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Department of Invertebrate Zoology

image of Dr. Nancy Knowlton


Nancy KnowltonSant Chair for Marine Science

Full Publications:
Pearman, J. K., Leray, M., Villalobos, R., Machida, R. J., Berumen, M. L., Knowlton, N. and Carvalho, S. 2018. Cross-shelf investigation of coral reef cryptic benthic organisms reveals diversity patterns of the hidden majority. Scientific Reports, 8: 8090 doi:10.1038/s41598-018-26332-5

Knowlton, Nancy 2018. How rats wreak havoc on coral reefs. Nature, 559(7713): 190-191. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-05355-y

Neal, Benjamin Paul, Khen, Adi, Treibitz, Tali, Beijbom, Oscar, O'Connor, Grace, Coffroth, Mary Alice, Knowlton, Nancy, Kriegman, David, Mitchell, B. G. and Kline, David I. 2017. Caribbean massive corals not recovering from repeated thermal stress events during 2005-2013. Ecology and Evolution, 7(5): 1339-1353. doi:10.1002/ece3.2706

Webster, Michael S., Colton, Madhavi A., Darling, Emily S., Armstrong, Jonathan, Pinsky, Malin L., Knowlton, Nancy and Schindler, Daniel E. 2017. Who Should Pick the Winners of Climate Change?. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 32(3): 167-173. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2016.12.007

Altieri, Andrew H., Harrison, Seamus B., Seemann, Janina, Collin, Rachel, Diaz, Robert J. and Knowlton, Nancy 2017. Tropical dead zones and mass mortalities on coral reefs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114(14): 3660-3665. doi:10.1073/pnas.1621517114

Machida, Ryuji J., Leray, Matthieu, Ho, Shian-Lei and Knowlton, Nancy 2017. Metazoan mitochondrial gene sequence reference datasets for taxonomic assignment of environmental samples. Scientific Data, 4 doi:10.1038/sdata.2017.27

Balmford, Andrew and Knowlton, Nancy 2017. Why Earth Optimism?. Science, 356(6335): 225 doi:10.1126/science.aan4082

Rouzé, H., Leray, Matthieu, Magalon, H., Penin, L., Gélin, P., Knowlton, Nancy and Fauvelot, C. 2017. Molecular characterization reveals the complexity of previously overlooked coral-exosymbiont interactions and the implications for coral-guild ecology. Scientific Reports, 7 doi:10.1038/srep44923

Krupnick, Gary A. and Knowlton, Nancy 2017. Earth Optimism: Success Stories in Plant Conservation. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 102(2): 331-340. doi:10.3417/D-16-00010A

Brandl, Simon J., Casey, Jordan M., Knowlton, Nancy and Duffy, James Emmett 2017. Marine dock pilings foster diverse, native cryptobenthic fish assemblages across bioregions. Ecology and Evolution, 7(17): 7069-7079. doi:10.1002/ece3.3288

Hartmann, Aaron C., Baird, Andrew H., Knowlton, Nancy and Huang, Danwei 2017. The Paradox of Environmental Symbiont Acquisition in Obligate Mutualisms. Current Biology, 27(23): 3711-3716. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2017.10.036

Leray, Matthieu and Knowlton, Nancy 2016. Censusing marine eukaryotic diversity in the twenty-first century. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 371(1702) doi:10.1098/rstb.2015.0331

O'Dea, Aaron, Lessios, Harilaos A., Coates, Anthony G., Eytan, Ron I., Restrepo-Moreno, Sergio, Cione, Alberto L., Collins, Laurel S., de Queiroz, Alan, Farris, David W., Norris, Richard D., Stallard, Robert F., Woodburne, Michael O., Aguilera, Orangel, Aubry, Marie-Pierre, Berggren, William A., Budd, Ann F., Cozzuol, Mario A., Coppard, Simon E., Duque-Caro, Herman, Finnegan, Seth, Gasparini, German M., Grossman, Ethan L., Johnson, Kenneth G., Keigwin, Lloyd D., Knowlton, Nancy, et al 2016. Formation of the Isthmus of Panama. Science Advances, 2(8) doi:10.1126/sciadv.1600883

Al-Rshaidat, Mamoon, Snider, Allison, Rosebraugh, Sydney, Devine, Amanda M., Devine, Thomas D., Plaisance, Laetitia, Knowlton, Nancy and Leray, Matthieu 2016. Deep COI sequencing of standardized benthic samples unveils overlooked diversity of Jordanian coral reefs in the northern Red Sea. Genome, 59(9): 724-737. doi:10.1139/gen-2015-0208

Huang, Danwei, Arrigoni, Roberto, Benzoni, Francesca, Fukami, Hironobu, Knowlton, Nancy, Smith, Nathan D., Stolarski, Jaroslaw, Chou, Loke Ming and Budd, Ann F. 2016. Taxonomic classification of the reef coral family Lobophylliidae (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Scleractinia). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 178(3): 436-481. doi:10.1111/zoj.12391

Prada, Carlos, Hanna, Bishoy, Budd, Ann F, Woodley, Cheryl M, Schmutz, Jeremy, Grimwood, Jane, Iglesias-Prieto, Roberto, Pandolfi, John M, Levitan, Don, Johnson, Kenneth G, Knowlton, Nancy, Kitano, Hiroaki, DeGiorgio, Michael and Medina, Mónica 2016. Empty Niches after Extinctions Increase Population Sizes of Modern Corals. Current Biology, 26(23): 3190-3194. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2016.09.039

Fisher, Rebecca, O’Leary, Rebecca A, Low-Choy, Samantha, Mengersen, Kerrie, Knowlton, Nancy, Brainard, Russell E and Caley, M. J. 2015. Species Richness on Coral Reefs and the Pursuit of Convergent Global Estimates. Current Biology, 25(4): 500-505. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2014.12.022

LaJeunesse, Todd C., Lee, Sung Yeon, Gil-Agudelo, Diego, Knowlton, Nancy and Jeong, Hae Jin 2015. Symbiodinium necroappetens sp. nov. (Dinophyceae): an opportunist ‘zooxanthella’ found in bleached and diseased tissues of Caribbean reef corals. European Journal of Phycology, 50(2) doi:10.1080/09670262.2015.1025857

Jacquet, Jennifer, Estes, James, Jackson, Jeremy, Johnson, Ayana E., Knowlton, Nancy, Mcclenachan, Loren, Pauly, Daniel and Sala, Enric 2015. Ocean Calamities: Hyped Litany or Legitimate Concern?. Bioscience, 65(8): 745-746. doi:10.1093/biosci/biv087

Marko, Peter B., Eytan, Ron I. and Knowlton, Nancy 2015. Do large molecular sequence divergences imply an early closure of the Isthmus of Panama?. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(43) doi:10.1073/pnas.1515048112

Knowlton, Nancy and Leray, Matthieu 2015. Exploring Coral Reefs Using the Tools of Molecular Genetics. In: Birkeland, Charles, Coral Reefs in the Anthropocene. Springer Netherlands, pp.117-132.

Bracken-Grissom, Heather, Collins, Allen Gilbert, Collins, Timothy, Crandall, Keith, Distel, Daniel, Dunn, Casey, Giribet, Gonzalo, Haddock, Steven, Knowlton, Nancy, Martindale, Mark, Medina, Monica, Messing, Charles, O'Brien, Stephen J., Paulay, Gustav, Putnam, Nicolas, Ravasi, Timothy, Rouse, Greg W., Ryan, Joseph F., Schulze, Anja, Worheide, Gert, Adamska, Maja, Bailly, Xavier, Breinholt, Jesse, Browne, William E., Diaz, M. Christina, et al 2014. The Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance (GIGA): Developing Community Resources to Study Diverse Invertebrate Genomes. Journal of Heredity, 105(1): 1-18. doi:10.1093/jhered/est084

Rocha, L. A., Aleixo, A., Allen, G., Almeda, F., Baldwin, Carole C., Barclay, M. V. L., Bates, J. M., Bauer, A. M., Benzoni, F., Berns, C. M., Berumen, M. L., Blackburn, D. C., Blum, S., Bolanos, F., Bowie, R. C. K., Britz, R., Brown, R. M., Cadena, C. D., Carpenter, K., Ceriaco, L. M., Chakrabarty, P., Chaves, G., Choat, J. H., Clements, K. D., Collette, Bruce B., et al 2014. Specimen collection: An essential tool. Science, 344(6186): 814-815. doi:10.1126/science.344.6186.814

Connolly, Sean R., MacNeil, M. Aaron, Caley, M. Julian, Knowlton, Nancy, Cripps, Ed, Hisano, Mizue, Thibaut, Loic M., Bhattacharya, Bhaskar D., Benedetti-Cecchi, Lisandro, Brainard, Russell E., Brandt, Angelika, Bulleri, Fabio, Ellingsen, Kari E., Kaiser, Stefanie, Kroncke, Ingrid, Linse, Katrin, Maggi, Elena, O'Hara, Timothy D., Plaisance, Laetitia, Poore, Gary C. B., Sarkar, Santosh K., Satpathy, Kamala K., Schuckel, Ulrike, Williams, Alan and Wilson, Robin S. 2014. Commonness and rarity in the marine biosphere. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(23): 8524-8529. doi:10.1073/pnas.1406664111

Huang, Danwei, Benzoni, Francesca, Fukami, Hironobu, Knowlton, Nancy, Smith, Nathan D. and Budd, Ann F. 2014. Taxonomic classification of the reef coral families Merulinidae, Montastraeidae, and Diploastraeidae (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Scleractinia). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 171(2): 277-355. doi:10.1111/zoj.12140

Baker, David M., Weigt, Lee A., Fogel, Marilyn and Knowlton, Nancy 2013. Ancient DNA from Coral-Hosted Symbiodinium Reveal a Static Mutualism over the Last 172 Years. PLoS ONE, 8(2): e55057 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055057

Ruckelshaus, M., Doney, S. C., Galindo, H. M., Barry, J. P., Chan, F., Duffy, James Emmett, English, C. A., Gaines, S. D., Grebmeier, J. M., Hollowed, A. B., Knowlton, Nancy, Polovina, Jeffrey J., Rabalais, N. N., Sydeman, W. J. and Talley, L. D. 2013. Securing ocean benefits for society in the face of climate change. Marine Policy, 40: 154-159. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2013.01.009

Hurt, C., Silliman, K., Anker, A. and Knowlton, Nancy 2013. Ecological speciation in anemone-associated snapping shrimps (Alpheus armatus species complex). Molecular Ecology, 22(17): 4532-4548. doi:10.1111/mec.12398

Doney, Scott C., Ruckelshaus, Mary, Duffy, James Emmett, Barry, James, Chan, Francis, English, Chad A., Hines, Heather M., Grebmeier, Jacqueline M., Hollowed, Anne B., Knowlton, Nancy, Polovina, Jeffrey J., Rabalais, Nancy N., Sydeman, William J. and Talley, Lynne D. 2012. Climate Change Impacts on Marine Ecosystems. Annual Review of Marine Science, 4: 11-37. doi:10.1146/annurev-marine-041911-111611

Machida, Ryuji J., Kweskin, Matthew and Knowlton, Nancy 2012. PCR Primers for Metazoan Mitochondrial 12S Ribosomal DNA Sequences. PLoS ONE, 7(4): 1-6. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035887

Machida, Ryuji J. and Knowlton, Nancy 2012. Ways to mix multiple PCR amplicons into single 454 run for DNA barcoding. In: DNA Barcodes: Methods and Protocols. Humana Press,(Methods in molecular biology) pp.355-361.

Machlis, Gary, Frankovich, Thomas A., Alcolado, Pedro M., Garcia-Machado, Erik, Caridad Hernandez-Zanuy, Aida, Hueter, Robert E., Knowlton, Nancy, Perera, Erick and Tunnell, John W., Jr. 2012. OCEAN POLICY US-Cuba Scientific Collaboration Emerging Issues and Opportunities in Marine and Related Environmental Sciences. Oceanography, 25(2): 227-231. doi:10.5670/oceanog.2012.63

Knowlton, Nancy 2012. Iconic coral reef degraded despite substantial protection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(44): 17734-17735. doi:10.1073/pnas.1215836109

Budd, Ann F., Fukami, Hironobu, Smith, Nathan D. and Knowlton, Nancy 2012. Taxonomic classification of the reef coral family Mussidae (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Scleractinia). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 166(3): 465-529. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2012.00855.x

Fogarty, N. D., Lowenberg, M., Ojima, M. N., Knowlton, Nancy and Levitan, D. R. 2012. Asymmetric conspecific sperm precedence in relation to spawning times in the Montastraea annularis species complex (Cnidaria: Scleractinia). Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 25(12): 2481-2488. doi:10.1111/j.1420-9101.2012.02625.x

Machida, Ryuji J. and Knowlton, Nancy 2012. PCR Primers for Metazoan Nuclear 18S and 28S Ribosomal DNA Sequences. Plos One, 7(9): 1-11. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046180

Knowlton, Nancy 2011. First steps as a scientist – preface. In: Graham, M. K., Parker, J. and Dayton, P. K., In Pursuit of Natural History: Selected Readings and Commentaries. Chicago: Univ. Chicago, pp.

Knowlton, Nancy and Jackson, Jeremy B. C. 2011. Beyond the obituaries. Solutions: For a Sustainable and Desirable Future, 2(1)

Plaisance, Laetitia, Brainard, Russell, Caley, M. Julian and Knowlton, Nancy 2011. Using DNA Barcoding and Standardized Sampling to Compare Geographic and Habitat Differentiation of Crustaceans: A Hawaiian Islands Example. Diversity, 3(4): 581-591. doi:10.3390/d3040581

Levitan, Don R., Fogarty, Nicole D., Jara, Javier, Lotterhos, Katie E. and Knowlton, Nancy 2011. Genetic, Spatial, and Temporal Components of Precise Spawning Synchrony in Reef Building Corals of the Montastraea Annularis Species Complex. Evolution, 65(5): 1254-1270. doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01235.x

Knowlton, Nancy 2011. Q&A Nancy Knowlton. Current Biology, 21(8): R270-R271.

Plaisance, Laetitia, Caley, M. Julian, Brainard, Russell E. and Knowlton, Nancy 2011. The Diversity of Coral Reefs: What Are We Missing?. PLoS ONE, 6(10): 1-7. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025026

Fisher, Rebecca, Knowlton, Nancy, Brainard, Russell E. and Caley, M. Julian 2011. Differences among Major Taxa in the Extent of Ecological Knowledge across Four Major Ecosystems. PLoS ONE, 6(11): e26556-8. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0026556

Fisher, R., Radford, B. T., Knowlton, Nancy, Brainard, R. E., Michaelis, F. B. and Caley, M. J. 2011. Global mismatch between research effort and conservation needs of tropical coral reefs. Conservation Letters, 4(1): 64-72. doi:10.1111/j.1755-263X.2010.00146.x

Mumby, Peter J., Iglesias-Prieto, Roberto, Hooten, Anthony J., Sale, Peter F., Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove, Edwards, Alasdair J., Harvell, C. Drew, Gomez, Edgardo D., Knowlton, Nancy, Hatziolos, Marea E., Kyewalyanga, Margareth S. and Muthiga, Nyawira 2011. Revisiting climate thresholds and ecosystem collapse. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 9(2): 94-96. doi:10.1890/11.WB.002

Terk, Elizabeth and Knowlton, Nancy 2010. The role of SCUBA diver user fees as a source of sustainable funding for coral reef marine protected areas. Biodiversity, 11(1-2): 78-84. doi:10.1080/14888386.2010.9712651

Knowlton, Nancy 2010. Citizens of the sea : wonderous creatures from the census of marine life Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society.

Knowlton, Nancy, Brainard, Russell E., Fisher, Rebecca, Moews, Megan, Plaisance, Laetitia and Caley, M. Julian 2010. Coral reef biodiversity. In: McIntyre, Alasdair D., Life in the World's Oceans: Diversity, Distribution, and Abundance. Wiley-Blackwell, pp.65-77.

Hurt, Carla, Anker, Arthur and Knowlton, Nancy 2009. A Multilocus Test of Simultaneous Divergence Across the Isthmus of Panama using Snapping Shrimp in the Genus Alpheus. Evolution, 63(2): 514-530. doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2008.00566.x

Roth, M. S. and Knowlton, Nancy 2009. Distribution, abundance, and microhabitat characterization of small juvenile corals at Palmyra Atoll. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 376: 133-142. doi:10.3354/meps07787

Nunes, F., Norris, R. D. and Knowlton, Nancy 2009. Implications of isolation and low genetic diversity in peripheral populations of an amphi-Atlantic coral. Molecular ecology, 18(20): 4283-4297. doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04347.x

Plaisance, Laetitia, Knowlton, Nancy, Paulay, Gustav and Meyer, Christopher P. 2009. Reef-associated crustacean fauna: biodiversity estimates using semi-quantitative sampling and DNA barcoding. Coral Reefs, 28(4): 977-986. doi:10.1007/s00338-009-0543-3

Ruckelshaus, M., Klinger, T., Knowlton, Nancy and DeMaster, D. P. 2008. Marine ecosystem-based management in practice: Considering resilience in a broader context. Bioscience, 58: 53-63.

Anker, Arthur, Hurt, Carla and Knowlton, Nancy 2008. Revision of the Alpheus formosus Gibbes, 1850 complex, with redescription of A. formosus and description of a new species from the tropical western Atlantic (Crustacea : Decapoda : Alpheidae). Zootaxa, 1707: 1-22.

Fukami, Hironobu, Chen, Chaolun Allen, Budd, Ann F., Collins, Allen Gilbert, Wallace, Carden, Chuang, Yao-Yang, Chen, Chienhsun, Dai, Chang-Feng, Iwao, Kenji, Sheppard, Charles and Knowlton, Nancy 2008. Mitochondrial and Nuclear Genes Suggest that Stony Corals Are Monophyletic but Most Families of Stony Corals Are Not (Order Scleractinia, Class Anthozoa, Phylum Cnidaria). PLoS ONE, 3(9): e3222 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003222

Anker, Arthur, Hurt, C. and Knowlton, Nancy 2008. Revision of the Alpheus websteri Kingsley, 1880 species complex (Crustacea: Decapoda: Alpheidae), with revalidation of A. arenensis (Chace, 1937). Zootaxa, 1694: 51-68.

Sandin, S. A., Smith, J. E., DeMartini, Edward E., Dinsdale, E. A., Donner, S. D., Friedlander, A. M., Konotchick, T., Malay, M., Maragos, James E., Obura, D., Pantos, O., Paulay, G., Richie, M., Rohwer, F., Schroeder, Robert E., Walsh, S., Jackson, Jeremy B. C., Knowlton, Nancy and Sala, E. 2008. Baselines and degradation of coral reefs in the northern Line Islands. PLoS One, 3: e1548-1559.

Dinsdale, E. A., Pantos, O., Smriga, S., Edwards, R. A., Angly, F., Wegley, L., Hatay, M., Hall, D., Brown, E., Haynes, M., Krause, L., Sala, E., Sandin, S. A., Thurber, R. V., Willis, B. L., Azam, F., Knowlton, Nancy and Rohwer, F. 2008. Microbial ecology of four coral atolls in the northern Line Islands. PLoS One, 3: 1584-1601.

Nunes, F., Fukami, H., Vollmer, S. V., Norris, R. D. and Knowlton, Nancy 2008. Re-evaluation of the systematics of the endemic corals of Brazil by molecular data. Coral Reefs, 27: 423-432.

Knowlton, Nancy 2008. Coral reefs. Current Biology, 18(1): R18-R21. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2007.11.018

Knowlton, Nancy and Jackson, Jeremy B. C. 2008. Shifting baselines, local impacts, and global change on coral reefs. Plos Biology, 6(2): 215-220. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060054

Knowlton, Nancy 2008. Marine biodiversity in jeopardy: the attrition of the world's coral reefs signals far broader and graver problems. American Prospect Special Report: Oceans and Coasts, 19(12): 15-16.

Hoegh-Guldberg, O., Mumby, P. J., Hooten, A. J., Steneck, Robert S., Greenfield, P., Gomez, E., Harvell, C. D., Sale, P. F., Edwards, A. J., Caldeira, K., Knowlton, Nancy, Eakin, C. M., Iglesias-Prieto, R., Muthiga, N., Bradbury, Roger H., Dubi, A. and Hatziolos, M. E. 2007. Coral Reefs Under Rapid Climate Change and Ocean Acidification. Science, 318(5857): 1737-1742. doi:10.1126/science.1152509

Anker, Arthur, Hurt, C. and Knowlton, Nancy 2007. Revision of the Alpheus nuttingi (Schmitt) species complex (Crustacea: Decapoda: Alpheidae), with description of a new species from the tropical eastern Pacific. Zootaxa, 1577(41): 60

Fukami, H., Chen, C. A., Chiou, C. -Y and Knowlton, Nancy 2007. Novel group I introns encoding a putative homing endonuclease in the mitochondrial coxI gene of scleractinian corals. Journal of Molecular Evolution, 64: 591-600.

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