You are here

Shelby Boyer

Shelby analyzing coral data


MS - Marine Science - California State University Monterey Bay at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories

BS - Integrated Biology - University of Florida; Minor - Spanish



Description of Project:

I am interested in the evolution of symbiosis. For my master's thesis I examined the role of coral and anemone hosts in regulating their endosymbiotic algal partners. I used genetic techniques such as Quantitative PCR to examine how the diversity and relative abundance of this endosymbiotic assemblage changes in a changing environment.


Research Experience:

Teaching Assistant, Teacher Enhancement Program April 2008 - Present
Help to organize and teach a professional development program that prepares middle school and high school science teachers to use the latest biotechnology and bioinformatics techniques to investigate a local marine phenomenon, non-native mussels.

Field Research Assistant, Moorea, French Polynesia February-August 2007
I worked with a Ph.D candidate to run a series of experiments both in the field and in the lab to isolate the effects of algal growth on massive and branching coral in the presence of a territorial farmer fish.

Senior Honors Thesis, University of Florida, Gainesville May – December 2006
I designed and executed a field experiment to examine the effects of the fish anesthetic eugenol (clove oil) on coral growth, mortality and zooxanthellae density of three species of corals. I quantified the impact of eugenol on coral growth and tissue degradation.

Research Assistant, UF Zoology Department, Gainesville, FL January–May 2006
I analyzed digital photos of coral fragments from inside and outside of Stegastes nigricans territories to quantify the magnitude of predation and degree of overgrowth by algae.

Volunteer Lab Assistant, Florida Museum of Natural History (Ichthyology) Fall 2003
As a part of the Pacific Shark Reaseach program, I assisted in a study of the age and growth of sharks.



Boyer SE, White JS, Stier AC and Osenberg CW. (2009) Effects of the fish anesthetic, clove oil (eugenol), on coral health and growth. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 369:53-57.

McKeon C, Stier AC, Boyer SE (in prep.) Habitat defense by coral symbionts in response to predation by sea stars.

White JS, Boyer SE, Delval A. (in prep.) Coral-algal competition mediated by an ecosystem engineer.