Dr. Erinn Muller is a Senior Scientist at Mote Marine Laboratory and manages both the Coral Health & Disease and Coral Restoration Programs. Dr. Muller's research focuses on identifying corals that are resilient to major threats such as climate change and coral disease to help inform Mote’s coral restoration activities. Additionally, her foundational research characterizes the spatial and temporal dynamics of coral disease outbreaks, while simultaneously studying the microbiome of healthy and sick corals to identify potentially pathogenic agents as well as beneficial microbes. For the last several years, much of her research has been associated with stony coral tissue loss disease, the most devastating coral epizootic ever documented. As such, Dr. Muller and her team have also worked with collaborators at Ocean Alchemists to develop therapies to treat several different types of coral diseases including a non-antibiotic based treatment for stony coral tissue loss disease.
Dr. Muller has studied coral health and disease for over 18 years, traveling all over the world including the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Florida Keys and Saudi Arabia. Dr. Muller's goal in her studies is to determine how coral health and disease change under climate change and ocean acidification conditions, by applying a comprehensive approach that spans from understanding shifts in microbial assemblages of corals, to applying hierarchical spatial and temporal models to understand the drivers causing coral-disease outbreaks. She has over 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals, been a mentor for over 50 undergraduate interns, and helped co-create a research-based after school program for high school students in the Florida Keys and U.S. Virgin Islands.
Dr. Muller’s research is funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Park Service, NOAA, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and through philanthropy. She received the prestigious Young Scientist of the Year Award from the International Coral Reef Society in 2015; only one recipient is recognized worldwide each year. In 2019, Dr. Muller received the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). This award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government to outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology.
In addition to her career, Dr. Muller’s family, which consists of her husband (Monty), two children (Cedar: 7 yo, Sawyer: 3 yo), two dogs, a hamster, and two pigs, keep her busy 24/7. Dr. Muller loves to engage in outdoor activities with her family including exploring new locations near and far from home.
Presentation: Wednesday, October 19th