Andrew C. Baker

Andrew C. Baker

Associate Professor Department of Marine Biology and Ecology

University of Miami
4600 Rickenbacker Causeway
Miami, FL 33149

EG 214

Tel: 305.421.4642

Lab Website

Google Scholar Profile

I am a marine biologist interested in the biology, ecology and conservation of coral reefs, with a focus on the impacts of climate change on these ecosystems. Much of my research studies corals from the perspective of their algal symbionts (zooxanthellae in the genus Symbiodinium). Many corals have the ability to host different types of algal symbionts, and this flexibility helps them adapt to environmental variability. My lab has been assessing how important and widespread this ability is, and how it affects the response of corals (and the ecosystems they build) to climate change. Much of this work involves the study of molecular systematics and ecology (since these symbionts are most readily identified from their DNA), but this work also has a strong experimental focus in Miami, using corals growing in indoor and outdoor facilities, as well as fieldwork on coral reefs worldwide. Additional interests include population genetics and ecological physiology of coral reef organisms (including coral bleaching), marine conservation biology, and fostering better communication of science to public and policy audiences.

Google Scholar Profile

Wirshing HH, Baker AC (2015) Molecular and morphological species boundaries in the gorgonian octocoral genus Pterogorgia (Octocorallia: Gorgoniidae). PloS One 10 (7), e0133517

Aswani S, Mumby PJ, Baker AC, Christie P, McCook LJ, Steneck RS, Richmond RH (2015) Scientific frontiers in the management of coral reefs. Frontiers in Marine Science 2:50 doi: 10.3389/fmars.2015.00050

Cunning R, Silverstein RN, Baker AC (2015) Investigating the causes and consequences of symbiont shuffling in a multi-partner reef coral symbiosis under environmental change. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B 282: 20141725 doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1725

Cunning R, Vaughan N, Gillette P, Capo TR, Maté JL, Baker AC (2015) Dynamic regulation of partner abundance mediates response of reef coral symbioses to environmental change. Ecology 96:1411–1420.

Silverstein RN, Cunning R, Baker AC (2015) Change in algal symbiont communities after bleaching, not prior heat exposure, increases heat tolerance of reef corals. Global Change Biology 21: 236–249, doi: 10.1111/gcb.12706doi: 10.1111/gcb.12706

Serrano X, Baums I, O'Reilly K, Smith T, Jones R, Shearer T, Nunes F, Baker AC (in press) Geographic differences in vertical connectivity in the Caribbean coral Montastraea cavernosa despite high levels of horizontal connectivity at shallow depths. Molecular Ecology

Vollmer SV, Baker AC, Coffroth MA, Harvell CD, Medina M (in press) Understanding the coral holobiont through science and SCUBA. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology

Wirshing HH, Baker AC (2014) Molecular evolution of calcification genes in morphologically similar but phylogenetically unrelated scleractinian corals. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 77, 281-295

Rodolfo‐Metalpa R, Hoogenboom, Rottier C, Ramos‐Esplá A, Baker AC, Fine M, Ferrier‐Pagès C (2014) Thermally tolerant corals have limited capacity to acclimatize to future warming. Global Change Biology. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12571

Denis V, Guillaume MMM, Goutx M, de Palmas S, Debreuil J, Baker AC, Boonstra RK, Bruggemann JH (2013) Fast growth may impair regeneration capacity in the branching coral Acropora muricata. PLoS ONE 8(8): e72618. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072618

Cunning R, Glynn PW, Baker AC (2013) Flexible associations between Pocillopora corals and Symbiodinium limit utility of symbiosis ecology in defining species. Coral Reefs 32 (3): 795-801

Wirshing HH, Feldheim KA, Baker AC (2013) Vectored dispersal of Symbiodinium by larvae of a Caribbean gorgonian octocoral. Molecular Ecology 22 (17), 4413-4432. Cover article

Feary DA, Burt J, Bauman AG, Al Hazeem S, Abdel-Moati M, Al-Khalifa K, Anderson D, Amos C, Baker AC, Bartholomew A, Bento R, Cavalcants G, Chen CA, Coles S, Dab K, Fowler A, George D, Grandcourt E, Hill R, John D,  Jones D, Keshavmurthy S, Mahmoud H, Tapeh MMO, Mostafavi PG, Naser H, Pichon M, Purkis S, Riegl B, Samimi-Namin K, Sheppard C, Samiei JV, Voolstra C, Wiedenmann J (2013) Critical research needs for identifying future changes in Persian Gulf coral reef ecosystems. Marine Pollution Bulletin 72 (2):406-16. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.02.038

Keshavmurthy S, Yang S-S, Alamaru A, Chuang Y-Y, Pichon M, Obura D, Fontana S, De Palmas S, Stefani F, Benzoni F,MacDonald A, Noreen AME, Chen C, Wallace CC, Pillay RM, Denis V, Amri AY, Reimer JD, Mezaki T, Sheppard C, Loya Y, Abelson A, Mohammed MS, Baker AC, Mostafavi PG, Suharsono BA, Chen CA (2013) DNA barcoding reveals the coral “laboratory rat”, Stylophora pistillata, has multiple identities. Scientific Reports 3: 1520 doi:10.1038/srep01520

Hume B, D’Angelo C, Burt J, Baker AC, Riegl B, Wiedenmann J (2013) Corals from the Persian/Arabian Gulf as models for thermotolerant reef-builders: Prevalence of Symbiodinium C3, host fluorescence and ex situ temperature tolerance. Marine Pollution Bulletin 72 (2): 313–322. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.11.032

Baker AC, McClanahan TR, Starger CJ, Boonstra RK (2013) Long-term monitoring of algal symbiont communities in corals reveals stability is taxon dependent and driven by site-specific thermal regime. Marine Ecology Progress Series 479, 85-97

Cunning R, Baker AC (2013) Excess symbionts increase the susceptibility of reef corals to bleaching. Nature Climate Change 3 (3), 259-262. doi:10.1038/nclimate1711

McClanahan TR,  Donner SD, Maynard JA, MacNeil MA, Graham NAJ, Maina J, Baker AC, Alemu  JB, Beger M, Campbell SJ, Darling ES, Eakin CM, Heron SF, Jupiter SD, Lundquist CJ, McLeod E, Mumby PJ, Paddack MJ, Selig ER, van Woesik R (2012) Prioritizing key resilience indicators to support coral reef management in a changing climate. PLoS One 7(8): e42884. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042884

Stat M, Baker AC, Bourne D, Correa AMS, Forsman Z, Huggett M, Pochon X, Skillings D, Toonen R, van Oppen MJH, Gates RD (2012) Molecular delineation of species in the coral holobiont. Advances in Marine Biology 63: 1-65

Meron D, Rodolfo-Metalpa R, Cunning R, Baker AC, Fine M, Banin E (2012) Changes in coral microbial communities in response to a natural pH gradient. ISME Journal doi: 10.1038/ismej.2012.19

Silverstein RN, Correa AMS, Baker AC (2012) Specificity is rarely absolute in coral-algal symbiosis: implications for coral response to climate change. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B – Biological Sciences 279 (1738): 2609-2618

DeBoer TS, Baker AC, Erdmann MV, Ambariyanto, Jones PR, Barber PH (2012) Patterns of Symbiodinium distribution in three giant clam species across the biodiverse Bird’s Head region of Indonesia. Marine Ecology Progress Series 444: 117-132


Books and book chapters:

Baker AC, Cunning R (in press) Coral bleaching as a generalized stress response to environmental disturbance. In: Diseases of Coral, Downs C, Bruckner A, Porter J (eds), Wiley-Blackwell.

McClanahan T, Baker A, Ateweberhan M (2012) Preparing for climate change in the Western Indian Ocean: Identifying climate refugia, biodiversity responses and preferred management. WIOMSA Book Series No. 12. viii + 62pp. ISSN 0856-7972

Other publications:

Baker A (2014) What is natural? Shifting baselines in marine conservation. Red Flag 8: 36-39
Starger CJ, Barber PH, Erdmann MV, Toha AHA, Baker AC (2013) Strong genetic structure among coral populations within a conservation priority region, the Bird's Head Seascape (Papua and West Papua, Indonesia) PeerJ PrePrints 1:e25v1

  • Jensen, Brittany
  • Kushlan, Phillip
  • Palacio Castro, Ana
  • Winter, Rivah
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