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Karen Burnett

College of Charleston

Address: Grice Marine Laboratory, 205 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412
Phone: 843.709.4122
Personal Website:


Ph.D., 1978, University of South Carolina

Research Interests

  • Environmental and comparative immunology

Current and planned research projects

  • Impacts of natural stress factors (hypoxia, pH, temperature) and xenobiotics (metals, organics) on disease resistance in marine organisms
  • Metabolic and energetic costs of mounting an immune response in crustaceans
  • Intracellular processes (transcription/translation/signaling) that underlie the stress response in fish, crustaceans and oysters


  • Hamilton, K.L., L. Burnett, K. Burnett, R.E.G. Kalisperis, A.E. Fowler, 2019 submitted. Physiological impacts of time in holding ponds, biomedical bleeding, and recovery on the Atlantic horseshoe crab, Limulus polyphemus.
  • Leads, R.R., K.G. Burnett, J.E. Weinstein, 2019 in press. The effect of microplastic ingestion on the survival of the grass shrimp Palaemonetes pugio (Holthuis, 1949) challenged with Vibrio campbellii. Environ. Sci. Technol. 
  • Wang, J., K.G. Burnett, M.G. Janech, 2019 in press. Targeted proteomic approaches reveal protein-level expression of novel β-type hemocyanin and heterogeneous subunit usage in the Pacific whiteleg shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei. Front. Mar. Sci.
  • Johnson, J.G., L.E. Burnett, K.G. Burnett, 2016. Uncovering hemocyanin subunit heterogeneity in penaeid shrimp using RNA-seq, 2016. Integr. Comp. Biol. 56:1080-1091.
  • Mykles, D, K. Burnett, D. Durica, J. Stillman, 2016. Tapping the power of crustacean transcriptomics to address grand challenges in comparative biology: An introduction to the symposium. Integr. Comp. Biol. 56:1047-1054.
  • Mykles, D, K. Burnett, D. Durica, B. Joyce, F. McCarthy, C. Schmidt, J. Stillman, 2016. Resources and recommendations for using transcriptomics to address grand challenges in comparative biology. Integr. Comp. Biol. 56:1183-1191.
  • Burnett, K.G., L.E. Burnett, 2015. Respiratory and metabolic impacts of crustacean immunity – are there implications for the insects? Integr. Comp. Biol. 55:856-868.
  • Johnson, J.G., M.R. Paul, C.D. Kniffin, P.E. Anderson, L.E. Burnett, K.G. Burnett, 2015. High CO2 alters the hypoxia response of the Pacific whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) transcriptome including known and novel hemocyanin isoforms. Physiol. Genomics 47:548-448.
  • Tommerdahl, A.P., K.G. Burnett, L.E. Burnett, 2015. Respiratory properties of hemocyanin from wild and aquacultured penaeid shrimp and the effects of chronic exposure to hypoxia. Biol. Bull. 228:242-252.
  • Ikerd, J.L., K.G. Burnett, L.E. Burnett, 2015. Effects of salinity on the accumulation of bacteria and hemocyte aggregates in the gills of Callinectes sapidus, the Atlantic blue crab, injected with Vibrio campbellii. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. Part A 183:97-106.
  • Kniffin, C.D., L.E. Burnett, K.G. Burnett, 2014. Recovery from hypoxia and hypercapnic hypoxia: Impacts on the transcription of key antioxidants in the shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. Part B 170:43-49.
  • Rathburn, C.K., N.J. Sharp, J.C. Ryan, M.G. Neely, M. Cook, R.W. Chapman, L.E. Burnett, K.G. Burnett, 2013. Transcriptomic responses of the Pacific whiteleg shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei, to hypoxia and hypercapnic hypoxia. Physiol. Genom. 45:794-807.
  • Hardy, K.M., K.G. Burnett, L.E. Burnett, 2013. The effect of hypercapnic hypoxia and bacterial infection (Vibrio campbellii) on protein synthesis rates in the Pacific whiteleg shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei. Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol. 305:R1356-R1366.