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Grace M. Vernon


Professor of Biology
Office: Lincoln Center 813
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 212-636-6324


JD, Fordham University

PhD, Fordham University

MS, Fordham University

BA, College of New Rochelle

Research Interests

My research program involves studies of structural and functional adaptations os isopods found in diverse habitats. I am particularly interested in the dynamics of metals metabolism in invertebrates, specifically isopod crustaceans which are ubiquitous, inhabiting aquatic, semi- and fully terrestrial environments. Undergraduate research students are involved in all aspects of research.

  • Dynamics of differential absorption and storage of heavy metals, including seasonal cycling of Cu, Zn in aquatic isopods and Cd in terrestrial and aquatic isopods.
  • Laboratory simulation of heavy metal bioaccumulations.
  • Identify structure/function adaptations involved in differential metal accumulation, with a special interest in cellular differentiation.
  • Invertebrate defense adaptations, with particular interest in blood cell activities in protecting organisms from injury and infection.


Implemented a variety of alternative learning strategies, including Guided Decision Making projects, problem posing, learning contracts.

Developed two summer courses for HEOP (Higher Education Opportunity Program) (majors and non-majors).

Developed two courses for "College at 60": Nutrition, Environmental Science.

Major courses: Introduction Biology, Bacteriology, Microanatomy, Cell and Developmental Biology.

Core curriculum Course: Perspectives in Biology.

Selected Publications, Abstracts, and Presentation

Coruzzi, L., Witkus, R. and G.M. Vernon 1982. The Function-related Structural Characters and their Modifications in the Hindgut of Armadillidium vulgare and Oniscus asellus. Expl. Cell Biol. 50:229-240.

Palackal, T., FasO, L., Zung, L., Vernon, G. and R. Witkus, 1984 The Ultrastructure of the Hindgut Epithelium of Terrestrial Isopods and Its Role is Osmoregulation. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 53: 185-198.

Bettica, A., Shay, M.T., Vernon, G. and R. Witkus, 1984. An Ultrastructural Study of a Cell Differentiation and Associated Acid Phosphatase Activity in the Hepatopancreas of Porcellio scaber. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 53:199-216.

Tomita, M., Witkus, R. and G.M. Vernon, 1991. Sequestration of Copper and Zinc in the Hepatopancreas of Armadillidum vulgare Latreille following Exposure to Lead. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicl. 46:894-900.

Rappa, E., Vernon, G.M., Hamltion, M.G. and R. Witkus, 1992. Hemocyanin in Oniscus asellus (Isopoda). Comp. Biochem. & Physiol. 103B: 855-858.

Vernon, G.M., Tomita, M. and R. Witkus, 1993. Changes in Copper, Zinc and Calcium During the Molt/Intermolt Cycle of Oniscus asellus. Comp. Biochem. & Physiol. 104A: 83-85.

Witkus, R., Griffin, M., Jacobs, L., Bolkhoverts, D. and G.M. Vernon. Extracellular Microtubules in Aphid Gut. Proc. 52nd EMSA: 198-199, New Orleans, 1994.

Helleby, L, Vernon, G.M., Das, S.R. and I.H. Scheinberg. Characterization of Ceruloplamin in Wilson's Disease Patients and Neonates. 17th Intl. Cong. Mol. Biol. & Biochem. San Francisco, 1997.