Andrew Charles Baker

Assoc. Professor

Phone:
(305) 421-4642
Locator Code:
VK

 
About

Associate Professor, Department of Marine Biology and Ecology - Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

Andrew Baker is an Associate Professor of Marine Biology and Fisheries at the University of Miami. His research focuses on the responses of coral reefs to climate change. 
Career
Andrew received his undergraduate degree from Cambridge University, graduating with a Double First in Natural Sciences (Zoology), before coming to the US on a Fulbright Scholarship in 1993. He received his Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the University of Miami in 1999, and worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in New York from 1999-2005, where he was also an adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University, and a Fellow of the Explorer’s Club (FN 2003). He returned to the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School as faculty in 2005 and was named a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation in 2008 for his work on the adaptive response of corals to climate change. In 2017 Baker became an Inventor-in-Residence at the new Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami, and in 2018 he was named to a National Academy of Science committee on interventions to increase the resilience of coral reefs.
Andrew received his undergraduate degree from Cambridge University, graduating with a Double First in Natural Sciences (Zoology), before coming to the US on a Fulbright Scholarship in 1993. He received his Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the University of Miami in 1999, and worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in New York from 1999-2005, where he was also an adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University, and a Fellow of the Explorer’s Club (FN 2003). He returned to the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School as faculty in 2005 and was named a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation in 2008 for his work on the adaptive response of corals to climate change. In 2017 Baker became an Inventor-in-Residence at the new Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami, and in 2018 he was named to a National Academy of Science committee on interventions to increase the resilience of coral reefs.
Research
Andrew Baker is a marine biologist interested in the biology, ecology and conservation of coral reefs, with a focus on the impacts of climate change on these ecosystems. Much of his research studies corals from the perspective of their algal symbionts (zooxanthellae in the genus Symbiodinium). Many corals have the ability to host different types of algal symbionts, and this flexibility helps them adapt to environmental variability. Baker’s lab has been assessing how important and widespread this ability is, and how it affects the response of corals (and the ecosystems they build) to climate change. Much of this work involves the study of molecular systematics and ecology (since these symbionts are most readily identified from their DNA), but this work also has a strong experimental focus in Miami, using corals growing in indoor and outdoor facilities, as well as fieldwork on coral reefs worldwide. Baker’s lab is currently developing and testing ways of manipulating corals to make them more resistant to heat-induced episodes of coral “bleaching”. These methods are now being field-trialed in South Florida as a way to increase the long-term success of reef restoration efforts. He has also begun projects to assess the benefits and risks of assisted migration and selective breeding of corals to improve their climate futures, and this work has involved studies of the genetic connectivity of different coral species, both within Florida and throughout the wider Caribbean.