Andrea Tarnecki, Assistant Extension Professor, headshot photo, Auburn University Shellfish Lab

Andrea Tarnecki

Assistant Extension Professor

School of Fisheries, Aquaculture & Aquatic Sciences

(251) 861-3018 ext. 2 


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150 Agassiz Street
Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory
Dauphin Island, AL 36528



  • 2014 – Ph.D., Auburn University (Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences)
  • 2007 – B.S., Middle Tennessee State University (Biology)


  • 2021-present – Assistant Extension Professor, School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
  • 2019-2021 – Staff Scientist, Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, FL
  • 2018-2021 – Assistant Quality Assurance Officer, Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, FL
  • 2016-2021 – Adjunct Faculty, College of Science & Mathematics, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, Sarasota, FL
  • 2017-2020 – Adjunct Faculty, Nursing Program, Southern Technical College, Fort Myers, FL
  • 2014-2019 – Mote Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, FL
  • 2010-2014 – Graduate Research Assistant, School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL


  • 2020 – Mote Marine Laboratory Graduate Student Summer Funding Awardee
  • 2020 – Mote Marine Laboratory Scholarly and Service Award
  • 2016 – Mo Bio Microbiome Award
  • 2014 – Auburn University Graduate School’s outstanding doctoral student award
  • 2013 – Auburn University School of Fisheries’ Swingle Award
  • 2012 – Summer Cell and Molecular Biology Research Fellowship, Auburn University
  • 2012 – Best Student Paper, Alabama Academy of Sciences Meeting, Tuskegee, AL


  • Oyster South
  • World Aquaculture Society, United States Aquaculture Society chapter
  • American Society for Microbiology, Southeastern branch


My research primarily addresses needs identified by the Alabama shellfish aquaculture industry and its stakeholders. My lab tests technology/practices that have the potential to alleviate challenges and bottlenecks encountered by the off-bottom oyster farming industry. As I have a strong background in microbiology, additional research interests include new and emerging shellfish diseases, harmful algal blooms, and seafood safety.


  • Tarnecki, A.M., C. Miller, T.A. Sherwood, R.J. Griffitt, R.W. Schloesser, and D. Wetzel. 2021. Dispersed oil induces dysbiosis in the fish external microbiome. Microbiology Spectrum [Accepted 27 Dec 2021].
  • Sherwood, T.A., M.L. Rodgers, A.M. Tarnecki, R.J. Griffitt, and D.L. Wetzel. 2021. Characterization of the differential expressed genes and transcriptomic pathway analysis in the liver of sub-adult red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) exposed to Deepwater Horizon chemically dispersed oil. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 214: 112098. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021112098.
  • Tarnecki, A.M., N. Levi, M. Resley, and K. Main. 2021. Effects of copper sulfate on the external microbiome of common snook (Centropomus undecimalis). Animal Microbiome 3: 21. doi: 10.1189/s42523-021-00085-5.
  • Rodgers, M.L., T.A. Sherwood, A.M. Tarnecki, R.J. Griffitt, and D.L. Wetzel. 2021. Characterization of transcriptomic responses and transcriptional pathways of southern flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma) chronically exposed to Deepwater Horizon oiled sediments. Aquatic Toxicology 230: 105716. doi: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2020.105716.
  • Sherwood, T., R. Medvecky, C. Miller, A.Tarnecki, R. Schloesser, K. Main, C. Mitchelmore, and D. Wetzel. 2019. Non-lethal biomarkers of oxidative stress in oiled sediment exposed southern flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma): Utility for field-base monitoring exposure and potential recovery. Environmental Science & Technology 53(24): 14734-14743. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.9b05930.
  • Patrick, G., A.M. Tarnecki, N. Rhody, R. Schloesser, K. Main, R. Yanong, and R. Francis-Floyd. 2019. Disinfection of almaco jack (Seriola rivoliana Valenciennes) eggs: evaluation of three chemicals. Aquaculture Research 50: 3793-3801. doi: 10.1111/are.14342.
  • Guttman, L., A. Neori, S.E. Boxman, R. Barkan, B. Shahar, A.M. Tarnecki, N.P. Brennan, K.L. Main, and M. Shpigel. 2019. An integrated Ulva-periphyton biofilter for mariculture effluents: multiple nitrogen removal kinetics. Algal Research 42: 101586. doi: 10.1016/j.algal.2019.101586.
  • Tarnecki, A.M., M. Wafapoor, R.N. Phillips, and N.R. Rhody. 2019. Benefits of a Bacillus probiotic to larval fish survival and transport stress resistance. Scientific Reports 9: 4892. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-39316-w.
  • Tarnecki, A.M., N.R. Rhody, and C.J. Walsh. 2018. Health parameters and blood bacterial assemblages of healthy captive red drum Sciaenops ocellatus: implications for aquaculture and fish health management. Journal of Aquatic Animal Health 30(4): 339-353. doi: 10.1002/aah.10047.
  • Tarnecki, A.M., N.P. Brennan, R.W. Schloesser, and N.R. Rhody. 2018. Shifts in the skin-associated microbiota of hatchery-reared common snook Centropomus undecimalis during acclimation to the wild. Microbial Ecology. 77(3): 770-781. doi: 10.1007/s00248-018-1252-7.
  • Tarnecki, A.M., and N.R. Rhody. 2017. Microbiota of common snook Centropomus undecimalis larvae exhibiting high mortality. Aquaculture Research 48: 5693-5698. doi: 10.1111/are.13377.
  • Tarnecki, A.M., F.A. Burgos, C.L. Ray, and C.R. Arias. 2017. Fish intestinal microbiome: diversity and symbiosis unraveled by metagenomics. Journal of Applied Microbiology 123: 2-17. doi: 10.1111/jam.13415.
  • Ray, C., N. Bujan, A. Tarnecki, D.A. Davis, C. Browdy, and C.R. Arias. 2017. Analysis of the gut microbiome of Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus L. fed diets supplemented with Previda® and Saponin. Journal of Fisheries Sciences 11: 036-045.
  • Tarnecki, A.M., W.F. Patterson III, and C.R. Arias. 2016. Microbiota of wild-caught Red Snapper Lutjanus campechanus. BMC Microbiology 16: 245. doi: 10.1186/s12866-016-0864-7.
  • Larsen, A.M., M.R. Womble, S.A. Bullard, and C.R. Arias. 2015. Community structure of skin microbiome of Gulf killifish, Fundulus grandis, is driven by seasonality and not exposure to oiled sediments in a Louisiana saltmarsh. Microbial Ecology 70(2): 534-544. doi: 10.1007/s00248-015-0578-7.
  • Larsen, A.M., H.H. Mohammed, and C.R. Arias. 2014. Comparison of DNA extraction protocols for the analysis of gut microbiota in fishes. FEMS Microbiology Letters [Published online 4 Dec 2014]. doi: 10.1093/femsle/fnu031.
  • Larsen, A.M., F.S. Rikard, W.C. Walton, and C.R. Arias. 2014. Temperature effect on high salinity depuration of Vibrio vulnificus and V. parahaemolyticus from the Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica). International Journal of Food Microbiology 192: 66-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2014.09.025
  • Larsen, A.M., H.H. Mohammed, and C.R. Arias. 2014. Characterization of the gut microbiota of commercially valuable warmwater fish species. Journal of Applied Microbiology 116: 1396-1404. doi: 10.1111/jam.12475.
  • Arias, C.R., A.M. Larsen, and K. Koenders. 2013. Predominant bacteria associated with red snapper Lutjanus campechanus (Poey, 1860) from the northern Gulf of Mexico. Journal of Aquatic Animal Health 25(4): 281-289. doi: 10.1080/08997659.2013.847872.
  • Larsen, A.M., Z. Tao, S.A. Bullard, and C.R. Arias. 2013. Diversity of the skin microbiota of fishes: evidence for host species specificity. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 85: 483-494. doi: 10.1111/1574-6941.12136.
  • Larsen, A.M., F.S. Rikard, W.C. Walton, and C.R. Arias. 2013. Effective reduction of Vibrio vulnificus in the Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) using high salinity depuration. Food Microbiology 34(1): 118-122.
  • Tao, Z., A. Larsen, S.A. Bullard, A.C. Wright, and C.R. Arias. 2012. Prevalence and population structure of Vibrio vulnificus on recreational fishes from the northern Gulf of Mexico. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 78(21):7611-7618.


As an assistant extension professor, I connect with shellfish farmers and stakeholders to identify current and emerging limitations to the industry. I communicate and transfer relevant information and technologies to farmers and consumers through a variety of means including on-site demonstrations, seminars, extension publications, social media, etc.

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