Jesse Bergman

PhD Candidate

The biological basis for success of generalist coral species in a changing climate

As changes in environmental structure occur under climate change, generalist species may be better able to acclimatize to new environments or changing thermal regimes than specialist species existing within small “niche” ranges. To better understand the biological underpinnings of how generalist coral species are able to respond to future ecosystem conditions, my research focuses on 1). defining the role of a generalist coral species across environments and 2). physiological response to warming or environmental change in each of these environments. Understanding how generalist coral species may be able to capitalize on variability across its geographic range, and therefore be targeted for restoration practices, requires a holistic integration of the meta- and associated micro-organism response.


Supervisors: Tracy Ainsworth and Adriana Vergés



Srednick GS, Bergman JL, Doo SS, Hawthorn M, Ferree J, Rojas R, Edmunds PJ, Carpenter RC. 2020. Shallow coral reef free ocean carbon enrichment: Novel in situ flumes to manipulate pCO2 on shallow tropical coral reef communities. Limnol Oceanogr Methods. doi 10.1002/lom3.10349

Edmunds PJ, McIlroy SE, Adjeroud M, Ang P, Bergman JL, Carpenter RC, Coffroth MA, Fujimura A, Hench J, Holbrook SJ, Leichter JJ, Muko S, Nakajima Y, Nakamura M, Paris CB, Schmitt R, Sutthacheep M, Toonen R, Sakai K, Suzuki G, Washburn L, Wyatt ASJ, Mitarai S. 2018. Critical information gaps impeding understanding of the role of larval connectivity among coral reef islands in an era of global change. Frontiers in Marine Science 5: 290. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00290

Bergman JL, Harii S, Kurihara H, Edmunds PJ. 2018. Behavior of brooded coral larvae in response to elevated pCO2. Frontiers in Marine Science 5: 51. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00051

Bergman JL, Dang BN, Tabatabaee MM, McGowan MM, Fong CR, Bittick SJ, Fong P. 2016. Nutrients induce and herbivores maintain structural defenses against herbivory in Turbinaria ornata. Mar Ecol Prog Ser. 559: 35-43. doi: 10.3354/meps11884

Areas of Expertise

Areas of Expertise

Coral microbial ecology