Assistant Professor of Marine Biology and Ecology
Kavli Frontiers in Science Fellow
University of Miami, Rosenstiel School Of Marine And Atmospheric Sciences


Ph.D., Biology Boston University 2012
M.Sc., Cellular and Molecular Biology Johns Hopkins University 2004
*Biology Departmental Honors
B.Sc., Cellular and Molecular Biology Johns Hopkins University 2003


Assistant Professorship, University of Miami, RSMAS, 2016-current
Advising: I am advising two graduate students, one research technician, and 5 undergraduates. Research focus: evolution of innate immunity and wound healing.
Postdoctoral Researcher, Stanford University, Hopkins Marine Station, 2013-16
Advisor: Stephen Palumbi
Research focus: The role of tumor necrosis factor receptor in heat stressed corals (Acropora hyacinthus).
Techniques: cnidarian stress physiology, bioinformatics/genomics, cell biology, molecular biology, field work
Ph.D Graduate Researcher, Boston University, 2005 – 11
Co-advisors: John R. Finnerty and Les Kaufman
Dissertation title: Molecular insights into the stress response of cnidarians with a focus on wound healing in the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis and the coral Pocillopora damicornis.
Techniques: phylogenetics, cell biology, microscopy, transcriptomics, field work
Master’s Researcher, Johns Hopkins University, 2003 – 04
Advisor: Gary K. Ostrander
Master’s Thesis: The initial characterization of coral skeletal tissue anomalies found in Porites compressa.
Techniques: cell culture, western blots, microscopy


Ocean Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellow 
National Science Foundation: Total amount $170,000, 2013-2015
Postdoctoral Enrichment Program Award
Burroughs Wellcome Fund: Total amount $60,000, 2013-2016

Warren-McLeod Marine Biology Fellowship

Boston University: Total amount $22,000, 2011
East Asia Pacific and Summer Institutes Fellow
National Science Foundation: Total amount $12,000, 2010
Warren-McLeod Marine Biology Fellowship
Boston University: Total amount $22,000, 2010
National Institute of Health 
Graduate student “Training Grant”, 2008
Boston University 
George R. Bernard Travel Grant, 2007
Boston University 
Teaching Fellowship, 2005-09,11
Johns Hopkins University
Departmental Biology Honors, 2003


PhD and Master’s Advisor, University of Miami 2016-present
Primary advisor for PhD and Master thesis, mentoring career development
Course Instructor, University of Miami 2016
Invertebrate Zoology lecture and lab development
UROC Student Supervisor, Cal State Monterey Bay 2014
Mentor of Kirsten Boyer
Under-represented undergrads in STEM Student Supervisor, Stanford 2013
Mentor of Megan Mikhail, STEM Fellow
Student Supervisor, Mentor for 5 students, Boston University 2007-11
Developed student project, guided senior thesis
Invited Lecturer, Marine Biology, Boston University 2011
“Organismal, molecular, and genomic mechanisms underlying wound healing in a model coral”
Teaching Fellow, Marine Invertebrate Zoology, Boston University 2008
Lab instructor, lab lecturer and fieldwork coordinator
Teaching Fellow, Animal Behavior Laboratory, Boston University 2007
Lab instructor, lab lecturer, student project coordinator
Teaching Fellow, Marine Biology, Boston University 2006-07
Discussion leader, course coordinator, developed discussion curriculum
Teaching Fellow, Systems Physiology Laboratory, Boston University 2005-09,11
Lab instructor, lab lecturer, design course and test materials
Teaching Assistant, Intro. Biology Lab, Johns Hopkins University 2003-04
Lab coordinator, lab lecture


(21) Traylor-Knowles, N. and Connelly, M. (2017) What is currently known about the effects of climate change on the coral immune response. Curr Clim Change Rep.
(20) Rosental, B., Kozhekbaeva, Z., Fernhoff, N., Tsai, J., Traylor-Knowles, N. (2017) Coral cell separation and isolation by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). BMC Cell Biology. 18(1): 1-30.
(19) Traylor-Knowles, N., Rose, N.H., Sheets, E.A., Palumbi, S.R. (2017) Early transcriptional responses during heat stress in the coral Acropora hyacinthus. Biological Bulletin. 232: 91–100.
(18) Traylor-Knowles, N., Rose, N.H., Palumbi, S.R. (2017) The cell specificity of gene expression in the response to heat stress in corals. Journal of Experimental Biology. 10: 1837-1845.
(17) Traylor-Knowles, N. (2016) Distinctive wound healing characteristics in the corals Pocillopora damicornis and Acropora hyacinthus found in two different temperature regimes, Marine Biology. 163(231); doi: 10.1007/s00227-016-3011-y
(16) Quistad, S. and Traylor-Knowles, N. (2016) Precambrian Origins of the TNFR superfamily, Cell Death and Discovery. 2; doi:10.1038/cddiscovery.2016.58.
(15) Traylor-Knowles, N., Kane, E.G., Sombatsaphay, V., Finnerty, J.R., Reitzel, A. M. (2015) Sex- specific and developmental gene expression of Dmrt-genes in the starlet sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis. EvoDevo. 6 (13); doi:10.1186/s13227-015-0013-7
(14) Palumbi, S. R., Barshis, D., Traylor-Knowles, N., Bay, R. (2014) Mechanisms of reef coral resistance to future climate change. Science. 344(6186): 895-898; doi: 10.1126/science.1251336
(13) Traylor-Knowles, N., Palumbi, S.R. (2014) Translational environmental biology: using cell biology to inform conservation. Trends in Cell Biology. 24(5): 265-7; doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2014.03.001.
(12) DuBuc, T.Q., Traylor-Knowles, N., Martindale, M.Q. (2014) Initiating a regenerative response, cellular and molecular features of wound healing in the cnidarian Nematostella vectensis. BMC Biology. 12:24; doi:10.1186/1741-7007-12-24. [HIGHLY ACCESSED]
(11) Barshis, D.J., Ladner, J.T., Oliver, T.A., Seneca, F.O., Traylor-Knowles, N., Palumbi, S.R. (2013) A genomic basis for coral resilience to climate change. PNAS. 110(4): 1139-1140; doi:10.1073/iti0413110. [Cover Article]
(10) Palmer, C.V. and Traylor-Knowles, N. (2012) Towards an integrated network of coral immune mechanisms. Proc R Soc B.; doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.1477.
(9) Traylor-Knowles, N., Granger, B., Lubinski, T., Parikh, J.R., Garamszegi, S., Xia, Y., Marto, J, Kaufman, L., Finnerty, J.R. (2011) Production of a reference transcriptome and transcriptomic database (PocilloporaBase) for the cauliflower coral, Pocillopora damicornis. BMC Genomics. 12(1): 585. PMID: 22126435. [HIGHLY ACCESSED]
(8) Palmer, C.V., Traylor-Knowles, N., Willis, B.L., and Bythell, J.C. (2011) Corals use similar immune cells and wound-healing processes as those of higher organisms. PLoS One, 6(8): e23992.
(7) Marquez, E.C., Traylor-Knowles, N., Novillo-Villajos, A., Callard, I.P. (2011) Cloning of the estrogen receptor alpha and aromatase cDNAs and gene expression in turtles (Chrysemys picta and Pseudemys scripta) exposed to different environments. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part C. 154: 213- 225. doi:10.1016/j.cbpc.2011.05.008
(6) Marquez, E.C., Traylor-Knowles, N., Novillo-Villajos, A., and Callard, I.P. (2011)
Novel cDNA sequences of aryl hydrocarbon receptors in turtles (Chrysemys picta and Pseudemys scripta) and changes in gene expression in turtles exposed to different environments, Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part C. 154(4): 305-17.
(5) Wolenski, F.S., Garbati, M.R., Lubinski, T, Traylor-Knowles, N., Dresselhaus, E., Stefanik, D., Goucher,H., Finnerty, J.R., Gilmore, T.D. (2010) Characterization of the core elements of the NF-kB signaling pathway in the sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis. Molecular and Cellular Biology. doi:10.1128/MCB.00927-10.
(4) Traylor-Knowles, N., Hansen, U., Dubuc, T.Q., Martindale, M. Q., Kaufman, L., Finnerty, J.R. (2010) The evolutionary diversification of LSF and Grainyhead transcription factors preceded the radiation of basal animal lineages. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 10:101. [HIGHLY ACCESSED]
(3) Sullivan, J.C., Wolenski, F.S., Reitzel, A.M., French, C.E., Traylor-Knowles, N., Gilmore, T.D., and Finnerty, J.R. (2009) Two alleles encoding transcription factor NF-kB in the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis are widely distributed in natural populations and encode proteins with distinct DNA-binding and transactivation activities. PLoS One, 4:10, e7311.
(2) Reitzel A.M., Sullivan, J.C., Traylor-Knowles, N., Finnerty, J.R. (2008) Genomic survey of stress- response genes in the estuarine anemone Nematostella vectensis. The Biological Bulletin. 214: 233-54.
(1) Domart-Coulon, I. J., Traylor-Knowles, N., Peters, E.; Elbert, D., Downs, C.A., Price, K., Stubbs, J., McLaughlin, S., Cox, E., Aeby, G., Brown, P. R., and Ostrander, G. K. (2006) Comprehensive characterization of skeletal tissue growth anomalies of the finger coral Porites compressa. Coral Reefs. 25 (4): 531-543.


(1) Palmer, C.V. and Traylor-Knowles, N. (in review) Cnidarian immunity: anthozoans in the hot seat. In Comparative Immunology. New York, NY, Springer.


University of Miami, Department of Biology- 2016
NOVA University– 2016
Florida International University– 2016
University of Miami, Department of Immunology and Microbiology- 2016
University of California, Davis, Bodega Marine Labs- 2015
University of Miami, RSMAS- 2015
Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR- 2015
University of California, San Diego– 2015
University of California, Santa Cruz– 2015
San Diego State University, Coral Club, Rohwer Lab, San Diego, CA- 2014
Hatfield Marine Station, Newport, OR- 2014
Oregon State University, Weis Lab, Corvallis, OR- 2014
UC Santa Barbara, Hofmann Lab, Santa Barbara, CA- 2014
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Thompson Lab, Cambridge, MA- 2014
Harvard University, Extavour Lab, Cambridge, MA- 2014
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Tarrant Lab, Woods Hole, MA- 2014
Northeastern University, Vollmer Lab, Nahant, MA- 2014
University of Texas-Arlington, Mydlarz Lab, Arlington, TX- 2014
University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Reitzel Lab, Charlotte, NC- 2014
Romberg Tiberon Center, San Francisco State University– 2013
National Science Foundation, EAPSI Pre-departure Panel, Washington D.C.- 2011
Stanford University, Hopkins Marine Lab, Pacific Grove, CA- 2010
Harvard University, Extavour Lab, Cambridge, MA- 2010
National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium, Heng Chun, Taiwan- 2010
Boston University, Boston, MA- 2006, 2010
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD- 2005


Oral presentations:

International Coral Reef Symposium, Honolulu, HI- 2016

Comparative Immunology, Miami, FL, Florida International University- 2016
Evolution, Guraruja, Brazil- 2015
Evolution, Raleigh, NC- 2014
North American Comparative Immunology Workshop, Albuquerque, NM- 2014
The International Conference on Coelenterate Biology, Eilat, Israel- 2013
Nematostella Workshop, at ICCB, Eilat, Israel- 2013
Evolution, Snowbird, UT- 2013
International Coral Reef Symposium, Cairns, AUS- 2012
International Society of Reef Studies, Wagenigen, The Netherlands- 2010
Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology, Seattle, WA- 2010

International Coral Reef Symposium, Fort Lauderdale, FL- 2008

Poster presentations:

Israeli-American Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium, Jerusalem, Israel- 2015

Midwinter Immunology Conference, Pacific Grove, CA- 2014
Boston University Engineering and Science Day, Boston, MA- 2010
Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology, Boston, MA- 2009


Co-chair of ICRS session: Coral immunity, Honolulu, HI- 2016
Jumpstart Your Academic Career, Job Search Panel– 2015
Chair of Evolution session: Climate I, Guraruja, Brazil- 2015
Pan-American Society For Evolutionary Developmental Biologists Member– 2015
International Society of Reef Sciences Member– 2015
NSF, Ocean Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant Reviewer– 2015
Israeli-American Kavli Frontiers of Science, National Academy of Science– 2015
Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund US-Israel- 2014
Co-chair of Evolution session: Gene Expression, Raleigh, NC- 2014
Annual Biomedical Conference for Minority Students, San Jose, CA- 2012
Co-chair of symposium: Immunity on the Reef, ICRS- 2012
Grant Research Panel Reviewer, NSF East Asia Pacific and Summer Institutes- 2011
Invited student, H.I.M.B. – Edwin Pauley Class on coral stress- 2007


Proceedings of the Royal Society B– Frontiers
BMC Genomics– PLoS One
Molecular Ecology Resources– Marine Genomics
Molecular Ecology– Hydrobiologica

Scientific Reports– PeerJ 


Leadership Miami, Year 38, Miami Chamber of Commerce– 2016-17
Young Women in Science Day at HMS– 2015
I organized a “DNA Science Day” for local youth at Hopkins Marine Station with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Educational Department, to promote diversity in research.
Postdoctoral Science Management Series Liaison, Hopkins Marine Station- 2014
Mentorship Training, Cal State Monterey Bay- 2014
Stanford Graduate Diversity Research Presenter, Stanford University- 2014
Science Fair Judge, Olosenga-Ofu Elementary School, American Samoa- 2012
Student Director and Program Coordinator, Johns Hopkins Tutorial Project- 1999-03


Stephen Palumbi, PhD (Post Doctoral Advisor)
Stanford University
Harold A. Miller
Professor in Marine Sciences

Phone: (831) 655-6210

Les Kaufman, PhD, (PhD Co-Advisor)
Boston University
Professor of Biology
Phone: (617) 353-5560
John R. Finnerty, PhD (PhD Advisor)
Boston University
Director of Boston University Marine Program
Associate Professor of Biology
Phone: (617) 353-2432

John Pringle, PhD, (Collaborator)
Stanford University
Professor of Genetics
Phone: (650) 723-8523