Larissa M. Williams

Associate Professor of Biology



Bonney Science Center, Room 215


Ph.D., Environmental Toxicology, North Carolina State University
B.A., Biological Sciences, Smith College

Research Interests

The Williams Lab tests the hypothesis that organisms, at various stages of their lives, are enabled through molecular changes to respond to alterations in their environment. Because molecular biology is a universally powerful tool to explore these questions, we have been able to ask questions in animals and plants as diverse as zebrafish, crabs, and sea grass. The majority of projects in the lab are, however, focused on how specific proteins (called transcription factors) work to coordinate normal development and respond to toxicants and oxidative stress agents. We study these proteins in a freshwater fish called the zebrafish.

Student Research Opportunities

Are you interested in how organisms grow? How about questions related to how chemicals can affect our health and well-being? In my lab using molecular, biochemical, imaging, and computational approaches, students can explore these questions working the zebrafish model. Please contact me if you have any interest in working in the lab.

Selected Publications

* denotes Bates student

Williams LM, Bowsher AM, *Chrysovergi M-A, Ambrose WG Jr (2020). Bloodworm (Glycera dibranchiata Ehlers, 1868) populations in the Gulf of Maine are connected through gene flow. Marine Science and Biology1: 1-4.

Sant KE, *Moreau HM, Williams LM, Jacobs HM, Bowsher AM, *Boisvert JD, Smolowitz RM, *Pantazis J, Timme-Laragy A (2020). Embryonic exposures to mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate induce larval steatosis in zebrafish independent of Nrf2a signaling. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease. doi: 10.1017/S2040174420000057.

*Ulin A, *Henderson J, *Pham M-T, *Meyo J, *Chen Y, Karchner SI, Goldstone JV, Hahn ME, Williams LM (2019). Developmental regulation of nuclear factor erythroid-2 related factors (Nrfs) by AHR1b in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Toxicological Sciences167(2): 536-545.

Jacobs HM, Sant KE, Basnet A, Williams LM, Moss JB, Timme-Laragy A (2018). Embryonic exposure to Mono(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP) disrupts pancreatic organogenesis in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Chemosphere195: 498-507.

Sant KE, Hansen JM, Williams LM, *Tran NL, Goldstone JV, Stegeman JJ, Hahn ME, Timme-Laragy A (2017). The role of Nrf1 and Nrf2 in the regulation of glutathione and redox dynamics in the developing embryos. Redox Biology13: 207-218.

Lord JP, Williams LM (2017). Northward Expansion of Genetically Diverse Invasive Asian Shore Crab (Hemigrapsus sanguineus) Populations. Biological Invasions19(4): 1153-1168.

Williams LM, *Lago B, McArthur AG, Raphenya AR, *Pray N, *Saleem N, *Salas S, *Paulson K, *Mangar R, Liu Y, Vo AH, Shavit J (2016). The transcription factor, Nuclear factor, erythroid 2 (Nfe2), is a regulator of the oxidative stress response during Danio rerio development. Aquatic Toxicology, 180: 141-154.

Williams LM, *Nivison CL, Ambrose WG Jr, *Dobbin R, Locke WL V (2015). Lack of adult novel northern lineages of invasive green crab Carcinus maenas along much of the northern US Atlantic coast. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 532: 153-159.