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Curriculum Vitae

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Larissa sampling water on Cape Cod

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Larissa presenting at the Society of Toxicology national meeting in Washington D.C., March 2011

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Larissa accepting the Kenneth R. Keller Award for Excellence in Doctoral Dissertation Research from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NCSU from Dr. David Smith, Associate Dean for Research in CALS and Director of NCARS

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Larissa sampling Fundulus heteroclitus in New Bedford Harbor

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Larissa with her Spring 2012 Wheaton College Marine Biology class on Cape Cod

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» CV for Larissa Williams


Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution                                        

Department of Biology                                                                            March 2011-present

NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of Biology                                                            October 2010-February 2011

 Postdoctoral Investigator

Wheaton College

Department of Biology                                                                          August 2011- May 2012

Visiting Assistant Professor


North Carolina State University                                                                                     

Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology                July 2005 – July 2010

Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology

Smith College                                                                                 

Major: Biological Sciences, Minor: Marine Sciences              September 2001- May 2005 

 Bachelor of Arts with Highest Honors

Research Interests

Biological importance of genetic variation, genome-wide evolutionary analysis, responses to toxicants and environmental change across trophic levels, and elucidation of molecular mechanisms involved in response to toxicants and environmental changes

Teaching Experience

Wheaton College

Professr for Biology 231 (Marine Biology) lecture and lab                        Spring 2012

Professor for Biology 303 (Evolution) lecture and lab                                Fall 2011

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Instructor for short course: “Ocean Sciences for British Petroleum Environmental Science Employees” (contribution: Toxicant responses in marine organisms)         September 2011

North Carolina State University                               

Lecturer in Environmental Toxicology                                                 Spring 2006 and 2007

Smith College Department of Biological Sciences                            

Master Tutor in Biological Sciences                                                    May 2004 – May 2005

Teacher Assistant in Marine Ecology                                               Fall 2003 and Fall 2004

Academic Honors and Awards

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Society of Toxicology Scholar Program Awardee

NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (1F32ES019832-01)  March 2011-present

North Carolina State University

Kenneth R. Keller Award for Excellence in Doctoral Dissertation Research      2010

NIEHS Training Grant Fellow (5T32-ES007046-29)          2005-2006 Academic year

Smith College

Highest Honors in Biological Sciences                                              

E.J. Murphy Scholarship                                                      

Five Colleges Coastal and Marine Sciences Summer Research Internship                    

First Group Scholar and Dean’s list                                                      

Duke University Marine Laboratory                                                                                   

Bookhout Fellowship                                                                       

Membership in Professional Societies

American Chemical Society, National Postdoctoral Association, Sigma Xi, Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, Society of Toxicology


Williams LM, Oleksiak MF (2008) Signatures of selection in natural populations adapted to chronic Pollution. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 8:282.

Williams LM, Ma X, Boyko AR, Bustamante CD, Oleksiak MF. (2010) SNP identification and verification using high-throughput methods in a non-model genus. BMC Genetics, 11:32.

Whitehead A, Galvez Z., Zhang S., Williams LM, Oleksiak MF. (2010) Functional genomics of physiological plasticity and local adaptation in killifish: an emerging model in environmental genomics. Journal of Heredity, 102(5): 499-511.

Williams LM, Oleksiak MF. (2011) Selectively important SNPs identified in natural populations.  Molecular Biology and Evolution, 28(6): 1817-26.

Williams LM, Oleksiak MF. (2011) Evolutionary and Functional analyses of Cytochrome P4501A promoter polymorphisms in natural populations. Molecular Ecology, 20(24):5236-47.

Sotka EE, Williams LM, Oleksiak MF, Strand AE. Which geographic clines in the killifish Fundulus heteroclitus reflect diversifying selection? In review at PLoS One.

Contributed Presentations at Conferences

Williams LM, Timme-Laragy AR, Franks DG, Jenny MJ, Hahn ME. Developmental expression of the Nfe2-related (nrf) transcription factor family and regulation by Ahr2.  2012. Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Williams LM, Oleksiak MF. Selection in natural populations. 2011. Ecological and Evolutionary Genomics Gordon Research Conference, Biddeford, ME.

Williams LM, Oleksiak MF. Cytochrome P4501A promoter polymorphisms in natural populations. 2011. Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting, Washington D.C.

Williams LM, Oleksiak MF. Promoter polymorphisms and function in natural populations. 2010. New England Membrane Enzyme Group (NUTMEG) Conference, Woods Hole, MA.

Williams LM, Oleksiak MF. Genome scans in natural populations for selectively important SNPs using high-throughput technology. 2010. Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT.

Williams LM, Oleksiak MF. Genome-wide scans in a non-model species using 454 pyrosequencing. 2008. Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution Annual Meeting, Barcelona, Spain.

Williams LM, Oleksiak MF.  Signatures of selection in natural populations adapted to chronic pollution. 2007. Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution Annual Meeting, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Williams LM, Oleksiak MF. Genome Search for Selectively Important Loci in Fundulus heteroclitus populations. 2006. Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution Annual Meeting, Tempe, AZ.

Invited Talks

Williams LM, The New Bedford Harbor Superfund Site: Politics, Pollution and Adaptation. Saul Krasner Memorial Science Lecture Series, September 2011, United States Coast Guard Academy, Connecticut.

Williams LM, Genomic Analyses of polluted, natural populations. Biology Seminar, April 4, 2011, University of Vermont.

Williams LM, Environmental genomics of adaptation to pollution stress. Life Sciences Colloquium, March 21, 2011, Smith College, Massachusetts.

Williams LM, Signatures of selection in natural populations adapted to chronic pollution. Department of Biology Seminar, November 18, 2010, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts.

Williams LM, Signatures of selection in natural populations adapted to chronic pollution. Science Lecture Series, September 30, 2010, Norwich University, Vermont.

Reviewer for:

Aquatic Toxicology, Heredity, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, and Molecular Ecology

Education Activities

Committees and Other Service

Advocacy Committee, National Postdoctoral Association, 2011-12

Councilor, Society of Toxicology Postdoctoral Assembly Board, 2011-12

President, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Postdoctoral Association, 2010-2011

Gender Equity Committee, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2010-2011

Treasurer, Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology Graduate Student Association, 2005-2006

Student Advising and Mentoring

Mentoring facilitator for Society of Toxicology members, 2012

Mentoring Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution/Massachusetts Institution of Technology joint program Ph.D. student, Katherine Pitz, 2011-12

Mentored University of Miami graduate student, Martha Hauff, 2011

Society of Toxicology Undergraduate Education Program Mentor, 2011

Undergraduates at the University of Miami:

Kasia Mikolajczak, Spring 2010

Nicole Budzinski, 2008-2009 Academic Year

Community Outreach

Falmouth Middle and High School Science Fair Judge, 2012

Falmouth Academy Science Fair Judge, 2011

Last updated: May 29, 2012

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