Carrier Selected for 2021 Graduate Dean’s Dissertation Award

Monday, June 28, 2021

Tyler Carrier, Ph.D., Biological Sciences, 2020, is the 2021 Graduate Dean's Distinguished Dissertation Award winner in Biological Sciences/Life Sciences for his work on “Symbiosis Across Diet-Induced Phenotypes of Larval Sea Urchins.”

Through his research on marine invertebrates, Carrier has examined the ability of organisms to not only find an environment in which they adapt to environmental changes, but when this response may be lost.  The focus of his work has been on the role that communities of symbiotic microbes play in helping organisms adapt to environmental changes and how those partnerships change.  

“At its core, my dissertation was trying to see where microbial symbioses intersect with our understanding of marine invertebrate reproductive and developmental ecology, each chapter of which being directed at a different pillar of the field,” Carrier said.  “The Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Bioinformatics and Genomics were instrumental in my time at UNCC, providing me access to a wealth of information, resources, and technology that were pivotal to my dissertation.”

Carrier was the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships while studying at UNC Charlotte, including the Humboldt Research Fellowship, the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and the Wayland H. Cato Jr. Graduate Fellowship from the Graduate School.

“Tyler Carrier’s research conducted during his dissertation is ground breaking, original, and expansive,” said Dr. Adam Reitzel, Professor of Biology and Carrier’s advisor. “His successes in research, mentoring, and outreach stem from his passion for science and reflect his clear trajectory to become a leader in biological research as he strives for his goal to be a professor at a university.”

Carrier is currently continuing his research at Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany.  His plans include establishing a research laboratory “that can explore the diverse ways that microbial symbioses influence the reproduction, development and ecology of marine invertebrate with mentoring and teaching being central to that.”

Read more about Tyler Carrier at Inside UNC.