of Biology – for non-majors (2010, 2012)

Guest Lecturer

Topics in Modern Biology, University of Connecticut, (2009, 2010, 2011)

Principles of Biology II, University of Connecticut, (2011)

Freshwater Biology, Providence College, October 28, 2014. Title: “Fishes an the invasion of Freshwater”

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS AND SOCIETIES

American Fisheries Society

American Society of Naturalists

Phi Beta Kappa

Sigma Xi

Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology

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