Coral Microbial Ecology Laboratory


The coral microbial ecology group has an active research program identifying and characterizing the microbial associates of both tropical and cold-water (deep-sea) corals and their surrounding habitat. Current projects focus on coral disease dynamics, bacterial diversity, and using metagenomics to elucidate the functional roles of coral microbes.


Date published: November 4, 2020

USGS Researchers Conduct Collaborative Experiment to Identify Causative Agent of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD)

SPCMSC Research scientists Christina Kellogg and James Evans are working with Valerie Paul, director of the Smithsonian Marine Station in Ft. Pierce, Florida, to conduct an experiment to determine if SCTLD is caused by a pathogenic microbe and if so, which kind. 

Date published: October 30, 2020

SPCMSC Researcher is first international guest interviewed on Australian ocean podcast series

Dr. Christina Kellogg (SPCMSC Research Microbiologist) was interviewed about her deep-sea research for a new episode of the podcast The Deep Blue: On My Doorstep. Kellogg’s episode kicks off the second series of this new podcast that debuted during Australia’s National Science Week in August 2020. 

Date published: July 15, 2020

SPCMSC award-winner convenes online coral disease session as part of ASM Microbe Online

Christina Kellogg (SPCMSC Research Microbiologist), in her capacity as the 2020 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Service Award Winner, organized and will moderate a session titled “On the Front Lines of Coral Disease” on July 28, 2020 (2:00-3:00pm Eastern Time). Christina's session is part of the Summer of Science programming for ASM Microbe Online. 


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Year Published: 2019

Physicochemical controls on zones of higher coral stress where Black Band Disease occurs at Mākua Reef, Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi

Pervasive and sustained coral diseases contribute to the systemic degradation of reef ecosystems, however, to date an understanding of the physicochemical controls on a coral disease event is still largely lacking. Water circulation and residence times and submarine groundwater discharge all determine the degree to which reef organisms are exposed...

Oberle, Ferdinand; Storlazzi, Curt D.; Cheriton, Olivia; Takesue, Renee K.; Hoover, Daniel J.; Logan, Joshua B.; Runyon, Christina M.; Kellogg, Christina A.; Johnson, Cordell; Swarzenski, Peter W.

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Year Published: 2019

Microbiomes of stony and soft deep-sea corals share rare core bacteria

Background: Numerous studies have shown that bacteria form stable associations with host corals and have focused on identifying conserved “core microbiomes” of bacterial associates inferred to be serving key roles in the coral holobiont. Because studies tend to focus on only stony corals (order Scleractinia) or soft corals (order Alcyonacea), it...

Kellogg, Christina A.

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Year Published: 2019

Microbial associations of four species of algal symbiont-bearing Foraminifers from the Florida Reef Tract, USA

While microbiome research is a rapidly expanding field of study, relatively little is known of the microbiomes associated with Foraminifera. This preliminary study investigated microbes associated with four species of Foraminifera, representing two taxonomic orders, which host three kinds of algal endosymbionts. A major objective was to explore...

Martin, Makenna M.; Kellogg, Christina A.; Hallock, Pamela