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Karl Castillo


Castillo_Karl_Aquarium-Research-Center_2Associate Professor; Seminar Speaker Committee Chair
Phone: (919) 843-8752
Fax: (919) 962-1254
Office: 4202E Murray Hall CB #3300, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3300



2010     SPIRE Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2008     CPFFD Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2008     Ph.D. Marine Sciences, University of South Carolina

2003     M.S. Marine Sciences, University of South Carolina

1998     B.S. Biology and Unified Sciences Education, Southeast Missouri State University

Research & Activities

Coral Physiological Ecology, Climate Change, and Conservation

Research projects in the Castillo Lab are at the interface of ecology and physiology. A variety of ecophysiological research tools and techniques are employed to examine the mechanisms that underlie the relationships between coastal marine organisms and their environment. Recent research efforts are focused on establishing quantitative links between field and controlled laboratory experiments to investigate how tropical corals interact with their physical environment and how their environmental history influences their physiological performance. Ecophysiological methods are also employed to investigate and predict the impact future changes in our climate such as rising seawater temperature and ocean acidification will have on coral organisms across a variety of spatiotemporal scales. Significant effort is made to apply research findings to coral reef conservation and marine protected area design.


Cox CE, Jones CD, Wares JP, Castillo KD, McField MD, Bruno JF (2012) Genetic testing reveals some mislabeling but general compliance with a ban on herbivorous fish harvesting in Belize. Conservation Letters DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2012.00286.x

Castillo KD, Ries JB, Weiss JM, Lima FP. (2012) Decline of forereef corals in response to recent warming linked to history of thermal exposure.  Nature Climate Change DOI:10.1038/nclimate1577

Castillo KD, Ries JB, Weiss JM. (2011) Declining coral skeletal extension for forereef colonies of Siderastrea siderea on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, southern Belize.  PLoS ONE 6: e14615: 1-12

Castillo KD, Lima FP. (2010) Comparison of in situ and satellite-derived (MODIS Terra/Aqua) methods for assessing temperatures on coral reefs. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods 8:107-117

Castillo KD, Helmuth BST. (2005) Influence of thermal history on the response of Montastraea annularis to short-term temperature exposure. Marine Biology 148: 261- 270

CV of Karl Castillo