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About Rollins

Kathryn P. Sutherland, PhD

Biology Professor

Kathryn Patterson Sutherland

I am a Professor in the Department of Biology at Rollins College and a coral reef ecologist. I earned my Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in 2003. I teach General Biology and Marine Biology and Ecology courses. 

My research is centered broadly on the conservation ecology of coral reefs and is focused on understanding coral diseases. In collaboration with Rollins students, I study the ecology of white pox disease of elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) in Florida. 

T. 407.691.1075


Ph.D., Marine Sciences, University of Georgia, 2003    
M.S., Conservation Ecology & Sustainable Development, University of Georgia, 1997    
B.A., Biological Sciences, Wellesley College, 1994

Academic Positions

Professor | Department of Biology, Rollins College
2017 - present

Coordinator of the Marine Biology Program | Rollins College
2007 - 2010, 2012 - 2013, 2016 - 2018)

Chair of the Department of Biology | Rollins College
2013 - 2016

Associate Professor | Department of Biology, Rollins College
2011 - 2017

Assistant Professor | Department of Biology, Rollins College
2005 - 2011

Post-Doctoral Fellow | Odum School of Ecology and Dept. of Environmental Health Science, University of Georgia
January 2004 - August 2005

Other Professional Experience

Pre-Doctoral Fellow | US Environmental Protection Agency, Science Training in Ecology Program (STEP), Gulf Ecology Division, Gulf Breeze, FL
October 2000 - May 2002

Graduate Research Scientist | Florida Keys Coral Reef Evaluation and Monitoring Project (CREMP).  US Environmental Protection Agency and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  Florida Marine Research Institute, Marathon, FL
May 1995 - December 2003

* Rollins College student co-author

Sutherland, K.P., B. Berry, A. Park, D.W. Kemp, K.M. Kemp, E.K. Lipp, and J.W. Porter. 2016b. Shifting white pox disease aetiologies affecting Acropora palmata in the Florida Keys, 1994-2014. Philosophical Transactions of Royal Society B 371:20150205

Burge, C. A., C.S. Friedman, R. Getchell, M. House, K.D. Lafferty, L.D. Mydlarz, K.C. Prager, K.P. Sutherland, T. Renault, I. Kiryu, and R. Vega-Thurber. 2016. Complementary approaches to diagnosing marine diseases: a union of the modern and the classic. Philosophical Transactions of Royal Society B 371: 20150207.

Sutherland, K.P., E.K. Lipp, and J.W. Porter.  2016. Acroporid serratiosis. In: C. Woodley, C. Downs, A. Bruckner, J.W. Porter, and S. Galloway (Eds.) Diseases of Coral.  John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ. pp. 221-230.

Joyner, J.L., K. P. Sutherland, D. Kemp, B. Berry, A. Griffin,  J.W. Porter, M.H. Broome-Amador*, H.K.G. Noren*, E. K. Lipp. 2015.  Systematic analysis of white pox disease in Acropora palmata of the Florida Keys and the role of Serratia marcescens. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 81: 4451-4457. (Cover Article for Issue 13).

Sutherland, K.P., E.K. Lipp, and J.W. Porter.  2012.  Branching elkhorn corals are susceptible to white pox disease.  In: W.L. Kruczynski and P.J. Fletcher (Eds.) Tropical Connections: South Florida’s Marine Environment. IAN Press, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Cambridge, MD, p. 227.

Porter, J.W., M.K. Meyers, R. Ruzicka, M. Callahan, M. Colella, J. Kidney, S. Rathbun, and K.P. Sutherland. 2012Catastrophic loss of Acropora palmata in the Florida Keys: failure of the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice Effect” to aid recovery following the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. Proceedings of the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium, Cairns, Australia, 19B-1:1-5.

Sutherland, K.P., S. Shaban*, J.L. Joyner, J.W. Porter, and E.K. Lipp.  2011.  Human pathogen shown to cause disease in the threatened elkhorn coral Acropora palmata. PLoS ONE 6(8):e23468.

Porter, J.W., C. Torres, K.P. Sutherland, M.K. Meyers, M.K. Callahan, R. Ruzicka, and M.Colella.  2011.  Prevalence, severity, lethality, and recovery of dark spots syndrome among three Floridian reef-building corals. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 408: 79-97.

Sutherland, K.P., J.W. Porter, J.W. Turner, B.J. Thomas*, E.E. Looney, T.P. Luna*, M.K. Meyers, J.C. Futch, and E.K. Lipp.  2010. Human sewage identified as likely source of white pox disease of the threatened Caribbean elkhorn coral, Acropora palmata. Environmental Microbiology 12: 1122-1131.

Looney, E.E., K.P. Sutherland, and E.K. Lipp. 2010. Effects of temperature, nutrients, organic matter and coral mucus on the survival of the coral pathogen, Serratia marcescens PDL100. Environmental Microbiology 12: 2479-2485

Krediet, C.J., K.B. Ritchie, M. Cohen, E.K. Lipp, K.P. Sutherland, and M. Teplitski.  2009.  Utilization of mucus from the coral Acropora palmata by the pathogen Serratia marcescens, environmental and coral commensal bacteria. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 75: 3851-3858.

Porter, J.W., E.K. Lipp, K.P. Sutherland, and E. Mueller.  2008.  The ecology of an infectious disease in the Florida Keys: From pathogen to politics.  In: R.S. Ostfeld, F. Keesing, and V. Eviner (Eds.) Infectious Disease Ecology.  Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, pp. 387-403.

Rogers, C.S., K.P. Sutherland, and J.W. Porter.  2005. Has white pox disease been affecting Acropora palmata for over 30 years? Coral Reefs 24: 194

Sutherland, K.P. and K.B. Ritchie.  2004.  White pox disease of the Caribbean elkhorn coral Acropora palmata. In: Rosenberg, E. and Y. Loya (Eds.) Coral Health and Disease. Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany, pp. 289-297.

Sutherland, K.P., J.W. Porter, and C. Torres.  2004.  Disease and immunity in Caribbean and Indo-Pacific zooxanthellate corals. Marine Ecology Progress Series 266: 273-302.

Harvell, D., R. Aronson, N. Baron, J. Connell, A. Dobson, S. Ellner, L. Gerber, K. Kim, A. Kuris, H. McCallum, K. Lafferty, B. McKay, J. Porter, M. Pascual, G. Smith, K. Sutherland, and J. Ward.  2004.  The rising tide of ocean diseases: unsolved problems and research priorities. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 7: 375-382.

Patterson, K.L., J.W. Porter, K.B. Ritchie, S.W. Polson, E. Mueller, E.C. Peters, D.L. Santavy, and G.W. Smith.  2002. The etiology of white pox, a lethal disease of the Caribbean elkhorn coral, Acropora palmata. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 99:8725-8730. (Cover Article for Issue 13).

Porter, J.W., V., Kosmynin, K.L. Patterson, K.G. Porter, W.C. Jaap, J.L. Wheaton, K. Hackett, M. Lybolt, C.P. Tsokos, G. Yanev, D.M. Marcinek, J. Dotten, D. Eaken, M. Patterson, O.W. Meier, M. Brill, and P. Dustan.  2002.  Detection of coral reef change by the Florida Keys Coral Reef Monitoring Project.  In: Porter, J.W. and K.G Porter (Eds.) The Everglades, Florida Bay, and Coral Reefs of the Florida Keys. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL., pp. 749-769. 

Porter, J.W., P. Dustan, W.C. Jaap, J.L. Wheaton, K.L. Patterson, V. Kosmynin, O.W. Meier, M.E. Patterson, and M. Parsons.  2001.  Patterns of spread of coral disease in the Florida Keys. Hydrobiologia 460: 1-24. 

Santavy, D.L., E. Mueller, E.C. Peters, L. MacLaughlin, J.W. Porter, K.L. Patterson, and J. Campbell.  2001. Quantitative assessment of coral diseases in the Florida Keys: strategy and methodology. Hydrobiologia 460: 39-52. 

Cervino, J.M., T.J. Goreau, R.L. Hayes, L. Kaufman, I. Nagelkerken, K. Patterson, J.W. Porter, G. W. Smith, and C. Quirolo.  1998.  Coral Disease. Science 280: 499-501. 

Goreau, T.J., J.Cervino, M. Goreau, R, Hayes, M. Hayes, L. Richardson, G. Smith, K. DeMeyer, I. Nagelkerken, J. Garzon-Ferreira, D. Gil, G. Garrison, E.H. Williams, L. Bunkley-Williams, C. Quirolo, K. Patterson, J.W. Porter, K. Porter.  1998.  Rapid spread of diseases in Caribbean coral reefs. Revista Biologia Tropical 46: 157-171.

  • Professor Kathryn Sutherland teaching
  • BIO120 General Biology I
  • BIO210 Introduction to Marine Science
  • BIO316 Ecology
  • BIO388 Marine Biology Laboratory field course
  • BIO344 Biology Journal Club
  • BIO435 Marine Biology Senior Seminar
  • BIO440 Biology Senior Seminar
  • IMW200S Ecology of Environmental Issues

  • The International Society for Reef Studies
  • American Society for Microbiology
  • Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society