ECU biology professor elected to lead international organization

East Carolina University biology professor John W. Stiller was elected to the role of incoming vice president and president elect of the Phycological Society of America. The election results were announced at the PSA annual national meeting in Charleston, S.C. June 22.


Stiller will serve a three-year term as vice president/president-elect in 2013, president in 2014 and past president in 2015. He will also serve on the PSA executive council for all three years.

The international organization promotes research and education in fields related to the biology of algae, and publishes the Journal of Phycology: an International Journal of Algal Research.

The journal was recently redesigned and its first updated issue featured research by Stiller and ECU biology student Justin Perry. The paper, “Major Developmental Regulators and their Expression in Two Closely Related Species of Porphyra (Rhodophyta),” reflected a large collaborative effort to sequence the genome of the red alga Porphyra, also known as Nori or as Stiller described it, “the black stuff wrapped around the outside of most sushi.”

The research is funded through grants from the Joint Genomic Institute/Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. Stiller is a co-principle investigator on both grants.

Perry was an undergraduate at the time of the research but has since joined the biology department as a master’s student.

For additional information about PSA , visit  For more details about Stiller, visit


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