Skip to Main Content
Profile Photo for Kathleen Cusick

Kathleen Cusick

Assistant Professor

Biological Sciences
Biological Sciences, Room 324
Postdoc, US Naval Research Laboratory, Chemistry Division (2016)
Postdoc, University of Tennessee (2013)
Ph D, University of Tennessee (2009)
MS, Florida Institute of Technology/Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (2000)
BS, Dickinson College (1997)
CV View CV

I have a Master's in Marine Biology and PhD in Microbiology. Combining these backgrounds, I use molecular tools to study the microbial ecology of marine microbes.

Research Interests

the mechanisms bu which marine microbes sense and respond to environmental challenges; genetics and ecology of harmful algal blooms; bioluminescence

Teaching Interests


Selected Classes
Spring 2019 BIOL 275 – Microbiology
BIOL 602 – Intro Lab/Field Research
Fall 2018 BIOL 739 – Res Sem in Molecular Biology
Spring 2018 BIOL 739 – Res Seminar in Molecular Biology
Contracts, Fellowships, Grants, and Sponsored Research

Cusick, Kathleen Summer Research Faculty Fellowship Fellowship (Funded) Sponsored by UMBC Office of the Vice President for Research (Jun 1, 2018 – Aug 31, 2018)

Cusick, Kathleen National Academies Post-doctoral Fellowship Fellowship (Funded) Sponsored by National Academies/National Research Council (Nov 1, 2013 – Nov 30, 2016)

Cusick, Kathleen NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program Fellowship Fellowship (Funded) Sponsored by NASA (Aug 1, 2005 – Aug 31, 2008)

Cusick, Kathleen Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid Grant (Funded) Sponsored by Sigma Xi (Jan 1, 1998 – Dec 31, 1999)

Cusick, Kathleen Early Career Travel Grant Grant (Funded) Sponsored by Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography

Intellectual Contributions

Adaptation to copper stress influences biofilm formation in Alteromonas macleodii 6 vol. 33 505-519 BIOFOULING

Gene Expression Changes in Long-Term In Vitro Human Blood-Brain Barrier Models and Their Dependence on a Transwell Scaffold Material JOURNAL OF HEALTHCARE ENGINEERING

vol. 86 e01831-19. Appl. Environ. Microbiol.

Bioluminescence and Toxicity as Driving Factors in Harmful Algal Blooms: Ecological Functions and Genetic Capacity Harmful Algae

Research in Progress

Toxin Production in Harmful Algal Bloom Species: Genetics or Environment? Aug 1, 2019

Horizontal gene transfer as a driver of copper resistance in marine bacteria Scholarly (On-Going) Mar 1, 2018

Intracellular Signaling in Alteromonas Scholarly (On-Going) Nov 1, 2017

Development of a genetic system for Alteromonas Scholarly (On-Going) Sep 1, 2017


(Author) ASM Microbe Poster Novel Mechanisms of Copper Tolerance in the Marine Bacterium Alteromonas macleodii American Society for Microbiology San Francisco, CA

(Author) Gordon Research Conference on Phycotoxins and Mycotoxins Poster The Effects of Copper on Growth and Saxitoxin Production in the Harmful Algal Bloom Dinoflagellate Pyrodinium bahamense Gordon Research Conference Stonehill College, MA

(Author) (Author) 6th American Society for Microbiology Conference on Cell-Cell Communication in Bacteria Poster Comparative genomics of cyclic di-GMP signaling in strains of the globally-distributed marine bacterium Alteromonas macleodii ASM Athens, GA

(Author) (Author) 2nd American Society for Microbiology Conference on Experimental Microbial Evolution Poster Adaptation and evolution of a marine microbe following long-term exposure to elevated copper ASM Washington, DC

(Author) (Author) (Author) (Author) Ocean Sciences Meeting Poster Genomic and transcriptomic analyses to identify pathways involved in nanoparticle generation in the ubiquitous marine bacterium Alteromonas macleodii under elevated copper conditions ASLO New Orleans, LA

(Author) (Author) (Author) 7th American Society for Microbiology Conference on Biofilms Poster Adaptation to copper stress promotes biofilm formation in Alteromonas macleodii ASM Chicago, IL

(Author) (Author) (Author) 115th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology Oral Presentation Molecular mechanisms associated with anaerobic metal reduction in a thermophilic bacterium (Thermus sp.) ASM New Orleans, LA