Have you ever been in a bath tub and just felt that the water was too hot? If this happened, you would either make the water cooler or just get out of the bath tub. Well now imagine you can't leave the tub. You are stuck. What would happen? We could guess that you would be very uncomfortable and would be in a lot of pain. This is the type of scenario that many marine animals, especially corals, have to deal with everyday. Coral reefs can not move away from stressors in their environment, so they must have a way to deal with this. I study how coral reefs do this by using scientific tools including: genomics, cell biology and molecular biology.
Corals are complex, beautiful animals that harbor symbiotic algae. Sometimes called, "the rainforests of the ocean," they provide shelter and food for other ocean organisms. They protect coastlines, and provide economic revenue and food for coastal communities. Despite this known value, they are endangered in many parts of the world and they need our help!
My name is Nikki and I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University and will be starting a laboratory at University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (RSMAS) in 2016. I am interested in understanding how cell biology, evolution and genetics can inform coral reef conservation. For more about my research please see my Research page.
My passion for marine biology and science began when I was a 9 year old and saw my first tide pool in Mexico. Since that time I have wanted to study marine science. In college I was introduced to the biology of corals, and began to really understand and love cell biology. Since that time I have been pursuing my interests in coral stress, resilience, immunity and wound healing.