- Assistant Scientist
Michael Studivan is a principal investigator at CIMAS and UM lead of the Experimental Reef Laboratory. His research involves the use of advanced molecular techniques to better understand coral physiology and adaptation, as well as genetic connectivity of coral ecosystems in marginal environments. He aims to identify molecular mechanisms at the individual level that may affect population-wide ecosystem processes in variable environments, particularly in light of recent coral disease outbreaks on the Florida Reef Tract and wider Caribbean. He completed his graduate degrees and postdoctoral fellowship at Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. Studivan's dissertation research addressed mesophotic coral ecosystem connectivity and mesophotic coral morphology/physiology using genotyping, skeletal morphometrics, and gene expression profiling with Montastraea cavernosa from the Gulf of Mexico (Flower Garden Banks and Pulley Ridge) and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (Carrie Bow Cay, Belize). For his postdoctoral research, he characterized the response of corals to stony coral tissue loss disease and intervention strategies using RNA-Seq gene expression profiling and 3D modeling.