Amy Apprill

Assistant Scientist

Amy Apprill

Assistant Scientist

Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry

Contact Information
Work: 508 289 2649
Fax: 508-457-2164
Building: Fye 116

Mailing Address:
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
266 Woods Hole Road, Mailstop 4
Woods Hole, MA 02543


2009 - Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography - University of Hawaii at Manoa
2004 - M.S. in Biological Oceanography - University of Hawaii at Manoa
2001 - B.A. in Marine Science, Biology - University of San Diego

Microbial Ecology for Ocean Conservation

I am a marine microbial ecologist, and my research addresses questions that focus on the contribution of microorganisms to the health and ecology of marine animals that are targets for conservation efforts. I am also interested in how these animal-associated microbes reflect the climate and anthropogenic-induced alterations occurring in their surrounding marine environment.  My current research uses a combination of field measurements and observations and laboratory experiments and relies on diverse methodology (cultivation, genomic, metagenomic and bioinformatic) to examine the microbiomes of reef-building corals and marine mammals.


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November, 2015: Help us crowd fund whale microbiome research:

September, 2015: We have launched the 'Coral Microbiome Portal'.  Thank you to undergraduate Evan Denmark for all of his hard work on this project. Check it out!

July, 2015: We had a very successful collection of humpback whale respiratory blow using a remotely operated drone!  Read our press release and feature in Science magazine.

June, 2015: Learn a bit about our research in Cuba on NPR's Living Lab on the Point show.

May, 2015: We just returned from our second cruise to study the microbiology of the Cuban coral reefs in the Gulf of Batabano.  Our work was recently highlighted in Science magazine.

March, 2015: Amy contribued to a new review paper on the Marine Mammal Microbiome.

February, 2015: We conducted our first collaborative research cruise to study the microbiology of the Cuban coral reefs in collaboration with scientists from the University of Havana, University of Maryland and Cuban Marine Research and Conservation Program of the Ocean Foundation.

October, 2014: Our lab is participating in a study of the massive coral bleaching event hitting the Hawaiian Islands.  Read more about this research on our blog.

September, 2014: Amy traveled to Cuba to begin discussions about cruises to study the coral reefs surrounding the coast of the island.  

August, 2014: WHOI-KAUST joint post-doc Matt Neave publishes whole genome sequences of three symbiotic Endozoicomonas bacteria, which commonly associate with corals.

May 2014: We co-authored a large scale health survey of Fungiidae corals in the eastern Red Sea, which linked incidences of lesioned corals to seawater temperature and coastal pollution.

April, 2014: Evan Kovacs & Chad Smith published an article about our 2012 cruise to Micronesia in Diver magazine (Vol. 39, #3).

March, 2014: We recently published a paper on the humpback whale skin microbiome that was featured in a WHOI press release as well as a Smithsonian Ocean Portal blog

February 2014: Matthew Neave, Sean McNally, Laura Weber and Amy Apprill all presented papers in a 'Coral Microbiology' session at the ASLO Ocean Sciences meeting in Honolulu, HI. 

January 2014: We are enjoying the new Korallion Lab located on the coral reefs in the Maldives on a sampling trip with colleague Chris Voolstra (KAUST) and WHOI colleagues Konrad Hughen and Justin Ossolinski.  An unforgettable experience!!

November 2013: Our lab joins KAUST reseracher Chris Voolstra on sampling trips to Western Australia (Ningaloo), Eastern Australia and American Samoa.  Thanks to our many colleagues who helped our collection efforts!

April 2013: The MOTE Tropical Marine Laboratory in Summerland Key, FL graciously hosted our lab for field collection efforts on a new NSF funded project to study the microbial symbionts of corals.

November 2012: Read about our recent adventures and research in Micronesia on our blog:

Last updated: November 2, 2015