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.