TeetsAssistant Prof. Nicholas Teets

University of Kentucky

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Nicholas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Kentucky, and his primary research focus is insect adaptations to environmental stress. He was recently hired on Jan. 1, 2016, and his newly renovated lab is fully equipped to conduct physiological and molecular studies in insects and other arthropods. A major focus of his lab will be polar biology, and his group will use a combination of cell/organismal physiology, comparative genomics, and field studies to investigate the evolutionary physiology of polar arthropods. Nicholas has worked two field seasons at Palmer Station, Antarctica, where he studied the biology of the Antarctic midge, Belgica antarctica. He was a core member of the team that sequenced the genome of this insect, which was the first Antarctic animal to have a fully sequenced and annotated genome. Nicholas’ work in Antarctic systems, which includes both basic physiological ecology and in-depth molecular studies, has been published in several high profile journals.

While early in his career, Nicholas has demonstrated a commitment to polar biology. In May 2015, he was selected to attend the Next Generation of Polar Researchers Leadership Symposium, an interdisciplinary symposium for early career polar researchers sponsored by the US National Science Foundation. For his work in Antarctica, Nicholas was awarded an Antarctic Service Medal from the US Department of Defense. Prior to his current position, Nicholas recently finished a postdoc at the University of Florida, where he was supported by a fellowship from the US Department of Agriculture.


Key Publications

Kelley JL, Peyton JT, Fiston-Lavier AS, Teets NM, Yee MC, Johnston JS, Bustamante CD, Lee RE, and Denlinger DL (2014) Compact genome of the Antarctic midge is likely an adaptation to an extreme environment. Nature Communications, 5: 4611. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5611

Teets NM and Denlinger DL (2014) Surviving in a frozen desert: environmental stress physiology of terrestrial Antarctic arthropods. Journal of Experimental Biology, 217: 84-93. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.089490

Teets NM, Peyton JT, Colinet H, Renault D, Kelley JL, Kawarasaki Y, Lee RE, and Denlinger DL (2012) Gene expression changes governing extreme dehydration tolerance in an Antarctic insect. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 109: 20744-20749. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1218661109

Teets NM, Kawarasaki Y, Lee RE, and Denlinger DL (2011) Survival and energetic costs of repeated cold exposure in the Antarctic midge, Belgica antarctica: a comparison between frozen and supercooled larvae. Journal of Experimental Biology, 214: 806-814. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.051912

Teets NM, Elnitsky MA, Benoit JB, Lopez-Martinez G, Denlinger DL, and Lee RE (2008) Rapid cold-hardening in larvae of the Antarctic midge Belgica antarctica: cellular cold-sensing and a role for calcium. American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 294: R1938-R1946. DOI: 10.1152/ajpregu.00459.2007