Academic Appointments

  • Lecturer, Stanford Introductory Studies - Thinking Matters

All Publications

  • Evaluation of filtration and DNA extraction methods for environmental DNA biodiversity assessments across multiple trophic levels FRONTIERS IN MARINE SCIENCE Djurhuus, A., Port, J., Closek, C. J., Yamahara, K. M., Romero-Maraccini, O., Walz, K. R., Goldsmith, D. B., Michisaki, R., Boehm, A. B., Breitbart, M., Chavez, F. P. 2017: 314

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fmars.2017.00314

  • Genetic and Manual Survey Methods Yield Different and Complementary Views of an Ecosystem FRONTIERS IN MARINE SCIENCE Kelly, R. P., Closek, C. J., O'Donnell, J. L., Kralj, J. E., Andrew, S. O., Samhouri, J. F. 2017; 3: 283

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fmars.2016.00283

  • The Use of Filter-feeders to Manage Disease in a Changing World INTEGRATIVE AND COMPARATIVE BIOLOGY Burge, C. A., Closek, C. J., Friedman, C. S., Groner, M. L., Jenkins, C. M., Shore-Maggiok, A., Welsh, J. E. 2016; 56 (4): 573-587

    View details for DOI 10.1093/icb/icw048

    View details for Web of Science ID 000384303700009

  • Up in Arms: Immune and Nervous System Response to Sea Star Wasting Disease PLOS ONE Fuess, L. E., Eisenlord, M. E., Closek, C. J., Tracy, A. M., Mauntz, R., Gignoux-Wolfsohn, S., Moritsch, M. M., Yoshioka, R., Burge, C. A., Harvell, C. D., Friedman, C. S., Hewson, I., Hershberger, P. K., Roberts, S. B. 2015; 10 (7)


    Echinoderms, positioned taxonomically at the base of deuterostomes, provide an important system for the study of the evolution of the immune system. However, there is little known about the cellular components and genes associated with echinoderm immunity. The 2013-2014 sea star wasting disease outbreak is an emergent, rapidly spreading disease, which has led to large population declines of asteroids in the North American Pacific. While evidence suggests that the signs of this disease, twisting arms and lesions, may be attributed to a viral infection, the host response to infection is still poorly understood. In order to examine transcriptional responses of the sea star Pycnopodia helianthoides to sea star wasting disease, we injected a viral sized fraction (0.2 μm) homogenate prepared from symptomatic P. helianthoides into apparently healthy stars. Nine days following injection, when all stars were displaying signs of the disease, specimens were sacrificed and coelomocytes were extracted for RNA-seq analyses. A number of immune genes, including those involved in Toll signaling pathways, complement cascade, melanization response, and arachidonic acid metabolism, were differentially expressed. Furthermore, genes involved in nervous system processes and tissue remodeling were also differentially expressed, pointing to transcriptional changes underlying the signs of sea star wasting disease. The genomic resources presented here not only increase understanding of host response to sea star wasting disease, but also provide greater insight into the mechanisms underlying immune function in echinoderms.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0133053

    View details for PubMedID 26176852

  • Microbes in the coral holobiont: partners through evolution, development, and ecological interactions FRONTIERS IN CELLULAR AND INFECTION MICROBIOLOGY Thompson, J. R., Rivera, H. E., Closek, C. J., Medina, M. 2015; 4
  • Coral transcriptome and bacterial community profiles reveal distinct Yellow Band Disease states in Orbicella faveolata ISME JOURNAL Closek, C. J., Sunagawa, S., Desalvo, M. K., Piceno, Y. M., DeSantis, T. Z., Brodie, E. L., Weber, M. X., Voolstra, C. R., Andersen, G. L., Medina, M. 2014; 8 (12): 2411-2422


    Coral diseases impact reefs globally. Although we continue to describe diseases, little is known about the etiology or progression of even the most common cases. To examine a spectrum of coral health and determine factors of disease progression we examined Orbicella faveolata exhibiting signs of Yellow Band Disease (YBD), a widespread condition in the Caribbean. We used a novel combined approach to assess three members of the coral holobiont: the coral-host, associated Symbiodinium algae, and bacteria. We profiled three conditions: (1) healthy-appearing colonies (HH), (2) healthy-appearing tissue on diseased colonies (HD), and (3) diseased lesion (DD). Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis revealed health state-specific diversity in Symbiodinium clade associations. 16S ribosomal RNA gene microarrays (PhyloChips) and O. faveolata complimentary DNA microarrays revealed the bacterial community structure and host transcriptional response, respectively. A distinct bacterial community structure marked each health state. Diseased samples were associated with two to three times more bacterial diversity. HD samples had the highest bacterial richness, which included components associated with HH and DD, as well as additional unique families. The host transcriptome under YBD revealed a reduced cellular expression of defense- and metabolism-related processes, while the neighboring HD condition exhibited an intermediate expression profile. Although HD tissue appeared visibly healthy, the microbial communities and gene expression profiles were distinct. HD should be regarded as an additional (intermediate) state of disease, which is important for understanding the progression of YBD.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ismej.2014.85

    View details for Web of Science ID 000345498200007

    View details for PubMedID 24950107

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4260706