My research revolves around biodiversity, the increased impacts to the world ocean, and declining health of coastal zones. My approach focuses 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

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. Up in Arms: Immune and Nervous System Response To Sea Star Wasting Disease. PLOS One (2015)

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).


Contact: closek [at]

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