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Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Cornell University Cornell University Cornell University Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Drew Harvell


Hylodes phyllodes, a stream-breeding frog from Atlantic Coastal Forest of Brazil


Biology of Fishes class collecting at Oneida Lake


An Acacia tree backlit by the African sunset


Pisaster ochraceus in the intertidal


Common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca, growing in Ithaca

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Harvell, Drew


phone: 607-254-4274
room: E321 Corson Hall


Lab Website


Ph.D. 1985, University of Washington

Graduate Fields:

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Other Cornell Affiliations:

Associate Director of Environment, Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future

Curator of Blaschka Marine Invertebrates


Comma, separated, list of, words or phrases, also include in, metadata

Research Focus

The current focus of Dr. Harvell's laboratory group is on the ecology and evolution of coral resistance to disease. A subtheme of this work includes evaluating the impacts of a warming climate on coral reef ecosystems. Her analyses and papers have led to the now widespread acceptance that diseases in marine ecosystems are important, particularly in the very climate-sensitive coral reef ecosystems. Projects in her lab involve a variety of approaches, including field studies, molecular techniques, chemical analyses and mathematical modeling. She has worked for many years on coral reefs in the Mexican Yucatan and Florida Keys and more recently in Hawaii and Indonesia. Her work has been featured in national and international media. She has been a sabbatical fellow at National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, Vice President of the Society of American Naturalists, chaired both the World Bank Targeted Research Program on Coral Disease and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis program on the Ecology of Marine Disease and is a senior scientist at The Kohala Center, Hawaii.

Recent Courses Taught

  • BioEE 3730 Marine Invertebrate Biodiversity (at Shoals Marine Lab)
  • BioEE 4620 Marine Ecology
  • BioEE 3510 Conservation Oceanography (in Hawaii)
  • BioEE 6601 Field Studies in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology: Tropical Field Ecology

Selected Publications

Keesing, F., L. K. Belding, P. Daszak, A. Dobson, D. Harvell, R. Holt, P. Hudson, A. Jolles, K. Joes, C. Mitchell, S. Meyers, T. Bogich, and R. Ostfeld. 2011. Impacts of Biodiversity on the emergence and transmission of infectious disease.  Nature 468:647.

Bruno, J., S. Ellner, I. Vu, K. Kim, and D. Harvell. 2011. Impacts of aspergillosis on sea fan coral demography: modeling a moving target.  Ecological Monographs 81(1):123-139.

Mydlarz, L., E. McGinty, and D. Harvell. 2010. What are the physiological and immunological responses of coral to climate change?  Journal of Experimental Biology 213:934-945.

Bourne, D. G., M. Garren, T. Work, E. Rosenberg, G. Smith, and D. Harvell. 2009. Microbial diseases and the coral holobiont.  Trends in Microbiology 17(12):554-562.

Mydlarz, L. D., C. D. Harvell, S. Holthouse, and E. Peters. 2008. Cellular responses in sea fan corals: Granular amoebocytes react to pathogen and climate stressors.  Public Library of Science One 3(3):e1811.

Bruno, J. F., E. R. Selig, K. S. Casey, C. Page, B. Willis, C. D. Harvell, H. Sweatman, and A. M. Melendy. 2007. Thermal stress and coral cover as drivers of disease outbreaks.  Public Library of Science 5(6):1220-1227.

Ellner, S., L. E. Jones, L. Mydlarz, and D. Harvell. 2007. Within host disease ecology in the sea fan Gorgonia ventalina: modeling the spatial immunodynamics of a coral-pathogen interaction.  American Naturalist 170:1-21.

Hoegh-Guldbert, O., P. Mumby, A. J. Hooten, R. S. Steneck, P. Greenfield, E. Gomez, C. D. Harvell, P. R. Sale, A. J. Edwards, K. Caldeira, N. Knowlton, M. Eakin, R. Iglesias-Prietas, N. Muthiga, R. Bradbury, A. Dubi, and M. Hatzeolus. 2007. The carbon crisis: Coral reefs under rapid climate change and ocean acidification.  Science 318:1737.

Mydlarz, L. D., L. E. Jones, and C. D. Harvell. 2006. Innate immunity, environmental drivers, and disease ecology of marine and freshwater invertebrates.  Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 37:251-288.

Harvell, C. D., C. E. Mitchell, J. R. Ward, S. Altizer, A. P. Dobson, R. S. Ostfeld, and M. D. Samuel. 2002. Climate warming and disease risks for terrestrial and marine biota.  Science 296:2158-2162.