Amy Apprill

Assistant Scientist


[Gallery Photo]

Matthew Neave, Postdoctoral Fellow

2012 - Present: Postdoctoral Fellow, Joint appointment between KAUST (Chris Voolstra laboratory) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Ph.D., Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia, 2011.
B.Sc. (Hons), Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia, 2007.
B.Sc., Deakin University, Warrnambool, Australia, 2006.

Matt is a joint postdoctoral fellow with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, MA, USA, and the Red Sea Research Centre here at KAUST. His research involves using genomic sequencing, microscopy techniques and metabolomic profiling to understand the functional role of the symbiotic bacterial genus Endozoicomonas. These bacteria have been associated with soft and hard corals from the Mediterranean and Red Seas and reef-building corals from the Caribbean and Indo-Pacific. Understanding these associations will provide information about the ecology of the hosts and how host-microbial complexes respond to environmental change.

Carolyn Miller, Post-doctoral Scholar

Position: 2013 - present, Post-doctoral Scholar (also working with Mark Baumgartner and Ben Van Mooy)

Ph.D., Boston University, Biology, 2006.
B.S., Wellesley College, Biological Sciences with Africana Studies, 1994.

Carolyn is in interested in the role of microbial communities in the health of marine mammals.  She is currently researching the gut microbiome of the Bowheaded whale.  She seeks to understand the biogeography of their gut, and the role of microbes in helping maintain the fat reserves that are needed for theirmigration, reproduction and during periods of limited prey availability.

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Laura Weber, MIT-WHOI Graduate Student

B.S., University of Maryland, 2012.

Laura has been a Research Assistant in the lab, and is joining the the MIT-WHOI Joint Graduate School Program in Oceanography in June, 2014.  Laura is interested in coral-associated microorgansims, and especially the role of the mucus layer in attracting microbes to corals.  When Laura isn’t reading research articles or centrifuging samples, she plays the violin/ viola, sings, cooks, bakes, hikes, sketches, volunteers at the National Aquarium in Baltimore as an exhibit guide, and scuba-dives.

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Sean McNally, Guest Investigator

B.S., University of Rhode Island, 2013

Sean has spent the past summer at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) on a BIOS/WHOI collaborative study with Rachel Parsons.  Sean seeks to develop a quantitative understanding of the relationship between coral colonies and microbial communities within the overlying water, coral mucus, and coral tissues.

Liping Xun, Research Assistant III

M.S., Bridgewater state University, 2004

M.S., Xiamen University, 1989

B.S., Xiamen University, 1986


Liping is a research assistant III in the lab.  She is interested in studying the microbial communities associated with healthy corals.  She specifically studies how the bacteria community is structured, and how they live together and how the location of the cells in relation to the coral tissue.  She is working on identifying bacteria with specific DNA HRP-labelled probe using Catalysed Reported Deposition-Fluorescence in Situ Hybridization (CARD-FISH).  She likes to use combinatorial imaging techniques to study bacteria communities with a laser scanning confocal spectral microscope.

Rita Rachmawati, Guest Student

Rita is a PhD student at the University of California, Los Angeles interested in the impact of coral bleaching on the mirobiome.

KC Bierlich, Guest Student

B.S., Biology, Sonoma State University, 2014. 

Second year masters student in Coastal Environmental Management at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. I am interested in the impacts of anthropogenic stressors on marine animals. I am interested in combining behavior, physiology, and the microbiome as tools for assessing the health of marine animals in order to develop better management and conservations efforts for vulnerable and threatened species. 

Former members

Luci Kelemen, High School Student, 2015

Evan Denmark, MIT UROP/WHOI Guest Undergraduate Student, 2014-2015

Catarina Brighi, WHOI Summer Student Undergraduate Fellow 2014

Lauren Goodwin, WHOI Summer Guest Undergraduate Student, 2013

Last updated: August 11, 2015