CURRICULUM VITAE
APPOINTMENTS
2015            NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in Biology, University of Hawaii, HawaiʻI Institute of Marine Biology
2014            Postdoctoral Researcher, HawaiʻI EPSCoR Ecological Genomics and Metabolomics
2010            NSF Graduate Research Fellow, University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (UM RSMAS)
2008            Graduate Research Assistant, UM RSMAS
2007            Research Assistant, Marine Microbiology Program, Mote Marine Laboratory
 
EDUCATION
2013            Doctor of Philosophy, UM RSMAS, mentored by Dr. Andrew Baker.
Thesis: The role of algal symbiont community dynamics in reef coral responses to global climate change
2007            Bachelor of Science (cum laude and with distinction), Duke University. Dual Majors: Biology and Environmental Science
 
PUBLICATIONS
13) Cunning R, Yost DM, Guarinello ML, Putnam HM, Gates RD (2015) Variability of Symbiodinium communities in waters, sediments, and corals of thermally distinct reef pools in American Samoa. PLoS ONE 10(12):e0145099. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0145099.
12) Cunning R, Silverstein RN, Baker AC (2015) Investigating the causes and consequences of symbiont shuffling in a multi-partner reef coral symbiosis under environmental change. Proc R Soc B: doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1725
11) Cunning R, Vaughan N, Gillette P, Capo T, Maté J, Baker AC (2015) Dynamic regulation of partner abundance mediates response of reef coral symbioses to environmental change. Ecology 96:1411-1420.
10) Cunning R, Gillette P, Capo T, Galvez K, Baker AC (2015) Growth tradeoffs associated with thermotolerant symbionts in the coral Pocillopora damicornis are lost in warmer oceans. Coral Reefs 34:155-160.
9) Silverstein RN, Cunning R, Baker AC (2015) Change in algal symbiont communities after bleaching, not prior heat exposure, increases heat tolerance of reef corals. Global Change Biol 21:236-249.
8) Baker AC, Cunning R (2015) Coral bleaching as a generalized stress response to environmental disturbance. In: Woodley C, Downs C, Bruckner A, Porter J, Galloway S (eds) Diseases of Coral. Wiley-Blackwell.
7) Cunning R, Baker AC (2014) Not just who, but how many: the importance of partner abundance in reef coral symbioses. Front Microbiol 5:400.
6) Cunning R, Glynn PW, Baker AC (2013) Flexible associations between Pocillopora corals and Symbiodinium limit utility of symbiosis ecology in defining species. Coral Reefs 32:795-801.
5) Cunning R, Baker AC (2013) Excess algal symbionts increase the susceptibility of reef corals to bleaching. Nature Clim Change 3:259-262.
4) Meron D, Rodolfo-Metalpa R, Cunning R, Baker AC, Fine M, Banin E (2012) Changes in coral microbial communities in response to a natural pH gradient. ISME J 6:1775-1785.
3) Kenkel CD, Aglyamova G, Alamaru A, Bhagooli R, Capper R, Cunning R, et al. (2011) Development of gene expression markers of acute heat-light stress in reef-building corals of the genus Porites. PloS ONE 6:e26914.
2) Cunning JR, Thurmond J, Smith GW, Weil E, Ritchie KB (2008) A survey of Vibrios associated with healthy and Yellow Band Diseased Montastraea faveolata. Proc 11th Int Coral Reef Symp 1:206-210.
1) Weil E, Ritchie KB, Croquer A, Cunning JR, Smith GW (2008) Inoculation of Vibrio spp. onto Montastraea faveolata fragments to determine potential pathogenicity. Proc 11th Int Coral Reef Symp 1:202-205.
In Revision/In Review:
Cunning R, Ritson-Williams R, Gates RD (in review) Patterns of bleaching and recovery of Montipora capitata in Kaneohe Bay. Mar Ecol Prog Ser.
 
SCIENTIFIC PRESENTATIONS
(* = Presentation speaker, § = Poster presentation)
17) Cunning R* (2015) Advances in Symbiodinium community ecology. Moorea Coral Reef Long Term Ecological Research All Investigators Meeting. Santa Barbara, CA, USA.
16) Cunning R* (2015) Patterns in bleaching and recovery of Montipora capitata in Kāne‘ohe Bay. Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology seminar series, Kane‘ohe, HI, USA.
15) § Cunning R, Baker AC (2014) Not just who, but how many: the importance of symbiont abundance in reef coral symbioses. ASLO Ocean Sciences Meeting, Honolulu, HI, USA.
14) Cunning R*, Vaughan N, Gillette P, Capo T, Maté J, Baker AC (2013) Dynamic regulation of endosymbionts in reef corals to maximize interaction benefit in a changing environment. 1st Panamerican Coral Reef Congress, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico.
13) Cunning R*, Vaughan N, Gillette P, Capo T, Maté J, Baker AC (2013) Dynamic regulation of endosymbionts in reef corals to maximize interaction benefit in a changing environment. 3rd Yosemite Symbiosis Workshop, Wawona, CA, USA.
12) Cunning R* (2012) Dynamics of mixed Symbiodinium communities during coral bleaching and recovery. UM RSMAS Graduate Seminar Series, Miami, FL, USA.
11) Cunning R*, Silverstein RN, Baker AC (2012) Dynamics of mixed Symbiodinium communities in corals recovering from bleaching. 12th International Coral Reef Symposium, Cairns, Australia.
10) Silverstein R*, Cunning R, Baker AC (2012) Post-bleaching Symbiodinium clade, not prior stress exposure, determines coral thermotolerance. 12th International Coral Reef Symposium, Cairns, Australia.
9) Cunning R* (2011) The implications of areal versus cell-specific symbiont density metrics in the study of coral-algal symbioses. UM RSMAS Graduate Seminar Series, Miami, FL, USA.
8) Fahsbender EM*, Daniels C, Cunning R, Baker AC, Breitbart M (2011) Bacterial profiling of the scleractinian coral Pocillopora damicornis. Florida Branch for the American Society for Microbiology Annual Meeting, Islamorada, FL, USA.
7) Cunning R* (2011) Symbiodinium community dynamics during a natural warming and bleaching event. UM RSMAS Graduate Seminar Series, Miami, FL, USA.
6) Cunning R*, Baker AC (2010) Symbiodinium community dynamics during a natural warming and bleaching event. International Society for Reef Studies European Meeting, Wageningen, Netherlands.
5) Cunning R* (2010) Exploring Symbiodinium community dynamics within a coral host. UM RSMAS Graduate Seminar Series, Miami, FL, USA.
4) Cunning R* (2009) The use of the actin gene in quantifying densities of multiple Symbiodinium types during a bleaching event. National Center for Coral Reef Research Annual Forum, Miami, FL, USA.
3) Cunning R* (2009) Coral microbial ecology: from pathogens to symbionts. Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
2) § Cunning R, Thurmond JE, Smith GW, Weil E, Ritchie KB (2008) A survey of Vibrios associated with healthy and Yellow Band Diseased Montastraea faveolata. 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA.
1) § Cunning R (2007) Ecology of the cleaner wrasse Labroides dimidiatus at an inshore fringing reef at Florence Bay, Magnetic Island, Australia. Duke University Visible Thinking Undergraduate Research Symposium, Durham, NC, USA.
 
RESEARCH GRANTS, SCHOLARSHIPS, AND AWARDS
2015            NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology ($138,000)
2015            Experiment.com crowdfunding campaign: Stayin’ Alive: How do microbes help corals recover from bleaching? ($4,225)
2014            UM RSMAS F. G. Walton Smith Prize for best doctoral dissertation ($3,000)
2013            UM RSMAS Koczy Fellowship for doctoral candidate in final year ($5,000)
2013            UM RSMAS Frank J. Millero Prize for best graduate student publication ($2,500)
2012            International Women’s Fishing Association Kathy Holeman Scholarship ($250)
2012            Miami Billfish Tournament Captain Harry D. Vernon, Jr. Memorial Scholarship ($400)
2010            NSF Graduate Research Fellowship ($120,000)
2010            NSF Graduate Research Fellowship International Travel Award ($1,000)
2010            UM RSMAS Small Boats Fund Award ($1250)
2010            UM RSMAS Student Travel Fund Award ($500)
2008            University of Miami Fellowship ($50,000)
2008            NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention
2008            Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences Scholarship for Summer Courses
2007            Mote Marine Lab Anderson Scholarship Award
2007            Duke University Maggie Schneider Award in Marine Biology
2006            Duke University Marine Laboratory Bookhout Research Scholarship Award ($1,300)
 
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
2015            Course participant: 7th International Dynamic Energy Budget Course and Symposium, Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, France
2014            Course participant: Strategies and Techniques for Analyzing Microbial Population Structure, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA, USA
2013            Workshop participant: Empowering Capable Climate Communicators, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, USA
2012            Workshop participant: Presentation Boot Camp, UM RSMAS, Miami, FL, USA
2009            Workshop participant: Development and Application of Gene Expression Biomarkers of Coral Stress and Disease, Mote Tropical Research Laboratory, Summerland Key, FL, USA
2009            Course participant: Light and Photosynthesis on Coral Reefs, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Puerto Morelos, Mexico
2007            Course participant: Coral Reef Ecology Field Course, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, St. George’s, Bermuda
2005            Student researcher: School for International Training, Cairns, Australia
 
TEACHING EXPERIENCE
2016                         Instructor: University of Hawaii at Manoa, MBIO691l Graduate Seminar in Marine Biology
2012 – 2013            Teaching assistant: University of Miami, MBF518 Graduate Seminar in Coral Reef Ecology and Physiology