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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


Marine invertebrate biodiversity, disease ecology, marine conservation biology, impacts of ocean change

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

Harvell, C.D. 2016. A Sea of Glass. University of California Press (exp. March 2016). 218 pp.

Fuess, L., M. Eisenlord, C. Closek, A. Tracy, R. Mountz, S. Gignoux-Wilfsohn, M. Moritsch, R. Yoshioka, and C. Burge. 2015. Up in Arms: Immune and nervous system response to sea star wasting disease. PLoS One 10(7):1-17.

Maynard, J., R. Hooidonk, M. Eakin, M. Puotinen, S. Heron, M. Garren, J. Lamb, G. Williams, E. Weil, B. Willis, and D. Harvell. 2015. Climate projections of conditions that increase coral disease susceptibility and pathogen virulence. Nature Climate Change 5:688-695.

Groner, M., R. Breyta, A. Dobson, C. Friedman, M. Garren, F. Gulland, J. Maynard, S. Wylie-Echeverria, and D. Harvell. 2015. A new response to disease outbreaks in the ocean. Science 347(6227):1210-1211.

Pinzon, J., E. Weil, D. Harvell, B. Hanna, M. Medina, C. Burge, and L. Mydlarz. 2015. Whole transcriptome analysis reveals changes in expression of immune related genes during and after bleaching in a reef-building coral. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Open Sci 2(4):140214.

Tracy, A., O. Koren, N. Douglas, E. Weil, and D. Harvell. 2015. Persistent shifts in Caribbean coral microbiota are linked to the 2010 warm temperature anomaly. Environmental Microbiology Reports 7(3):471-479.

Lafferty, K.D., C.D. Harvell, J.M. Conrad, C.S. Friedman, M.L. Kent, A.M. Kuris, E.N. Powell, D. Rondeau, and S.M. Saksida. 2015. Infectious Diseases Affect Marine Fisheries and Aquaculture Economics. Annual Review of Marine Science 7:11.1-11.26. doi: 10.1146/annurev-marine-010814-015646

Hewson, I., J.B. Button, B.M. Gudenkauf, B. Miner, A.L. Newton, J.K. Gaydos, J. Wynne, C.L. Groves, G. Hendler, M. Murray, S. Fradkin, M. Breitbart, E. Fahsbender, K.D. Lafferty, A.M. Kilpatrick, C.M. Miner, P. Raimondi, L. Lahner, C.S. Friedman, S. Daniels, M. Haulena, J. Marliave, C.A. Burge, M.E. Eisenlord, and C.D. Harvell. 2014. Densovirus associated with sea star wasting disease and mass mortality. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Groner, M.L., C.A. Burge, C.S. Couch, C.J.S. Kim, G-F. Siegmund, S. Singhal, S. Smoot, A. Jarrell, J.K. Gaydos, C.D. Harvell, and S. Wylie-Echeverria. 2014. Host demography influences the prevalence and severity of eelgrass wasting disease. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 108:165-175.

Burge, C.A., C.M. Eakin, C.S. Friedman, B. Froelich, P.K. Hershberger, E.E. Hofmann, L.E. Petes, K.C. Prager, E.W. Weil, B.L. Willis, S.E. Ford, and C.D. Harvell. 2014. Climate Change Influences on Marine Infectious Diseases: Implications for Management and Society. Annual Review of Marine Sciences 6:1.1-1.29.

Altizer, S., R.S. Ostfeld, P.T. Johnson, S. Kutz, and C.D. Harvell. 2013. Climate Change and Infectious Diseases: From Evidence to a Predictive Framework. Science 341:514-519.

Burge, C.A., M.E. Mouchka, C.D. Harvell, and S. Roberts. 2013. Immune response of the Caribbean sea fan, Gorgonia ventalina, exposed to an Aplanochytrium parasite as revealed by transcriptome sequencing. Frontiers in Physiology 4:180.

Mumby, P., R. Iglesias-Prieto, A.J. Hooten, P.F. Sale, O. Hoegh-Guldberg, A.J. Edwards, C.D. Harvell, E.D. Gomez, N. Knowlton, M.E. Hatziolos, M.S. Kyewalyanga, and N. Muthiga. 2012. Revisiting climate thresholds and ecosystem collapse. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 9(2):94-96.

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

Keesing, F., L.K. Belden, P. Daszak, A. Dobson, C. Harvell, R.D. Holt, P. Hudson, A. Jolles, K.E. Jones, C.E. Mitchell, S.S. Myers, T. Bogich, and R.S. Ostfeld. 2010. Impacts of biodiversity on the emergence and transmission of infectious diseases. Nature 468:647-652.