Applying molecular techniques and microbiology methods to study marine microbes, particularly the microbial ecology of tropical and deep-sea corals.
Dr. Kellogg grew up on a charter boat in the U.S. Virgin Islands with the Caribbean Sea as her backyard, so it was no wonder she pursued a career in marine biology. Chris is an environmental microbiologist who applies molecular techniques to characterize and identify microbial communities. After receiving her bachelors of science degree in biology from Georgetown University, Chris pursued a Ph.D. in marine microbiology from the University of South Florida, working on the genetic diversity of environmental viruses. This was followed by postdoctoral research on an NIH-funded fellowship to identify novel drug targets in pathogenic fungi and an internship at Human Genome Sciences. Dr. Kellogg joined the U.S. Geological Survey as a Mendenhall Fellow, characterizing the microbial communities in aerosolized African desert dust, beach sediments, seagrass beds and coral reefs. Currently, she leads an environmental microbiology laboratory at the U.S. Geological Survey specializing in coral microbial ecology. Her research on tropical corals has taken her to the Florida Keys, Caribbean, Hawaii, and American Samoa, leading her friends to say that she specializes in ‘resort microbiology.’ Chris has been working in deepwater coral ecosystems since 2004 and considers herself extremely lucky to have had the privilege of visiting them personally using the Delta and Johnson-Sea-Link submersibles. She has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed papers as well as a number of book chapters and has given invited keynote talks on both her aerosol microbiology and deep-sea coral microbial work. Chris served as a judge for the $2 million dollar Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE competition in 2015 and is currently judging the $7 million dollar Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE. She was elected to the Council Policy Committee (de facto executive board) of the American Society for Microbiology (2012–2016), playing an active role in revamping the communication and governance structures of the organization. Chris is active in shaping the direction of microbiome research in the U.S., having represented DOI on the Federal Microbiome Interagency Working Group and being a part of the National Microbiome Data Collaborative.
Microbial diversity, microbial ecology, long-distance transport of microbes, biogeography, bioprospecting, symbiosis