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Karen Burnett

College of Charleston

Address: Hollings Marine Laboratory, 331 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412
Phone: 843.460.9876
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
  • The influence of dietary supplements on oxidative status and disease resistance in aquacultured shrimp
  • Intracellular processes (transcription/translation/signaling) regulating the immune response in fish, crustaceans and oysters


  • 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.