|2019 - Present||Assistant Professor, Nova Southeastern University ‐ Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography, Department of Marine and Environmental Science|
|2016 - 2019||Research Associate, Northwestern University ‐ Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering|
|2016 - 2019||Research Associate, Field Museum of Natural History ‐ Integrative Research Center|
|2010 - 2016||Postdoctoral Fellow, Northwestern University ‐ Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering|
|2010 - 2016||Postdoctoral Fellow, Field Museum of Natural History ‐ Biodiversity Synthesis Center|
|2005 - 2010||Instructional Coordinator for Animal Diversity, Florida State University ‐ Department of Biological Science|
|2002 - 2005||Instructor / Teaching Assistant, Florida State University ‐ Department of Biological Science|
|2002 - 2005||Instructor / Teaching Assistant, State University of New York at Buffalo ‐ Department of Biological Sciences|
Professional Service and Affiliations
|Member, International Society for Reef Studies||Member, International Symbiosis Society||Member, Sigma Xi||Member, Society of Systematic Biologists|
|2010||Ph.D. Biology, Florida State University|
|2002||M.S. Biology, State University of New York at Buffalo|
|1998||B.S. Biology, State University of New York at Buffalo|
Uncovering the Role of Symbiodiniaceae Assemblage Composition and Abundance in Coral Bleaching Response by Minimizing Sampling and Evolutionary Biases BMC Microbiology (2020)
Background Biodiversity and productivity of coral-reef ecosystems depend upon reef-building corals and their associations with endosymbiotic Symbiodiniaceae, which offer diverse functional capabilities to their hosts. The number of unique symbiotic partners (richness) and relative abundances ...
Measuring light scattering and absorption in corals with Inverse Spectroscopic Optical Coherence Tomography (ISOCT): a new tool for non-invasive monitoring Scientific Reports (2019)
The success of reef-building corals for >200 million years has been dependent on the mutualistic interaction between the coral host and its photosynthetic endosymbiont dinoflagellates (family Symbiodiniaceae) that supply the coral host with nutrients and ...
Relating Coral Skeletal Structures at Different Length Scales to Growth, Light Availability to Symbiodinium, and Thermal Bleaching Frontiers in Marine Science (2018)
Light scattering of coral skeletons and tissues increases light availability to photosynthetic endosymbionts to form one of the most efficient biological collectors of solar radiation. Rapid increases in light availability during thermally-induced symbiont loss (bleaching) ...
Phylogenetic Analysis of Symbiont Transmission Mechanisms Reveal Evolutionary Patterns in Thermotolerance and Host Specificity That Enhance Bleaching Resistance Among Vertically Transmitted Symbiodinium European Journal of Phycology (2018)
Vertical transmission of Symbiodinium symbionts between generations of coral hosts has been hypothesized to result in superior matches between host and symbiont physiologies, and to form holobionts that are generally more resistant to thermal stress. ...
Physiological Integration of Coral Colonies is Correlated with Bleaching Resistance Marine Ecology Progress Series (2018)
Inter-module physiological integration of colonial organisms can facilitate colony-wide coordinated responses to stimuli that strengthen colony fitness and stress resistance. In scleractinian corals, whose colonial integration ranges from isolated polyps to a seamless continuum of ...
Revisiting the Phylogeny of Zoanthidea (Cnidaria: Anthozoa): Staggered Alignment of Hypervariable Sequences Improves Species Tree Inference Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (2018)
The recent rapid proliferation of novel taxon identification in the Zoanthidea has been accompanied by a parallel propagation of gene trees as a tool of species discovery, but not a corresponding increase in our understanding ...
Bleaching Response of Coral Species in the Context of Assemblage Response Coral Reefs (2017)
Caribbean coral reefs are declining due to a mosaic of local and global stresses, including climate change-induced thermal stress. Species and assemblage responses differ due to factors that are not easily identifiable or quantifiable. We ...
Towards Integrative Systematics of Anthozoa (Cnidaria): Evolution of Form in the Order Zoanthidea Zoologica Scripta (2017)
A decade of research inferring evolutionary relationships from nucleotide sequences has demonstrated a fundamental misconception of the evolution of form in Zoanthidea. Morphological features that define current taxa are plesiomorphic or homoplastic and do not ...
Consensus Thermotolerance Ranking for 110 Symbiodinium Phylotypes: An Exemplar Utilization of a Novel Iterative Partial-Rank Aggregation Tool with Broad Application Potential Functional Ecology (2017)
Corals may reduce the effects of heat‐induced bleaching through associations with thermotolerant algal symbionts (Symbiodinium). Although hundreds of Symbiodinium genetic types (phylotypes) are known, thermotolerance has been systematically evaluated for small subsamples within individual reports, ...
Language Learning Under Classroom Conditions During the Transition to Hybrid Instruction: A Case-Study of Student Performance During the Implementation of Instructional Technology European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching (2017)
We examined the unmanipulated performance of students under real classroom conditions in order to assess the effect of a technology-enhanced hybrid learning approach to second language, (L2) instruction on beginning and advanced Spanish language learners. ...
Coral Bleaching Response Index: A New Tool to Standardize and Compare Susceptibility to Thermal Bleaching Global Change Biology (2016)
As coral bleaching events become more frequent and intense, our ability to predict and mitigate future events depends upon our capacity to interpret patterns within previous episodes. Responses to thermal stress vary among coral species; ...
Skeletal Light-Scattering Accelerates Bleaching Response in Reef-Building Corals BMC Ecology (2016)
Background At the forefront of ecosystems adversely affected by climate change, coral reefs are sensitive to anomalously high temperatures which disassociate (bleaching) photosynthetic symbionts (Symbiodinium) from coral hosts and cause increasingly frequent and severe mass ...
Evolution of Anthozoan Polyp Retraction Mechanisms: Convergent Functional Morphology and Evolutionary Allometry of the Marginal Musculature in Order Zoanthidea (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Hexacorallia) BMC Evolutionary Biology (2015)
Background Retraction is among the most important basic behaviors of anthozoan Cnidaria polyps and is achieved through the coordinated contraction of at least six different muscle groups. Across the Anthozoa, these muscles range from unrecognizable ...
Molecular Parataxonomy as Taxon Description: Examples from Recently Named Zoanthidea (Cnidaria: Anthozoa) with Revision Based on Serial Histology of Microanatomy. Zootaxa (2014)
Current taxonomic practices require corroboration from multiple lines of evidence to provide sufficient rigor for species discovery and description. However, many recently named taxa (species–families) are defined by nucleotide sequence with little or no description ...
Modulation of Light-Enhancement to Symbiotic Algae by Light-Scattering in Corals and Evolutionary Trends in Bleaching PLoS ONE (2013)
Calcium carbonate skeletons of scleractinian corals amplify light availability to their algal symbionts by diffuse scattering, optimizing photosynthetic energy acquisition. However, the mechanism of scattering and its role in coral evolution and dissolution of algal ...
Context-Dependent Effects of Symbiosis: Zoanthidea Colonization Generally Improves Demospongiae Condition in Native Habitats Marine Biology (2012)
In order to reconcile existing data and hypotheses on the relationship outcomes of Caribbean Zoanthidea-Demospongiae symbioses, the context-dependent survival and growth (metrics of host sponge condition) were monitored for 8–12 months, with and without Zoanthidean ...
Evolutionary Transitions in Symbioses: Dramatic Reductions in Bathymetric and Geographic Ranges of Zoanthidea Coincide with Loss of Symbioses with Invertebrates Molecular Ecology (2010)
Two fundamental symbiosis‐based trophic types are recognized among Zoanthidea (Cnidaria, Anthozoa): fixed carbon is either obtained directly from zooxanthellae photosymbionts or from environmental sources through feeding with the assistance of host‐invertebrate behaviour and structure. Each ...
Phylogeny‐Based Species Delimitations and the Evolution of Host Associations in Symbiotic Zoanthids (Anthozoa, Zoanthidea) of the Wider Caribbean Region Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society (2009)
Zoanthids are marine cnidarians with simple morphologies that challenge our ability to delineate species. Phylogenetic analyses of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences are consistent with six morphologically described species from the wider Caribbean region, and ...
Isozoanthus antumbrosus, a New Species of Zoanthid (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Zoanthidea) Symbiotic with Hydrozoa from the Caribbean, with a Key to Hydroid and Sponge-Symbiotic Zoanthid Species Zootaxa (2009)
Isozoanthus antumbrosus, a new species of zooxanthellate zoanthid, is described. Colonies associate with the arborescent hydroid Dentitheca dendritica in the Caribbean Sea at 1–60 m. The coenenchyme, column, and oral disk are seal brown. The ...
Diversity and Specificity of Caribbean Sponge–Zoanthid Symbioses: A Foundation for Understanding the Adaptive Significance of Symbioses and Generating Hypotheses About Higher‐Order Systematics Biological Journal of the Linnean Society (2007)
The diversity and specificity of symbiotic associations may be useful in revealing the underlying ecology of symbioses and evolutionary relationships of symbiotic species. Symbioses between coral reef sponges and zoanthids are widespread and common in ...
Structural rRNA Characters Support Monophyly of Raptorial Limbs and Paraphyly of Limb Specialization in Water Fleas Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2003)
The evolutionary success of arthropods has been attributed partly to the diversity of their limb morphologies. Large morphological diversity and increased specialization are observed in water flea (Cladocera) limbs, but it is unclear whether the ...
Skeletal Morphology and Material Properties of a Fragmenting Gorgonian Coral Marine Ecology Progress Series (2002)
Among species in which fragmentation is an important mode of asexual reproduction, mechanisms that facilitate fragmentation should be advantageous. The Caribbean gorgonian Plexaura kuna readily fragments on reefs of the San Blas Islands, Panama, to ...
Evolution of Host Associations in Symbiotic Zoanthidea Oceanography Faculty Theses and Dissertations (2010)
Symbioses are pervasive in life and confer novel adaptive capabilities that enable ecological expansion into unexplored niches. Evolutionary transitions in symbiosis (terminations, origins, host shifts, or changes in relationship outcomes) can therefore have dramatic effects ...