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Petra H. Lenz
Researcher, PBRC

Contact Info
(808) 956-8003 (ph)
(808) 956-6984 (fax)
1993 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822


  • U. California, San Diego, CA, B.A. in Biology, 1976
  • U. California, Santa Barbara, CA, M.A. (1980), Ph.D. (1983) in Biology (J. Melack, advisor)
  • U. California, Santa Barbara, CA, Post-Doc in Limnology, 1/83-7/84 (J. Melack, advisor)
  • U. Hawaii, Manoa, HI, Post-Doc in Biological Oceanography, 1/88-4/90 (R. Radtke, advisor)
  • Smith College, New England BioLabs Workshop in Molecular Biology, 6/03

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Petra Lenz joined the research faculty of the Pacific Biosciences Research Center at the University of Hawaii Manoa in 1990, where she pursued a career investigating the physiological ecology of planktonic organisms. With a special interest in the pelagic zone, Lenz and her colleagues are investigating the capacity of organisms to make short and long-term behavioral and physiological adjustments to succeed in an environment that is ever-changing and risky. Her early work included the first quantitative measurements of sensitivity of copepod mechanoreceptors and the discovery of myelin in some but not all copepods. More recently, she and her colleagues have explored the world of ‘omics for non-model species, generating molecular resources for marine copepods. The team’s current focus is on the application of environmental transcriptomics to elucidate organism-environment interactions in sub-arctic copepods with complex life histories. She is currently serving as a rotator at the National Science Foundation serving as Program Director for Biological Oceanography Program in the Directorate of Geosciences.

Department and Laboratory Webpages

Selected Publications

Buskey, E. J., Strickler, J. R., Bradley, C. J., Hartline, D. K., & Lenz, P. H. (2017). Escapes in copepods: comparison between myelinate and amyelinate species. Journal of Experimental Biology 220: 754-758. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.148304

Buskey, E.J., Lenz, P.H., and Hartline, D.K. (2002) Escape behavior of planktonic copepods to hydrodynamic disturbances: high-speed video analysis. Marine Ecology Progress Series 235: 135-146

Dana, G.L. and Lenz, P.H. (1986) Effects of increasing salinity on an Artemia population from Mono Lake, California. Oecologia 68: 428-436

Davis, A.D., Weatherby, T.M., Hartline, D.K., and Lenz, P.H. (1999) Myelin-like sheaths in copepod axons. Nature 398: 571

Lenz, P. H., Lieberman, B., Cieslak, M. C., Roncalli, V., and Hartline, D. K. (2021) Transcriptomics and Metatranscriptomics in Zooplankton: Wave of the Future? Journal of Plankton Research, 43(1): 3–9.

Lenz, P. H., Roncalli, V., Hassett, R. P., Wu, L. S., Cieslak, M. C., Hartline, D. K., & Christie, A. E. (2014). De novo assembly of a transcriptome for Calanus finmarchicus (Crustacea, Copepoda) – the dominant zooplankter of the North Atlantic Ocean. PloS One, 9(2): e88589.

Lenz, P. H., Takagi, D., & Hartline, D. K. (2015). Choreographed swimming of copepod nauplii. Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 12(112), 20150776.

Robinson, H. E., Strickler, J. R., Henderson, M. J., Hartline, D. K. & Lenz, P. H. (2019). Predation strategies of larval clownfish capturing evasive copepod prey. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 614: 125-146.

Roncalli, V., Cieslak, M. C., Germano, M., Hopcroft, R. R., & Lenz, P. H. (2019). Regional heterogeneity impacts gene expression in the subarctic zooplankter Neocalanus flemingeri in the northern Gulf of Alaska. Communications Biology, 2(1): 1-13. DOI: 10.1038/s42003-019-0565-5 COMMSBIO-18-1375

Roncalli, V., Sommer, S. A., Cieslak, M. C., Clarke, C., Hopcroft, R. R., & Lenz, P. H. (2018) Physiological transitions during emergence from diapause: a transcriptomic approach. Scientific Reports, 8(1): 12577

Tuttle, L. J., Robinson, H. E., Takagi, D., Strickler, J. R., Lenz, P. H. & Hartline, D. K. (2019). Going with the flow: hydrodynamic cues trigger directed escapes from a stalking predator. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 16(151): p.20180776

Yen, J., Lenz, P.H., Gassie, D.V. and Hartline, D.K. (1992) Mechanoreception in marine copepods: electrophysiological studies on the first antennae. Journal of Plankton Research 14: 495-512

Additional Information

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