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Faculty Detail    
Campus Address CH 375 Zip 1170
Phone  (205) 934-2045
Other websites

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Biology  Biology Professor
Secondary  Surgery   Surgery - Gen Surg Gastrointestinal Section Professor
Center    Professor
Center  Comp Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Ctr  Comp Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Ctr Professor
Center  Comprehensive Diabetes Center  Comprehensive Diabetes Center Professor
Center  Civil, Construction & Environmental Egr  E.A.R.T.H. Center Professor
Center  GL Ctr for Craniofacial, Oral, & Dental Disorders  GL Ctr for Craniofacial, Oral, & Dental Disorders Professor
Center  Nutrition Sciences   Nutrition Obesity Res Ctr (NORC) Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Integrative Biomedical Sciences 

Biographical Sketch 
Stephen Watts, Ph.D., is an expert in aquaculture and fisheries. Watts researches the physiology, biochemistry, endocrinology and nutrition of sea urchins and tilapia that represent a developing aquacultural and fisheries opportunity in the Gulf of Mexico. He has been published in numerous journals including American Zoology and has presented papers at a number of conferences including the Fifth International Congress of Comparative Physiology Biochemistry and The Crustacean Society. Watts is an associate professor of biology.

Research/Clinical Interest
Aquatic environmental toxicology
My basic research interests are in the areas of physiology and biochemistry (physiological ecology), endocrinology and nutrition, particularly in aquatic and marine organisms. We use a variety of vertebrate and invertebrate models including tilapia, crayfish, shrimp and sea urchins which are all important in fisheries and aquaculture. We have several major thrusts of research in our laboratory. These thrusts include: (1) Understanding the physiology, biochemistry and nutrition of reproduction and growth in sea urchins. These organisms represent a developing aquacultural and fisheries opportunity in the Gulf of Mexico. (2) Understanding the physiological basis of sex determination and differentiation in tilapia. These studies investigate the role of hormones during early development of the gonads. (3) Investigating the environmental physiology, growth, nutrition and digestive physiology of crayfish, penaeid shrimp and freshwater prawns. Increased knowledge of these economically-important organisms can lead to enhanced aquacultural practices. (4) Describing the digestive physiology in relation to early growth in the nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus, leading to an increased knowledge of early nutrition. (5) Polyamine metabolism and its relation to growth and osmoregulation in invertebrates.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Watts, S.A., S.A. Boettger, J.B. McClintock and J.M. Lawrence. 1998. Gonad production in the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus fed prepared diets. J. Shellfish Res. 17(5), 1591-1595.   
Hines, G.A., L.R. Boots, T. Wibbels and S.A. Watts. 1999. Steroid levels and steroid metabolism in relation to early gonadal development in the tilapia Oreochromis niloticus (Teleostei: Cyprinoidei). Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 114, 235-248.   
Powell, M.L., H. Hammer and S.A. Watts. 1998. Observations of claw loss in two crayfish ponds. J. World Aquaculture 29(4), 485-490.   
Wasson, K.M., G.A. Hines and S.A. Watts. 1998. Synthesis of testosterone and 5a-androstanediols during nutritionally stimulated gonadal growth in Lytechinus variegatus in response to feeding. General and Comparative Endocrinology 111, 197-206.   
Stuck, K., S.A. Watts and S.Y. Wang. 1996. Biochemical responses during starvation and subsequent recovery in postlarvae of the pacific white shrimp, Penaeus vannamei. Marine Biology 125:33-46.