Postdoctoral Research

Dr. Courtney Klepac

Dr. Courtney Klepac

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr. Klepac joined the Mote Team as the Coral Resilience Postdoctoral Researcher in 2021 after completing her Ph.D. at Old Dominion University. Her dissertation research integrated coral biology, molecular ecology, and ecophysiology with environmental data and field experimentation to characterize two Pacific massive coral species responses to thermal stress. By investigating the influence of environment, physiological plasticity, and adaptation on the stress tolerance scope of corals, she aims to understand how corals will respond to climate change. At Mote, Dr. Klepac will incorporate her field, experimental, and laboratory expertise by examining additional coral stressors on coral resilience and resistance and how this knowledge can inform or assist coral restoration.


Ph.D. in Ecological Sciences; Old Dominion University, 2020.

M.S. in Biological Sciences; Florida Atlantic University, 2014.

B.S. in Marine Biology; Texas A&M University at Galveston, 2008


Klepac C.N., Beal J., Kenkel C.D., Sproles A., Polinski J.M., Williams M.A., Matz M.V., Voss J.D. (2015) Seasonal stability of coral-Symbiodinium associations in the subtropical coral habitat of St. Lucie Reef, Florida. Marine Ecology Progress Series 532:137-151.

Klepac, C.N., Barshis D.J. (2020) Reduced thermal tolerance of massive coral species in a highly variable environment. Proc. R. Soc. B 287: 20201379.

Klepac CN, Barshis DJ. High-resolution in situ thermal metrics coupled with acute heat stress experiments reveal differential coral bleaching susceptibility. Coral Reefs. 2022 May 28:1-3.

Fifer JE, Bui V, Berg JT, Kriefall N, Klepac C, Bentlage B, Davies SW. Microbiome structuring within a coral colony and along a sedimentation gradient. Frontiers in Marine Science. 2022:2071.