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Episode 402: Mysterious Microbes

They are some the ocean’s tiniest inhabitants. On coral reefs, microorganisms are copious creatures. But in a world that’s invisible to the naked eye, drastic changes are taking place. Throughout Florida, scientists painstakingly work to identify key players within this microbial community. Recent breakthroughs revealed a direct link between a human pathogen and a devastating coral disease. With corals under immense stress, experts are using advanced genetic tools and a former aquarium “pest” to better comprehend these microscopic organisms. With experimental sites in the lab and in the sea, what will microbes reveal about coral health? How do human activities impact the microbial balance on the reef?


Meet the experts featured in this episode.

Special Thanks:


Courtyard Marriott
730 N. Magnolia Avenue
Orlando FL 32803
(407) 996-1000


Holiday Inn-University Center
1250 W. University Ave
Gainesville, FL 32601
(352) 376-1661


Looe Key Reef Resort & Dive Center
27340 Overseas Highway
Ramrod Key, FL 33042
(305) 872-2215

Partial Pressure
Diving Company
9 Ocean Shores Drive
Key Largo, FL 33037
(305) 394-4580


The Pelican Inn
99340 Overseas Highway
Key Largo, FL 33037
(305) 451-3576

Pirate Island Divers
1038000 Overseas Highway
Key Largo, FL 33037
(305) 453-9881

Image Credits

Changing Seas would like to thank the following individuals and institutions who kindly allowed their footage, images and other media to be used in this production:

Deron Burkepile, Ph.D.
Florida International University

Christina Kellogg
U.S. Geological Survey

Cory Krediet
University of Florida

Mike Grey
U.S. Geological Survey

Matt Patterson
National Park Service

James Porter, Ph.D.
University of Georgia

Andy Shantz
Florida International University

Kathryn Sutherland
Rollins College

Max Teplitski
University of Florida- IFAS

William Zaragoza
University of Florida

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

CDC –Public Health Image Library
Janice Carr


Dr. Terrence Tumpey

C. S. Goldsmith and A. Balish

C. Goldsmith, P. Feorino, E. L. Palmer, W. R. McManus

Key West Waste Water Treatment Plant

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


Roy Kaltschmidt, Photographer

National Human Genome Research Institute

National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Juanita Martinez, Angelina Rodriguez of the Werner-Washburne Lab

Vibrio 1160
Tina Carvalho, Univeristy of Hawaii of Manoa



Funding for this episode of Changing Seas was provided by: