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Ames, Cheryl

Research Associate, Department of Invertebrate Zoology, NMNH


Geographic Focus

Background And Education

Education And Training

Research And Grants

Research Overview

  • NRC-RAP Postdoctoral Fellow, U. S. Naval Research Laboratory        Sept 2017-present

    Center for Bio/Molecular Science & Engineering Washington D.C           

    Principal Investigator: Dr. Gary Vora

    Projects:DARPA Biological Control Independent Verification and Validation of Hydra neurophysiology; developing portable laboratory for field-forward sequencing and environmental DNA monitoring; and cnidarian genome assembly and annotation 

    Research Collaborator, Smithsonian NMNH-IZ D.C. &                             2016 - present

    National Aquarium, Baltimore, USA

    Principal Investigators: Dr. Allen G. Collins & Jennie D. Janssen

    Projects:Detecting cubozoans environmental DNA in aquarium systems (with Japanese collaborators); describing novel cellular structures in the Upside-down JellyfishCassiopea

    Scientific Visitor
    (ORISE) NIH-NIL-NCBI                                                  2017

    National Center of Biotechnology Information, Bethesda, USA

    Principal Investigator: Dr. Ben Busby

    Projects:Assembling and annotating non-model jellyfish genomes

    Research Assistant, Deep-Sea Coral Exploration.                                               2007-2011

    University of North Carolina Wilmington, 

    NOAA National Systematics Lab & Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

    Program Officer
    , Canadian Foundation for Climate & Atmospheric Science    2003-2004

    Ottawa, Canada       

Has Expertise In Technique


  • Field work: SCUBA diving (Certified Open Water Advanced), snorkeling, plankton tows from kayak and canoe, Wilderness First Aid(Remote Medical International)

    Ship and manned submersible time: aboard fisheries vessels for marine mammal transacts; aboard U.S.S. research vessels for deep sea exploration expeditions, deploying and retrieving trawls – surface, midwater and bottom – landers, CTD, cores, and data collection in the manned submersible Johnson-Sea-Link. 

    Microscopy and imaging: Confocal Inverted, Compound, Dissecting, SEM

    Molecular: NGS (Illumina, Ion S5) and Third-Generation Sequencing (MinION Nanopore): library prep, multiplexing, PCR, rtPCR, RNA and protein extraction and digestion, transcriptomics, genomics and proteomics, metabarcoding, and environmental DNA

    Bioinformatics and Software: Unix, Trinity Software Suite, EdgeR, TransDecoder, Trinotate, R, Python, ArcGIS, Geneious, FigTree, Scaffold, Adobe Suite, and seqCAB BLAST+, our newly developed bioinformatics tool.


Selected Publications


Teaching Overview

  • -Teaching Assistant, Introduction to Cellular Biology (BSCI105) University of Maryland, MD USA

    -STEM instruction in Elementary schools (Virginia and Maryland)  

    -STEM outreach through Q?rius and the Sant Ocean Hall, NMNH Smithsonian Institution

    -Extensive English as a Second Language instruction in classroom/tutorials - Japan, Canada and the United States