Vera Bin San Chan

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Biological Sciences Department

Office: 319 Jordan Hall
Phone: 864-656-3597


 Educational Background

Ph.D. Biological Sciences
University of Hong Kong 2014

B.Sc. (First Class Hon) 1st major: Biochemistry, 2nd major: Ecology and biodiversity
University of Hong Kong 2009

 Courses Taught

"An introduction to creating a peer support group", Fall 2016 and Spring 2017, Graduate School GRAD360 Professional Development
"Improving our Academic Writing", Summer 2017 Graduate School GRAD360 Professional Development


Dr. Vera Chan is a Postdoctoral Research Associate studying calcification in the Eastern oysters under Dr. Andrew Mount's supervision. Her research applied correlative light and electron microscopy approach to investigate the cellular processes associated to biomineralization – i.e. when cells and soft tissues interacts to form hard structures.
Dr. Chan's PhD thesis is entitled: "Climate change impacts on the Serpulid tubeworm Hydroides elegans - a biomineralization perspective" was supervised by Marine Biologist, Dr. Rajan at the University of Hong Kong, Her PhD work examined the impacts of climate change on larval and juvenile marine invertebrates.
Her role as an elected representative for the Post Doc Advisory Board found in 2016 serves to connect the Clemson Postdocs community to the research and professional development needs at Clemson University. Her volunteered efforts as facilitators for the Graduate School Professional Development workshops aims to enhance research productivity of Graduate Students and Postdocs.

 Research Interests

Biomineralization studies require highly interdisciplinary research approach that connects biological observations to a variety of structural analysis at different length scales. Dr. Chan's research on marine invertebrates has fundamental implications to aquaculture success, coastal protection, ocean acidification and biofouling control, and therefore, biomineralization remains as a large knowledge gap in marine science.
While Dr. Chan's main research focuses remain on identifying the key cellular processes and biomolecules at the active front of mineralization, her research extends to improve understanding on the impacts of ocean acidification, provide an environmentally viable solution to the costly problem of biofouling.

 Extension and Outreach

ICES Marine Science
Frontiers in Marine Science

Guest Editor of special issue in Frontiers in Marine Science

Liaison, Clemson University Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
Clemson University Postdoctoral Association (CUPDA)
Scholarship Recipient: Men of Color Summit, Greenville, March 2017


Chan VBS, Toyofuku T, Wetzel G, Saraf L, Thiyagarajan V, Mount AS (2017) Characterization of Calcification Events Using Live Optical and Electron Microscopy Techniques in a Marine Tubeworm. J. Vis. Exp. (120), e55164, doi:10.3791/55164 (2017).
Chaoyi Li , Meng Y, He C, Chan VBS, Yao H, Thiyagarajan V (2016) Mechanical robustness of the calcareous tubeworm Hydroides elegans: warming mitigates the adverse effects of ocean acidification Biofouling 32- 2
Chan VBS, Toyofuku T, Wetzel G, Saraf L, Thiyagarajan V*, Mount AS(2015). Direct deposition of crystalline aragonite in the controlled biomineralization of the calcareous tubeworm. Frontiers in Marine Science.
Chan VBS, Vinn O, Li C, Lu X; Kudryavtsev AB, Schopf JW, Shih K, Zhang T, Thiyagarajan V*. (2015). Evidence of compositional and ultrastructural shifts during the development of calcareous tubes in the biofouling tubeworm, Hydroides elegans." Journal of Structural Biology.
Chaoyi Li, Chan VBS, He C, Yao H, Shih K, Thiyagarajan V* (2014) Weakening mechanisms of the serpulid tube in a high CO2 world. Environmental Science & Technology.
Ko GWK, Dineshram R, Campanati C, Chan VBS, Havenhand J, & Thiyagarajan V*. (2014). Interactive effects of ocean acidification, elevated temperature and reduced salinity on early-life stages of the Pacific oyster. Environmental Science & Technology, 48 (17), 10079-10088.
Milazzo M, Rodolfo-Metalpa R, Chan VBS, Fine M, Alessi C, Thiyagarajan V, Hall-Spencer JM, Chemello R (2014). Ocean acidification impairs vermetid reef recruitment." Sci. Rep. 4.
Chan VBS and Thiyagarajan V*, Lu X, Zhang T and Shih K (2013). Temperature dependent effects of elevated CO2 on shell composition and mechanical properties of Hydroides elegans: Insights from a multiple stressor experiment. PLoS One
Ko WK, Chan VBS, Dineshram R, Muthukumar S, Choi KS, Li JA, Yu Z, Thiyagarajan V* (2013). Larval and post-larval stages of Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) are resistant to elevated CO2. PLoS One
Lane AC, Mukherjee J, Chan VBS, Thiyagarajan V* (2012) Decreased pH does not alter metamorphosis but compromises juvenile calcification of the tube worm Hydroides elegans. Marine Biology p. 1-11.
Chan VBS, Li C, Lane AC, Wang Y, Lu X, Shih K, Zhang T, Thiyagarajan V* (2012) CO2-Driven Ocean Acidification Alters and Weakens Integrity of the Calcareous Tubes Produced by the Serpulid Tubeworm, Hydroides elegans. PLoS One 7: e42718


Research Gate
Okeanos Lab website
Clemson University Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
PhD supervisor: Dr. Rajan website