Christina Pasparakis

Dr, Christina Pasparakis
Post-Doctoral Researcher


B.Sc. Biology and Ecosystems Science and Policy, University of Miami, Miami, FL.
M.Sc. Biology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA.
Ph.D. Marine Biology and Ecology, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric
Science, Miami, FL.

Research Interests:

I am a physiologist and toxicologist interested in studying the ways in which animals adapt and cope to changing environmental conditions. My current research at UC Davis aims to understand the physiological responses of the threatened longfin smelt and endangered delta smelt to environmentally relevant conditions, such as varying turbidities and temperatures. I am also interested in how different environmental conditions affect these species’ responses to predator cues. This valuable data can then be used to help conservation management decisions in hopes to ensure a sustainable future for these fish. My PhD dissertation investigated the sublethal effects of crude oil exposure from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, in combination with additional environmentally relevant stressors on the early life stages of mahi mahi. My research also focused on embryonic buoyancy control and how different environmental variables, such as ultraviolet radiation and temperature, affect embryonic buoyancy throughout development. During my first postdoc, I focused on furthering this research by exploring embryonic buoyancy control in multiple different species of fish such as yellowfin tuna, cobia and red snapper, as well as investigating how changes in embryonic specific gravity in a laboratory setting translated to differences in vertical location and hatching environment in nature.


  1. Grosell, M., Pasparakis, C. 2020. Physiological Responses of Fish to Oil Spills. Annual Review of Marine Science, 13.
  2. Cartolano, M.C., Berenshtein, I., Heuer, R.M., Pasparakis, C., Rider, M., Hammerschlag, N., Paris, C.B., Grosell, M., McDonald, M.D. 2020. Impacts of a local music festival on fish stress hormone levels and the adjacent underwater soundscape. Environmental Pollution, 265,
  3. Pasparakis, C., Esbaugh, A.J., Burggren, W., Grosell, M. 2019. Physiological impacts of Deepwater Horizon oil on fish. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C: Toxicology & Pharmacology, 224, 108558.
  4. Pasparakis, C. 2019. Weevil Knievels: attempting the leap for oceanic Conservation physiology, 7.
  5. Wang, Y., Pasparakis, C., Stieglitz, J. D., Benetti, D. D., Grosell, M., 2019. The effects of Deepwater Horizon crude oil on ammonia and urea handling in mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) early life stages. Aquatic Toxicology, 216, 105294.
  6. Greer, J.B., Pasparakis, C., Stieglitz, J.D., Benetti, D., Grosell, M., Schlenk, D., 2019. Effects of corexit 9500A and Corexit-crude oil mixtures on transcriptomic pathways and developmental toxicity in early life stage mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus). Aquatic Toxicology, 212, 233-240.
  7. McGruer, V., Pasparakis, C., Grosell, M., Stieglitz, J.D., Benetti, D.D., Greer, J.B. Schlenk, D.,  Deepwater Horizon crude oil exposure alters cholesterol biosynthesis with implications for developmental cardiotoxicity in larval mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C: Toxicology & Pharmacology, 220, 31-35.
  8. Perrichon, P., Stieglitz, J.D., Xu, E.G., Magnuson, J.T., Pasparakis, C., Mager, E.M., Wang, Y., Schlenk, D., Benetti, D.D., Roberts, A.P., Grosell, M., 2019. Mahi‐mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) life development: morphological, physiological, behavioral and molecular Developmental Dynamics, 248, 337-350.
  9. Pasparakis, C., Wang, Y., Stieglitz, J.D., Benetti, D.D, Grosell, M. 2019. Embryonic buoyancy control as a mechanism of ultraviolet radiation. Science of the Total Environment, 651, 3070-3078.
  10. Wang, Y., Pasparakis, C., Mager, E.M., Stieglitz, J.D., Benetti, D., Grosell, M. 2018. Ontogeny of urea and ammonia transporters in mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) early life stages. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology-A, 229, 18-24.
  11. Xu, E. G., Magnuson, J., Diamante, G., Mager, E., Pasparakis, C., Grosell, M., Roberts, A.P., Schlenk, D. 2018. Changes in microRNA-mRNA signatures agree with morphological, physiological, and behavioral changes in larval mahi-mahi treated with Deepwater Horizon oil. Environmental science & technology, 52, 13501-13510.
  12. Perrichon, P., Mager, E.M., Pasparakis, C., Stieglitz, J.D., Benetti, D.D., Grosell, M., Burggren, W.W. 2018. Combined effects of elevated temperature and Deepwater Horizon oil exposure on the cardiac performance of larval mahi-mahi, Coryphaena hippurus. PloS one, 13, e0203949.
  13.  Mager, E.M., Pasparakis, C., Stieglitz, J.D., Hoenig, R., Morris, J.M., Benetti, D.D., Grosell, M. 2018. Combined effects of hypoxia or elevated temperature and Deepwater Horizon crude oil exposure on juvenile mahi-mahi swimming performance. Marine Environmental Research, 139, 129-135.
  14. Pasparakis, C., Sweet, L.E., Stieglitz, J.D., Benetti, D., Casente, C.T., Roberts, A.P., Grosell, M. 2017. Combined effects of oil exposure, temperature and ultraviolet radiation on buoyancy and oxygen consumption of embryonic Mahi-mahi, Coryphaena hippurus. Aquatic Toxicology, 191, 113-121.
  15. Xaymara, S., Miller, M., Hendee, J., Jensen, B., Gapayao, J., Pasparakis, C., Grosell, M.,Baker, A., 2017. Effects of thermal stress and nitrate enrichment on the larval oxygen consumption, settlement and mortality of two Caribbean reef corals. Coral Reefs, 37, 173-182.
  16. Perrichon, P., Pasparakis, C., Mager, E.M., Stieglitz, J.D., Benetti, D.D., Grosell, M., and Burggren, W.W., 2017. Morphology and cardiac physiology are differentially affected by temperature in developing larvae of the marine fish mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus). Biology Open 6, 800-809.
  17. Mager, E.M., Pasparakis, C., Schlenker, L.S., Yao, Z., Bodinier, C., Stieglitz, J.D., Hoenig, R., Morris, J.M., Benetti, D., Grosell, M., 2017. Assessment of early life stage mahi‐mahi windows of sensitivity during acute exposures to Deepwater Horizon crude oil. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 9999, 1-9.
  18. Pasparakis, C., Mager, E.M., Stieglitz, J.D., Benetti, D., Grosell, M., 2016. Effects of Deepwater Horizon crude oil exposure, temperature and developmental stage on oxygen consumption of embryonic and larval mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus). Aquatic Toxicology, 181, 113-123.
  19. Xu, E.G., Mager, E.M., Grosell, M., Pasparakis, C., Schlenker, L.S., Stieglitz, J.D., Benetti, D., Hazard, E.S., Courtney, S.M., Diamante, G., 2016. Time-and oil-dependent transcriptomic and physiological responses to Deepwater Horizon oil in mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) embryos and larvae. Environmental Science & Technology 50, 7842-7851.
  20. Pasparakis, C., Davis, B.E., Todgham, A.E., 2016. Role of sequential low-tide-period conditions on the thermal physiology of summer and winter laboratory-acclimated fingered limpets, Lottia digitalis. Marine Biology, 163, 1-17.