Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences

Document Type



Marine diseases are changing the landscapes of coral reefs particularly throughout the Western Atlantic. Stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD) swept through this region impacting at least 22 stony coral species. White plague (WP) is a more ephemeral disease, but still has a significant impact on coral reef health and perseverance, especially under a changing ocean. While these impacts are seen on the reef-scale, we can zoom into the tissue-level to identify disease markers for both diseases and identify their differences. This has ramifications for disease intervention, as well as mitigation strategies. Despite continuous disease outbreaks, healthy corals persist and could be the source of resilience. As the coral landscape changes around us, we can potentially find hope through coral reproduction. We investigated how gamete production changed across a depth gradient in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and believe some of these results point to a hopeful future reef landscape.



Committee Chair

Daniel M Holstein