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Dr. Kellogg provided background about her research on coral diseases and deep-sea corals, and why understanding the microbiology of corals is important for sustaining reef ecosystems.   

A brain coral infected with Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease
A brain coral infected with Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary in April 2018.

On June 8, 2022 Dr. Kellogg was interviewed and quoted by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) in their newsletter Microcosm, which is available to ASM members and was also quoted in an article available to the public titled, “A Community Approach to Coral Conservation.” Dr. Kellogg stressed that the propagation of coral diseases can threaten entire reefs, which can have devastating effects for marine ecosystems, as well as lives and property. Coral reefs not only support marine biodiversity, but also serve as the first line of protection from strong waves and storms for coastal communities. Better understanding the baseline microbial communities on coral reefs can help to determine which microbes may cause disease when they come along—a critical first step in determining disease treatment and prevention measures. The article stresses the importance of both the symbiotic relationships of corals, but also the partnerships between organizations—like federal agencies and universities—working together to understand and solve these environmental problems. 

Dr. Kellogg leads the coral microbial ecology laboratory at the U.S. Geological Survey St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, where she studies the microbiomes and environments of tropical and cold-water corals. Some of her most recent work includes developing methods investigate waterborne coral diseases and working with partners at the Smithsonian to identify the causative agent of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD)

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