Dr. Nikki Traylor-Knowles | University of Maryland Eastern Shore Marketing Retarget Pixel

Dr. Nikki Traylor-Knowles

  • NTaylor

    Assistant Professor in Marine Biology and Ecology
    University of Miami-RSMAS

    Phone: (305) 421-4394 | Email: ntraylorknowles@rsmas.miami.edu

    Website | Curriculum Vitae 


    Boston University (2012)
    Ph.D., Biology
    Johns Hopkins University (2004)
    MSc., Cellular and Molecular Biology
    Johns Hopkins University (2003)
    BSc., Cellular and Molecular Biology


    1. Coral reef cellular and genomic immunology
    2. Mechanisms and ecology of wound healing in corals
    3. Cellular methods for coral reef restoration
    4. Environmental factors affecting coral immune health
    5. Disease dynamics and coral immunity
    6. The evolution of immunity of ctenophores 


    1. Connelly M. T.**, McRae C.J., Liu P-J, and Traylor-Knowles, N.* (2020) Lipopolysaccharide treatment stimulates Pocillopora coral genotype-specific immune responses but does not alter coral-associated bacteria communities. Developmental and Comparative Immunology.109 (2020): 103717.
    2. Snyder, G.**, Browne, W.E., Traylor-Knowles, N.*, Rosental, B.* (2020) Fluorescence-activated cell sorting techniques for the isolation of scleractinian cell populations. JoVE. *co-senior authors
    3. Traylor-Knowles, N.*, Vandepas, L., Browne, W.E. (2019) Still enigmatic: innate immunity in Mnemiopsis leidyi. Integrative and Comparative Biology. Icz116. https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/icz116
    4. Traylor-Knowles N.* (2019) Heat stress compromises epithelial integrity in the coral, Acropora hyacinthus. PeerJ. 7:e6510 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.6510
    5. Cunning, R., Bay, R. A., Gillette, P., Baker, A.C., and Traylor-Knowles, N*. (2018) Comparative analysis of the Pocillopora damicornis genome highlights role of immune system in coral evolution. Scientific Reports. 8(1): 8:16134. DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-34459-8.
    6. Traylor-Knowles, N.* (2018) In situ hybridization techniques for paraffin embedded adult coral samples. J. Vis. Exp. 138. DOI: 10.3791/57853.
    7. Traylor-Knowles, N*. and Connelly, M.** (2017) What is currently known about the effects of climate change on the coral immune response. Curr Clim Change Rep. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40641-017-0077-7
    8. Rosental, B., Kozhekbaeva, Z., Fernhoff, N., Tsai, J., Traylor-Knowles, N.* (2017) Coral cell separation and isolation by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). BMC Cell Biology. 18(1): 1-30. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12860-017-0146-8
    9. Traylor-Knowles, N.*, Rose, N.H., Sheets, E.A., Palumbi, S.R. (2017) Early transcriptional responses during heat stress in the coral Acropora hyacinthus. Biological Bulletin. 232: 91–100.
    10. Traylor-Knowles, N.*, Rose, N.H., Palumbi, S.R. (2017) The cell specificity of gene expression in the response to heat stress in corals. Journal of Experimental Biology. 10: 1837-1845.
    11. Traylor-Knowles, N.* (2016) Distinctive wound healing characteristics in the corals Pocillopora damicornis and Acropora hyacinthus found in two different temperature regimes, Marine Biology. 163(231); doi: 10.1007/s00227-016-3011-y.
    12. Traylor-Knowles, N., Kane, E.G., Sombatsaphay, V., Finnerty, J.R., Reitzel, A. M. (2015) Sex-specific and developmental gene expression of Dmrt-genes in the starlet sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis. EvoDevo. 6 (13); doi:10.1186/s13227-015-0013-7.
    13. DuBuc, T.Q., Traylor-Knowles, N., Martindale, M.Q. (2014) Initiating a regenerative response, cellular and molecular features of wound healing in the cnidarian Nematostella vectensis. BMC Biology. 12:24; doi:10.1186/1741-7007-12-24. [HIGHLY ACCESSED]
    14. Palmer, C.V. and Traylor-Knowles, N. (2012) Towards an integrated network of coral immune mechanisms. Proc R Soc B. ; doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.1477.
    15. Traylor-Knowles, N., Granger, B., Lubinski, T., Parikh, J.R., Garamszegi, S., Xia, Y., Marto, J, Kaufman, L., Finnerty, J.R. (2011) Production of a reference transcriptome and transcriptomic database (PocilloporaBase) for the cauliflower coral, Pocillopora damicornis. BMC Genomics. 12(1): 585. PMID: 22126435. 


    Dr. Nikki Traylor-Knowles is a cell biologist that studies the evolution of immunity, wound healing, and regeneration. She did her undergraduate and masters degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD at Boston University in Biology. Her PhD dissertation focused on wound healing mechanisms in corals and sea anemones. She did her post doctoral work at Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University and studied the interaction of the coral immune system with heat stress. As a postdoctoral fellow she was awarded a NSF Ocean Sciences Fellowship and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Award.  

    Since starting her lab in 2016 at UM RSMAS, Dr. Traylor-Knowles has been focused on understanding the cnidarian and ctenophore immune system. Her lab uses many different techniques including cell biology, genomics, microbiology, and molecular biology.  Major topics of investigation include: innate immunity interactions with climate change, the cellular immune response, and the immune response to disease.  Overall she is interested in the application of her work to coral conservation efforts through the development of biomarkers.

  • NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center
    University of Maryland Eastern Shore (Lead Institution)
    (410) 651-7870
    Award numbers: FY 2016 Award #NA16SEC4810007 
    Funding Agency: NOAA Educational Partnership Program with Minority-Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI)
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