My research revolves around biodiversity, symbiosis, disease dynamics, and declining health of coastal zones. I focus on systems interactions, using mostly molecular approaches to assess both microbial and macro-organisms within an ecosystem.

Currently, I am working with the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON), a BOEM-, NASA-, and NOAA-funded project aimed at improving methods to assess biodiversity and health of marine environments. Our team is working with MBARI and the University of South Florida to optimize molecular tools to measure both micro- and macro-organismal diversity in the Florida Keys, Flower Garden Banks, and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries.

I collaborated with Professors Carolyn Friedman and Colleen Burge on the health of native and aquacultured mollusks as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle and the Institute for Marine and Environmental Technology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

My doctoral research focused on the health of coral reefs, mainly examining the transcriptomic response of corals to various common diseases in the Caribbean and the microbial interactions as a result of disease.

Google Scholar Profile

Anni Djurhuus, Collin J. Closek, Jesse Port, Hilary Starks, Kevan Yamahara, Ofelia Romero, Kristine Walz, Dawn Goldsmith, Reiko Michisaki, Mya Breitbart, Alexandria A. Boehm, Francisco P. Chavez (2017). Standardizing filter type and extraction method for marine biodiversity monitoring using environmental DNA. Frontiers in Marine Science, doi: 10.3389/fmars.2017.00314

Ryan P. Kelly, Collin J. Closek, James L. O’Donnell, James E. Kralj, Andrew O. Shelton, Jameal F. Samhouri (2017). Genetic and Manual Survey Methods Yield Different and Complementary Views of an Ecosystem. Frontiers in Marine Science, 3:283

Colleen A. Burge=, Collin J. Closek=, Carolyn S. Friedman=, Maya L. Groner=, Cody M. Jenkins=, Amanda Shore-Maggio=, Jennifer E. Welsh= (2016). The Use of Filter-feeders to Manage Disease in a Changing World. Integrative & Comparative Biology, doi: 10.1093/icb/icw048.

Lauren E. Fuess=, Morgan E. Eisenlord=, Collin J. Closek=, Allison Tracy=, Ruth Mauntz=, Sarah Gignoux-Wolfsohn=, Monica M. Moritsch=, Reyn Yoshioka=, Colleen A. Burge, C. Drew Harvell, Carolyn S. Friedman, Ian Hewson, Paul K. Hershberger, Steven B. Roberts (2015). Up in Arms: Immune and Nervous System Response to Sea Star Wasting Disease. PLoS One, 10(7), e0133053.

Janelle R. Thompson, Hanny E. Rivera, Collin J. Closek, Mónica Medina. Microbes in the coral holobiont: partners through evolution, development, and ecological interactions. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology 4: 176 (2014).

Collin J. Closek, Shinichi Sunawaga, Michael K. DeSalvo, Todd Z. DeSantis, Yvette M. Piceno, Eoin L. Brodie, Michele X. Weber, Christian R. Voolstra, Gary L. Andersen and Mónica Medina. Coral transcriptome and bacterial community reveal distinct Yellow Band Disease states in Orbicella faveolata. The ISME Journal 8, 2411–2422 (2014).

=: contributed equally as co-first authors


Contact: closek [at]

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