Welcome to my first attempt at a website.
I am a marine biologist (currently working at NOAA’s AOML) on coral reefs and the endosymbioses upon which they are based. Over the years, my research has taken me to many amazing places, and allowed me to meet some truly cool people. Although I cherish these memories, this website will be more of an introduction to (and a data repository for) my various projects than a blog detailing my experiences (fun, up-to-date life experience pictures can instead be found under my Instagram account: dr._coral).
I have tried to present a picture of my research in a nutshell, with the ultimate goal of making all data (including pictures, nucleic acid and protein sequences, and all sorts of molecular and physiological data) publicly available. I have three major research interests:
In actuality, most projects (past and present) span several of these three themes. For instance, current work in the Maldives and South Florida seeks to uncover the genetic basis of coral resilience to elevated temperature, a topic that encompasses all three of my interests. All past, present, and future projects make heavy use of molecular and cellular biology-based approaches, as I am ultimately interested in how corals can function when the vast majority of their cellular volume is encompassed by foreign cell types. Although this mutualistic association has allowed them to thrive for hundreds of millions of years, it also makes them sensitive to even slight changes in their environment.
For all data and sequences associated with the Seriatopora hystrix and Pocillopora damicornis transcriptomes and proteomes, please consult the respective websites (SHVTS and PDLTTE, respectively). Basics of both experiments, as well as non-sequence-related data, can be found on this site (under Research Projects). Other manipulative experiments seeking to uncover the effects of global climate change on reef-building corals can be found under this same heading. Interestingly, we have not generally documented any effect of ocean acidification (OA) on the corals we routinely study, leading me have shifted solely to temperature from 2019 onwards.
In addition to data from manipulative experiments performed at Taiwan's National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium between 2008 and 2014 (Research Projects), I have also provided all images and data from research expeditions aboard the Living Oceans Foundation's research vessel, the M.Y. Golden Shadow. Details of LOF's Global Reef Expedition can be found here. I have divided up the data and images by country visited, beginning with French Polynesia in 2013 and ending with the Chagos Archipelago in 2015.
All photography provided by Anderson Mayfield unless noted otherwise.
I am from Nashville, TN, about as far from the ocean as you can get (~1,000 km, with the closest living coral reef even farther). I don't do Facebook (after a long-term, hardcore addiction!), but you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (personal) or email@example.com (professional; at least until spring of 2020) or call me at 337-501-1976 (though I rarely answer my phone!). I also routinely post coral (and cat) photos on my Instagram account: dr._coral. Feel free to check out my C.V., too.
I am currently attempting to uncover the molecular basis of reef coral resilience to elevated temperature; why do some corals bleach while their neighbors do not? This work is being conducted in five locations:
3) Anilao (Luzon, Philippines) in collaboration w/ the Institute of Biological Sciences of the University of the Philippines-Los Banos