Coral Lab

Corals & Climate Change Laboratory People

Chris Langdon

Dr. Chris Langdon

Langdon is a professor in the department of Marine Biology and Fisheries at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. With a deep knowledge of the chemistry and the biology of oceans, his research interests are linked to understand how coral reefs will be impacted by global warming and ocean acidification.

He is co-founder of the South Florida Coral Reef & Climate Change Lab. Langdon pioneered the use of moesocosms and an experimental approach to study the impact of ocean acidification on coral reefs at Columbia University’s Biosphere 2 Center in Tucson, AZ.

Langdon got his Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island in 1988


Nancy Muehllehner

Nancy Muehllehner, Ph.D. student

Muehllehner is interested in physiological ecology and marine conservation. For her M.A., Nancy studied the biomineralization of two coral species to see whether morphological plasticity played a role in the response of these species to changing carbonate concentrations in seawater.

Muehllehner is currently researching selective pressure that the combined effects of increasing seawater temperature and changes in the carbon buffering system will have on marine ecosystems. Her particular interest is how this selective pressure will affect different biomineralizing species/genera and how this response could be altered by the history of abiotic conditions experienced by these organisms.


Chris Langdon

Jay Fisch, Ph.D. student

Jay Fisch obtained his B.A. from Rutgers University in 2007 and his M.Sc. from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel in 2009 working with coral bleaching and isotopic analysis on the banks of the Gulf of Aqaba.  He started the PhD program at RSMAS in 2011.  He is currently researching the effects of increased temperature and ocean acidification on the early life history stages of Caribbean coral species.  The response of larvae and juvenile coral to predicted climate change conditions may give clues to the potential for resilience and recovery in the coming century.  In addition, he is investigating changes in macroalgae growth and productivity in the field on the Florida reef tract and how it may play a part in substrate level competition with coral species.


Nancy Muehllehner

Erica Towle, Ph.D. student

Erica completed her B.S. in Marine Science and Biology from the University of Miami in the spring of 2010, and entered the Ph.D. program at the Rosenstiel School in the fall of 2010.  Her research interests include assessing the metabolism and physiology of corals in the Florida Reef Tract with respect to climate change.   She would like to determine if corals with greater energy reserves have greater resiliency to temperature and acidification stress.  Given the mounting concern for the potential impacts of global climate change on reef-building corals, there is a need to investigate their ability to mitigate these stressors.  The ability of corals to control their nutritional status may play an important role in determining their sensitivity to near-future bleaching and acidification scenarios.