Ilsa B Kuffner, Ph.D.


As a research marine biologist for the Coastal and Marine Geology Program, I investigate the causes and effects of coral reef degradation. I explore local- to global-scale stressors on reefs, and experimentally determine how environmental variables such as sea-surface temperature, water quality, seawater chemistry, nuisance macroalgae, and ocean acidification affect coral growth, the community structure of reefs, and the process of reef building. My work informs resource managers about the mechanisms causing reef degradation and how management efforts may be improved to protect and restore degraded reefs. Please visit the USGS Coral Reef Ecosystems Studies (CREST) website for more information (see link below).


Doctor of Philosophy, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Zoology, Ph.D. Chair: Paul L. Jokiel, 1999
Bachelor of ArtsUniversity of New Hampshire, Department of Zoology, Minor: Marine Biology, 1993

Professional Experience:

Research Marine Biologist, US Geological Survey, St. Petersburg Coastal & Marine Geology Science Center, 2002 to present
Faculty, School for Field Studies, Center for Marine Resource Studies, Turks & Caicos Islands, 2001 to 2002
Director, Forfar Field Station, Andros Island, Bahamas, 2000 to 2001
Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Guam Marine Laboratory, Post-doc advisor: Valerie J. Paul, 1999 to 2000