Anna Klompen
Postdoctoral Research Associate
The phylum Cnidaria deploys toxins through a unique, decentralized venom system composed of numerous "stinging cells" or nematocysts, the most ubiquitous type of cnidae (characteristic feature of Cnidaria). Nematocysts have been described as one of the most complex secretory products, in part due to the often highly intricate subcellular features that distinguish the ~30 subtypes of nematocysts present across the group. Despite a long history of morphological, histological, and more recent genomic studies on this cell type, little is understood about how these nematocysts and their respective subcellular structures are assembled within the cell. In my current research, I am exploring the dynamics of subcellular assembly across the different nematocyst types in the model Nematostella through the integration of high-resolution proteomics and imaging as well as functional genomic approaches.


PhD, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas (2022)
BS, Biology and Chemistry, The College of William and Mary (2017)

Localization of Multiple Jellyfish Toxins Shows Specificity for Functionally Distinct Polyps and Nematocyst Types in a Colonial Hydrozoan.
Klompen, A.M.L., Travert, M.K. and Cartwright, P., 2023. Toxins, 15(2), p.149.

Venom system variation and the division of labor in the colonial hydrozoan Hydractinia symbiolongicarpus.
Klompen, A.M.L., Sanders, S.M. and Cartwright, P., 2022. Toxicon: X, 14, p.100113.

Raising awareness of the severity of “Contactless Stings” by Cassiopea jellyfish and kin.
Muffett, K.M., Klompen, A.M.L., Collins, A.G. and Lewis Ames, C., 2021. Animals, 11(12), p.3357.

The cnidarian parasite Ceratonova shasta utilizes inherited and recruited venom-like compounds during infection.
Americus, B., Hams, N., Klompen, A.M.L., Alama-Bermejo, G., Lotan, T., Bartholomew, J.L. and Atkinson, S.D., 2021. PeerJ, 9, p.e12606.

Phylogenetic and selection analysis of an expanded family of putatively pore-forming jellyfish toxins (Cnidaria: Medusozoa).
Klompen, A.M.L., Kayal, E., Collins, A.G. and Cartwright, P., 2021. Genome Biology and Evolution, 13(6), p.evab081.

Cassiosomes are stinging-cell structures in the mucus of the upside-down jellyfish Cassiopea xamachana.
Ames, C.L.*, Klompen, A.M.L.*, Badhiwala, K., Muffett, K., Reft, A.J., Kumar, M., Janssen, J.D., Schultzhaus, J.N., Field, L.D., Muroski, M.E. and Bezio, N., 2020. Communications Biology, 3(1), p.67. *Co-first authors.

Transcriptomic analysis of four cerianthid (Cnidaria, Ceriantharia) venoms.
Klompen, A.M.L., Macrander, J., Reitzel, A.M. and Stampar, S.N., 2020. Marine drugs, 18(8), p.413.