Coral Researcher Loretta Roberson Joins MBL

WOODS HOLE – Loretta Roberson has been appointed to the position of Associate Scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL).

Roberson’s research aims to better understand coral bleaching and growth by studying the gene activity of Caribbean coral.

She comes to the MBL from the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), where she was Director of the Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainability and Director of the Puerto Rico Center for Environmental Neuroscience.

Roberson’s recruitment is part of an investment by the MBL in a new strategic focus on marine organismal biology and discovery, including development of new model organisms to advance fundamental biology and biomedical research, as well as educational initiatives.

Roberson hopes to develop a coral model organism endeavor at the MBL.

Her research interests include physiology, ecology, and evolution of eel grass and coral reef communities; and the ecology and evolution of RNA editing in eel grass and algae.

In Woods Hole, Roberson is growing Porites in the MBL’s Marine Resources Center along with a common shallow-water coral species that ranges from Cape Cod, Mass., to the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean.

Roberson received her Ph.D. in marine biomechanics from Stanford University. 

Prior to her current appointment, she was a MBL Fellow and MBL Whitman Scientist.

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