ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Quantitative Biology



First Advisor

Laura Mydlarz


Disease and temperature are primary threats to coral persistence, and these stresses can work synergistically to accelerate coral declines. In the face of climate change, understanding the effects of these stresses is key to understanding ecosystem services of future reefs. Corals are an amalgam of the coral animal, an intracellular dinoflagellate symbiont (family Symbiodiniaceae), and a consortium of other symbiotic microbes that exist in the coral surface mucus layer. As such, it is important to consider the role of each component. It is also important to view any coral study through the lens of immunity, as the existence of these symbionts ultimately occurs through the allowance of the coral host immune system. These works examine stress responses through this lens at three levels: 1) the intracellular symbiont; 2) the coral animal; and 3) the coral reef population. I use proteogenomic and biochemical techniques to assess the molecular processes at play during temperature and disease stresses. I show that responses to temperature overlap with, but are not the same as, disease responses, providing support for the specificity that can be achieved by the innate invertebrate immune system. These works provide the first cell-surface proteome for a Symbiodiniaceae species and the first analysis of a coral immune response to consecutive bleaching seasons. Finally, they further the use of proteomics in the coral field, as the use of these techniques are still in its infancy. As such, they provide a framework for proteomic analysis within a non-model system


Coral reef, Stress responses, Symbiosis, Proteomics


Biology | Life Sciences


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

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