Meet Jennifer L. Wortham
Associate Professor, Health Sciences and Human Performance
1995 The University of Tampa, B.S.
2001 University of Louisiana - Lafayette, Ph.D.
Courses Taught: HON 101 Pathways
HSC 499 Science of Sex
HSC 499 Evidence of Disease
Career Specialties: Jen Wortham specializes in the study of agonistic and grooming behaviors of crustaceans, especially mantis shrimp. She also researches the reproductive biology of crustaceans as well as the fishery biology of mantis shrimp living in the Gulf of Mexico. She has been studying the grooming behaviors of the freshwater shrimp Macrobrachium, as well as looking how the morphology in this group varies between species. Currently, she is studying the grooming and agonistic behaviors of stone crabs and blue crabs. Wortham uses the scanning electron microscope to look at the morphology of the grooming appendages in crustaceans. Most importantly, she works side by side with undergraduates in her research and has several undergraduate research projects in progress.
Professional and Community Activities: Prior to UT in 2004, Wortham taught at the University of Evansville in Indiana. She has worked in the field for SeaMap Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Mississippi and received funding to work on mantis shrimp at the University of California, Berkeley, for a summer. For the last 10 years, Wortham has worked on the grooming behaviors and morphology of commercially and ecologically important shrimp and crabs. She has presented her work at local, regional, national and international meetings. Wortham is a member of the Crustacean Society, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, and the Florida Academy of Sciences. In the community, she volunteers at elementary and middle schools by teaching marine biology and human anatomy, as well as establishes marine aquaria in classrooms. Wortham also coaches middle school boy’s soccer.