Kevin A. Zelnio


313 Mountain Rd., State College, PA 16801

Home: 814-466-7549, Work: 814-863-8360, Fax: 814-865-9131





Marine biologist, invertebrate zoologist, and aspiring writer specializing in all aspects of the oceanic and spineless worlds. I am graduating with a Masters degree in Biology in June and seeking a career in science communication. I aim to improve the public’s understanding and appreciation of science, while making research accessible to everyone!



M.Sc. Biology – Pennsylvania State University (expected defense June 2008). Thesis: Systematics and ecology of deep-sea hydrothermal vent fauna.

B.Sc. Evolution and Ecology – University of California, Davis 2004



2007-present: SEED Magazine’s ScienceBlogs, Deep Sea News

Writer and Blogger: Write short to medium length articles communicating research results, current events, news and conservation issues related to the deep sea. Articles receive on average 2500 hits/day reaching over 1200 people and growing.

Representative writings:

Š      New Geophysical study May Point the Way to Direction to New Vent Discoveries


Š      A Deep Sea Mutualism in Response to Predation


Š      Is the Ocean a Mirror?



2007-present: The Other 95%

Writer and Blogger: Founder of website to communicate research findings, news and oddities related to invertebrates, the “unappreciated majority”. Articles currently receive on average 200-500 hits/day reaching 150-400 people and steadily growing. Representative writings:

Š      Crabs Moult for a Breathe of Fresh Air


Š      Assassin Bugs Use Corpses to Avoid Their Predators


Š      The Eye of the Shrimp



2004-2008: Pennsylvania State University, Dept. of Biology

Research Assistant: Carried out Masters thesis work on deep-sea projects investigating the nutritional ecology of filter-feeding invertebrates at a methane seep in the Gulf of Mexico and community ecology and biodiversity of hydrothermal vents in the southwestern Pacific. Described 1 new species of shrimp and 4 new species of anemone from these vents.

Teaching Assistant: Taught 7 sections of Introductory Biology (BIOL 110), including honors and LEAP sections. Guest lectured and co-taught Symbiosis (BIOL 406), an upper division undergraduate course. Mentored 7 undergraduate students in research projects.


2002-2004: University of California, Davis

Student Research Assistant: Assistant in laboratory and fieldwork for labs headed by evolutionary biologists and ecologists Dr. Richard Grosberg and Dr. James Richards.


Pre-2001: Prior work experience as a musician, tutor, sales associate, cook, kitchen manager, and audio engineer.



2006: Anemone systematics in Dr. Daly’s lab, Ohio State.

2003-2006: Participated in 4 research cruises in 3 areas of the world resulting in 14 weeks at sea, experience aboard 3 research vessels, 3 dives in submersibles and extensive use of ROV Jason II.

2003: Puma conservation in Dr. Fitzhugh's Lab, UC-Davis.

2001-2002: Volunteer assistant with Sea Otter Research and Conservation (SORAC), Monterey Bay Aquarium, CA.



2006: Systematics of anemones from hydrothermal vents at the Lau back-arc basin ($4000). TAWNI grant from the Census of Marine Life's Chemosynthetic Ecosystems (ChEss) field project.



I have 3 published articles, 2 that are accepted, and 2 in preparation. Below are a selected sample (full list on CV):

1.     Zelnio, K.A. (2008). Anemones raise a tentacle in support of evolution. In The Open Laboratory 2007 (R.A. Cartwright ed.). Cortunix, Chapel Hill: 120-123.

2.     Zelnio, K.A., S. Hourdez. A new species of Alvinocaris (Crustacea: Decapoda: Alvinocarididae) from hydrothermal vents at the East-Lau Spreading Center, Western Pacific. Accepted to Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington.

3.     Podowski, E.L., K.A. Zelnio, T.S. Moore, G.W. Luther III, and C.R. Fisher. GIS-based analysis of realized distributional patterns of diffuse flow megafauna on the Eastern Lau Spreading Center, Tonga. Accepted to Deep-Sea Research.



My research has been presented in 6 major conferences and workshops, in addition to 5 lectures at Penn State on science history and organizing/leading a session on Real-Time Blogging in the Marine Sciences at the North Carolina Science Blogging Conference. Below are a selected sample (full list on CV):

1.     Zelnio, K.A., E. Rodríguez, M. Daly (2008). New Species Of Anemone And Zoanthid From Hydrothermal Vents At The East-Lau Spreading Center And Global Vent And Seep Anemone Diversity And Distribution.” ASLO Ocean Sciences Meeting, Census of Marine Life Special Session. Orlando, FL. 5 March.

2.     Zelnio, K.A. (2006). "Hooker, Huxley, Haeckel: Darwin's Apostles." Biology Department Graduate Student Association Special Darwin Day Seminar. Penn State University. 10 February.

3.     Zelnio, K.A., P. Davoodi, J.P. Montoya, C.R. Fisher (2005). "A Bioassay for Seep Primary Production of Particulate Organic Carbon and Nitrogen in a Gulf of Mexico Brine Pool." Hydrothermal Vent and Seep Biology Symposium. La Jolla, CA 11-16 September.



American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), American Society for Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), Biological Society of Washington (BSW), Ecological Society of America (ESA), Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)



2004, 2008: Homer Braddock Scholarship from Pennsylvania State University

2005: Ridge2000 travel award

2004: Outstanding Senior Award from UC-Davis

2000-2002: Dean's honors at Monterey Peninsula College and Vista Community College



2008: Recruitment subcommittee chair for the Biology Dept. Graduate Student Association

2007-present: Graduate Student/Faculty Laison for the Biology Dept. Graduate Student Association

2005-2007: Secretary of the Biology Dept. Graduate Student Association

Reviewer for Biological Bulletin



2001-2008: Outreach to students, teachers and general public through lab tours, presentations on deep-sea diversity and hydrothermal vents, judge for statewide science competition, exhibit volunteer for RIDGE2000, interviews with local newspapers, writing position papers to politicians and science interpreter for penguins (Full list on CV).