Barott Lab Members
Postdoctoral Researchers
Kelsey Speer, PhD
NSF Postdoctoral Fellow
Kelsey is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that Anthozoans (sea anemones & corals) use to sense, and compensate for, changes in their internal pH. Understanding the effects of pH stress at the cellular scale will help us to predict how these keystone species will respond to the ongoing acidification of our planet's oceans  and to develop more sophisticated conservation strategies. Kelsey's research focuses on the use of molecular techniques including microinjection, live-cell microscopy and CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing in the exciting new model for coral physiology - the sea anemone Aiptasia pallida. She is also developing educational outreach activities using Aiptasia in order to spark Philadelphia high school students' interest in biological research and conservation.

Before joining to the Barott lab in 2018, Kelsey received her PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylania. For her graduate work, she investigated how protein ligands involved in early vertebrate development (Wnts) recognize and activate cell surface receptors using a combination of protein biochemistry and in vivo assays performed in the frog model Xenopus laevis. When not in the laboratory, Kelsey can usually be found knitting, running or hanging out with her dog.
Research Technicians
Teegan Innis, MS
Research Specialist
I am interested in understanding the mechanisms of coral symbiosis and how it functions under different environmental conditions. The ability of some corals to survive in habitats that others cannot is partly attributed to the symbiotic partnerships that they form, and understanding these symbioses can help predict susceptibility to stress (for example, coral bleaching), which has implications for conservation and management strategies that are becoming increasingly necessary under prevailing climate change models. 

Before joining the Barott Lab, I received my B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of Rhode Island and my M.S. in Marine Biology from Northeastern University, focusing on coral reef ecology. My graduate work investigated the spatial variability and potential ecological drivers of symbiont associations in reef building corals in Hawaii.
Graduate Students
Symbiodinium physiology
Lisa Valenti
Biology Graduate Group
Research interests
Luella Allen-Waller
Biology Graduate Group
Elyse Kochman
Christopher Carlson
Earth and Environmental Science

Sarah Werner

Lab Alumni

Phoebe Somani (UMBC class of 2019) - Summer 2018
Joshua Kouassi (High school student) - Summer 2018
"There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more."  ~ Lord Byron