Kelsey Beavers

Mydlarz Cnidarian Immunity Lab


A Little About Me

I am a Ph.D. student researching cnidarian immunity and disease. My passion for coral began at age 11 when I went scuba diving for the first time off the coast of Mexico with my family. I was blown away by the abundance and diversity of life harbored by these ecosystems. Sadly, when we returned to that same site a few years later, the entire reef had disappeared due to a massive bleaching event. I decided soon thereafter to pursue a career in marine biology and conservation. 

Now I am studying the most recent Caribbean coral disease outbreak-

 Scleractinian Coral Tissue Loss Disease. 

With coral disease prevalence and widespread bleaching events being exacerbated due to global climate change, it is my personal goal to further our knowledge of these fragile ecosystems to better protect them from extinction. 


My Research

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Differential Gene Expression

There is currently no published research on the gene expression patterns of corals infected with Scleractinian Coral Tissue Loss Disease. I have extracted RNA from healthy and diseased corals and am now comparing their differential gene expression to understand how different corals respond to this disease.

Coral Mucus Composition

I am very interested in the constituents of the coral surface mucus layer (SML), especially the high molecular weight glycoproteins (mucins) that make up the majority of the SML. I have collected mucus from healthy and diseased corals and am exploring the possibility that different mucin constituents may explain the variation in disease susceptibility between coral species


Contact Me

Thanks for your interest in my research! Get in touch with any questions or comments you have.

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