Craig V. Sullivan, Ph.D.

 William Neal Reynolds Professor of Biology


Department of Biology, Campus Box 7617,

North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC 27695-7617

Telephone (919) 515-7186

Facsimile (919) 515-2698


Research Interests

My research program emphasizes the reproductive physiology and selective breeding of fishes, especially species important to fisheries and aquaculture.  Capture fisheries make a major contribution to global supplies of animal protein available for human nutrition.  Scientific fishery management requires that the reproductive biology of target species be well understood.  It is important to acquire detailed knowledge of reproductive demographics, maturity schedules, and critical stages of reproduction and early development.  All of these parameters are sensitive to anthropogenic and other influences, such as pollution or climate change.  In the face of static yields or declines in fishery landings worldwide, aquaculture is increasingly important for sustaining human population growth.  Half of the seafood consumed by adults of the next generation will be farmed.  Acquiring reliable control of reproduction, the first step toward development of any candidate aquaculture species, requires detailed understanding of maturational processes and their regulation by environmental and endogenous factors. Domestication and selective breeding follow to produce a cultivar that can be farmed efficiently. The reproductive biology of all vertebrates was built upon blueprints established and refined by fishes. For this reason, fish reproduction also provides valuable model systems for basic research in biomedicine and agricultural biotechnology.

For more information, see my research summary and list of publications


Research Associates and Research Areas

Dr. Benjamin J. Reading: Molecular biology and biochemistry of oogenesis: Multiple vitellogenins (Vtgs) and Vtg receptors


Graduate Students and Theses Topics

Amanda L. Boury (Ph.D. Zoology; NCSU): Transcriptomics of ogenesis in striped bass: Discovery of differentially expressed genes during oocyte growth

Justin Schilling (Ph.D. Zoology; NCSU): Thesis topic TBA

Conal D. True, M.Sc. (Ph.D. Marine Sciences; Universidas Autonoma De Baja California, Facultad de Ciencias Marinas, Ensenada, Mexico): Induced spawning, captive breeding and domestication of the totoaba, Totoaba macdonaldi, an endangered giant sciaenid from the Sea of Cortez.

Valerie N. Williams (Ph.D. Zoology, NCSU): Egg quality in striped bass:  Involvement of the multiple vitellogenin system


Sponsored Research Projects

N.C. Sea Grant , 02/06-01/09 , Hybrid Striped Bass Farming: Application of Functional Genomics and Proteomics to Solve Problems in Growth and Reproduction (Co-PI: Dr. Russell Borski).

N.C. Sea Grant, 02/06-01/09, Sea Grant Graduate Research Stipends (Co-PI: Dr. Russell Borski).


NOAA - National Marine Aquaculture Initiative, 09/06-08/10, Building a Superior Striped Bass: A Genome Map for Accelerated Selective Breeding  (Co-PIs: Drs. Charlene Couch and Caird Rexroad III).


USDA National Needs Fellowship Program, 11/06-11/11, Genomic Enablement of Aquaculture: Graduate Research and Education  (Co-PIs Drs. Russell Borski and Edward Noga).


USDA Special Grant, 07/08-06/11, Improved Technology for Enhancing Production Efficiency and Environmental Sustainability of Warmwater Fish Culture (Co-PIs:  Drs. Harry Daniels, Russell Borski, and Tom Losordo).


N.C. Sea Grant, 02/08-01/10, Domesticated Broodstock and Selective Breeding for Hybrid Striped Bass Farming: Enabling Industry Implementation


USDA Special Grant, 07/09-07/11, Genomics and Biotechnology to Promote Environmentally Sustainable and Globally Competitive Aquaculture in North Carolina  (Co-PIs:  Drs. Harry Daniels, Russell Borski, and Tom Losordo).



Co-coordinator, National Program for Genetic Improvement & Selective Breeding for the Hybrid Striped Bass Industry

Striped Bass Species Coordinator, National Aquaculture Genome Project


NCSU Teaching

Zoology 515: Graduate Fish Physiology

Zoology 586 : Graduate Aquaculture

Zoology 587 : Graduate Aquaculture Laboratory



Study leave (Molecular Biology), Fisheries Genetics Laboratory, Marine Resources Research Institute, Charleston, South Carolina, 1996

Postdoctoral Fellow (Endocrinology), University of Washington (UW) and NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Seattle, Washington, 1986-88

Ph.D., Fisheries Science (Physiology), School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, UW, Seattle, Washington, 1986

B.A., Biology with Distinction, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, 1978


Professional Experience

2005-present   William Neal Reynolds Professor of Biology, North Carolina State University (NCSU), Raleigh, North Carolina

1999-04             Professor of Zoology, NCSU, Raleigh, North Carolina

1996-97             Visiting Scientist, Marine Resources Research Institute, Charleston, South Carolina

1994-98             Associate Professor of Zoology, NCSU, Raleigh, North Carolina

1988-94             Assistant Professor of Zoology, NCSU, Raleigh, North Carolina

1992                   Visiting Scholar, Faculty of Fisheries, Hokkaido University, Hakodate, Japan

1990                   Foreign Specialist, National Research Institute of Aquaculture, Tamaki, Mie, Japan

1986-88             Postdoctoral Research Associate, College of Ocean and Fisheries Sciences, UW, Seattle,Washington

1984-86             Research Assistant, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, UW, Seattle,Washington