Department of Geology College of Arts and Sciences Ecology and Evolution Research Group
Ecology and Evolution Faculty

Name Dr. Mary Alice Coffroth

447 Hochstetter Hall
email website

PhD, Biological Oceanography, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Miami (year?)

Specialties and Interests: Evolutionary biology and Ecology; Population biology of marine invertebrates

Courses Offered

GLY 409 - Advance Ecology
GLY 411/511 - Marine Ecology
GLY 310 - Ecological Methods
GLY 412/512 - Field Course in Tropical Marine Ecology
GLY XXX - Colloquium in Evolution, Ecology and Behavior
GLY 462/562 - Advanced Environmental Geochemistry
GLY 568 - Environmental Organic Geochemistry
GLY 499 - Independent Study
GLY 526 - Geology for Graduate Students
GLY 599 - Supervised Teaching
GLY 633 - Graduate Research
GLY 700 - Thesis Guidance

Research Interests

My research interests are centered on using the population structure and genetic diversity of marine species to provide insight into their current and past population dynamics and to elucidate the mechanisms that maintain the observed diversity. My current research examines the population dynamics and early ontogeny of the symbioses between the dinoflagellate Symbiodinium spp . and cnidarian hosts such as coral. Gaining a better understanding of host-symbiont relationships in coral reef ecosystems will have implications for atmospheric and ocean sciences, conservation biology and the study and diagnosis of microbial diseases in corals.

Current Students

  • Shelby Boyer - PhD - research area

  • Noel Leigh - MS - research area

  • Rachel Mellas - MS - Fitness effects and symbiont type in Cassiopea xamachana

  • Postdocs

  • Dr. Anke Klueter - PhD - research focus

  • Recent Publications

    Hannes AR, Barbeitos M, and Coffroth MA. Temporal stability in symbiotic dinoflagellate diversity in the octocoral Briareum asbestinum Mar Ecol Prog Ser 391: 65-72 (2009)

    Kirk, NL, Andras, JP, Harvell, CD, Santos, SR, Coffroth, MA. Population structure of Symbiodinium associated with the common sea fan, Gorgonia ventalina , in the Florida Keys across distance, depth, and time. Marine Biology 156:1608-1623 DOI 10.1007/s00227-009-1196-z (2009)

    Voolstra, C, Schwarz, J, Schnetzer, J. Sunagawa, S., DeSalvo, M. Szmant, A., Coffroth, M.A., Medina, M. The host transcriptome remains unaltered during the establishment of coral-algal symbiosis Molecular Ecology 18: 1823-1833 doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04167.x (2009)

    Botsford L.W , White J.W., Coffroth M.A., Paris C.B., Planes S., Shearer T.L., Thorrold S.R., Jones, G.P. Connectivity and resilience of coral reef metapopulations in marine protective areas: matching empirical efforts to predictive needs. Coral Reefs 28:327-337 DOI 10.1007/s00338-009-0466-z (2009)

    Andras JP, Kirk NL, Coffroth MA, Harvell CD Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci in Symbiodinium B1/B184, the dinoflagellate symbiont of the Caribbean sea fan coral, Gorgonia ventalina Molecular Ecology Resources 9:989-993 (2009)

    Voolstra CR, Sunagawa S, Schwarz JA, Coffroth MA, Yellowless, D, Leggat W, Medina M. Evolutionary analysis of orthologous cDNA sequences from cultured and symbiotic dinoflagellate symbionts of reef-building corals (Dinophyceae: Symbiodinium ) Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology part D: Genomics and Proteomics 4:67-74 (2009)

    DeSalvo MK, Voolstra CR, Sunagawa S, Schwarz JA, Stillman JH, Coffroth MA , Szmant AM, Medina M. Differential gene expression during thermal stress and bleaching in the Caribbean coral Montastraea faveolata Molecular Ecology 17:3952-3971 (2008)

    van Oppen ,M.J.H., Baker, A.C., Coffroth, MA , Willis, B.L. Bleaching resistance and the role of algal endosymbionts . In: Coral Bleaching: Patterns, Processes, Causes and Consequences eds; J. Loudh and M. van Oppen. Springer Ecological Series. (2008)

    Schwarz, J.A., Brokstein, P., Voolstra, C., Terry, A.Y., Miller, D.J., Szmant, A.M., Coffroth, M.A., Medina, M. Coral Life History and Symbiosis: functional genomic resources for two reef building Caribbean corals, Acropora palmata and Montastrea faveolata BMC Genomics 9:97 (2008)

    Shearer, T.L. and Coffroth, MA Barcoding corals: limited by interspecific divergence, not intraspecific variation Molecular Ecology Notes 8:247-255 (2008)

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