Marilyn E Brandt




St. Thomas


College of Science and Mathematics

Area: Coral reef ecology, marine disease dynamics

Abstract of Research: The long-term goal of my research is to link local and regional stressors to the processes that structure complex coral communities and understand how these translate to ecosystem functioning. To accomplish this goal, my research combines field-based ecological studies with advanced analytical techniques. This research includes conducting intensive field studies specifically targeted towards quantifying coral susceptibility and resistance to mortality-causing stressors, with a particular emphasis on the risk factors involved in coral disease incidence, severity and spread. I then use the results of these studies and data from established monitoring programs to parameterize empirically-based modeling tools used to understand how colony-level characteristics (e.g., growth rates) and impacts (e.g., mortality due to disease) translate to ecosystem-level dynamics, with the intent of identifying specific properties that maintain resilience in diverse coral communities.

Related Publications:

  • Brandt ME and JW McManus (2009) Dynamics and impact of the coral disease white plague: insights from a simulation model. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 87: 117-133.
  • Brandt ME and JW McManus (2009) Disease incidence is related to bleaching extent in reef-building corals. Ecology 90 (10): 2859-2867.
  • Brandt ME (2009) The effect of species and colony size on the bleaching response of reef-building corals in the Florida Keys during the 2005 mass bleaching event. Coral Reefs 28: 911-924.
  • Correa A, Brandt ME, Smith TB, Thornhill D, and AC Baker (2009) Symbiodinium associations with diseased and healthy scleractinian corals. Coral Reefs 28(2): 437-448.
  • Manzello DP, Brandt ME, Smith TB, Lirman D, and R Nemeth (2007) Hurricanes benefit bleached corals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104(29): 12035-12039.
  • Brandt ME, Peters EC, and C. Quirolo (2007) Unusual lesions and growth anomalies encountered in Acropora palmata from two sites in the tropical western Atlantic. Reef Encounters 34: 30-32.
  • Riegl B, Manfrino C, Hermoyan C, Brandt ME, and K. Hoshino (2003) Assessment of the coral reefs of the Turks and Caicos Islands (Part 1: stony corals and algae). Atoll Research Bulletin 496: 460-479.
  • Hoshino K, Brandt ME, Manfrino C, Riegl B, and SCC Steiner (2003) Assessment of the coral reefs of the Turks and Caicos Islands (Part 2: fish communities). Atoll Research Bulletin 496: 480-499.