Iliana Baums

Professor of Biology

Iliana Baums

Research Summary

Molecular ecology and evolution of reef invertebrates.

Huck Affiliations


Publication Tags

Anthozoa Genotype Coral Gene Flow Corals Genomics Coral Reefs Population Dinoflagellida Symbionts Genes Population Genetics Gene Expression Reefs Symbiosis Ecology Connectivity Reef Symbiont Ecosystems Dna Methylation Dinoflagellate Miozoa Acropora Cervicornis Natural Capital

Most Recent Papers

Coral restoration genetics.

Iliana Baums,

Increasing comparability among coral bleaching experiments

A. G. Grottoli, R. J. Toonen, R. van Woesik, R. Vega Thurber, M. E. Warner, R. H. McLachlan, J. T. Price, K. D. Bahr, I. B. Baums, K. D. Castillo, M. A. Coffroth, R. Cunning, K. L. Dobson, M. J. Donahue, J. L. Hench, R. Iglesias-Prieto, D. W. Kemp, C. D. Kenkel, D. I. Kline, I. B. Kuffner, J. L. Matthews, A. B. Mayfield, J. L. Padilla-Gamiño, S. Palumbi, C. R. Voolstra, V. M. Weis, H. C. Wu, 2021, Ecological Applications

Investing in Blue Natural Capital to Secure a Future for the Red Sea Ecosystems

Maha J. Cziesielski, Carlos M. Duarte, Nojood Aalismail, Yousef Al-Hafedh, Andrea Anton, Faiyah Baalkhuyur, Andrew C. Baker, Thorsten Balke, Iliana B. Baums, Michael Berumen, Vasiliki I. Chalastani, Brendan Cornwell, Daniele Daffonchio, Karen Diele, Ehtesaam Farooq, Jean Pierre Gattuso, Song He, Catherine E. Lovelock, Elizabeth Mcleod, Peter I. Macreadie, Nuria Marba, Cecilia Martin, Marcelle Muniz-Barreto, Kirshnakumar P. Kadinijappali, Perdana Prihartato, Lotfi Rabaoui, Vincent Saderne, Sebastian Schmidt-Roach, David J. Suggett, Michael Sweet, John Statton, Sam Teicher, Stacey M. Trevathan-Tackett, Thadickal V. Joydas, Razan Yahya, Manuel Aranda, 2021, Frontiers in Marine Science

The coral symbiont Candidatus Aquarickettsia is variably abundant in threatened Caribbean acroporids and transmitted horizontally

Lydia Baker, Hannah Reich, Sheila Kitchen, J. Klinges, Hanna Koch, Iliana Baums, Erinn Muller, Rebecca Thurber, 2021, bioRxiv

STAGdb: a 30K SNP genotyping array and Science Gateway for Acropora corals and their dinoflagellate symbionts

S. A. Kitchen, G. Von Kuster, K. L.Vasquez Kuntz, H. G. Reich, W. Miller, S. Griffin, Nicole D. Fogarty, I. B. Baums, 2020, Scientific Reports

Genome-Wide DNA Methylation Analysis Reveals a Conserved Epigenetic Response to Seasonal Environmental Variation in the Staghorn Coral Acropora cervicornis

Javier A. Rodríguez-Casariego, Alex E. Mercado-Molina, Daniel Garcia-Souto, Ivanna M. Ortiz-Rivera, Christian Lopes, Iliana B. Baums, Alberto M. Sabat, Jose M. Eirin-Lopez, 2020, Frontiers in Marine Science

Deep-sea corals provide new insight into the ecology, evolution, and the role of plastids in widespread apicomplexan symbionts of anthozoans

Samuel A. Vohsen, Kaitlin E. Anderson, Andrea M. Gade, Harald R. Gruber-Vodicka, Richard P. Dannenberg, Eslam O. Osman, Nicole Dubilier, Charles R. Fisher, Iliana B. Baums, 2020, Microbiome

Deep-sea corals near cold seeps associate with chemoautotrophic bacteria that are related to the symbionts of cold seep and hydrothermal vent mussels

Samuel Vohsen, Harald Gruber-Vodicka, Eslam Osman, Matthew Saxton, Samantha Joye, Nicole Dubilier, C Fisher, Iliana Baums, 2020, bioRxiv on p. 2020.02.27.968453

Increasing comparability among coral bleaching experiments

A. Grottoli, R. Toonen, R. van Woesik, R. Vega Thurber, M. Warner, R. McLachlan, J. Price, K. Bahr, Iliana Baums, K. Castillo, M. Coffroth, R. Cunning, K. Dobson, M. Donahue, J. Hench, R Iglesias-Prieto, D. Kemp, C. Kenkel, D. Kline, I. Kuffner, J. Matthews, A. Mayfield, J. Padilla-Gamino, S. Palumbi, C. Voolstra, V. Weis, H Wu, 2020, Ecol Appl on p. e2262

Molecular tools for coral reef restoration: Beyond biomarker discovery

John Parkinson, Andrew Baker, Iliana Baums, Sarah Davies, Andrea Grottoli, Sheila Kitchen, Mikhail Matz, Margaret Miller, Andrew Shantz, Carly Kenkel, 2020, CONSERVATION LETTERS

Most-Cited Papers

Connectivity of Caribbean coral populations

Nicola L. Foster, Claire B. Paris, Johnathan T. Kool, Iliana B. Baums, Jamie R. Stevens, Juan A. Sanchez, Carolina Bastidas, Claudia Agudelo, Phillippe Bush, Owen Day, Renata Ferrari, Patricia Gonzalez, Shannon Gore, Reia Guppy, Michael A. McCartney, Croy McCoy, Judith Mendes, Ashwanth Srinivasan, Sascha Steiner, Mark J.A. Vermeij, Ernesto Weil, Peter J. Mumby, 2012, Molecular Ecology on p. 1143-1157

Conservation genomics of natural and managed populations

Laura Marilyn Benestan, Anne Laure Ferchaud, Paul A. Hohenlohe, Brittany A. Garner, Gavin J.P. Naylor, Iliana Brigitta Baums, Michael K. Schwartz, Joanna L. Kelley, Gordon Luikart, 2016, Molecular Ecology on p. 2967-2977

New insights into the dynamics between reef corals and their associated dinoflagellate endosymbionts from population genetic studies

Iliana B. Baums, Meghann K. Devlin-Durante, Todd C. Lajeunesse, 2014, Molecular Ecology on p. 4203-4215

Geographic differences in vertical connectivity in the Caribbean coral Montastraea cavernosa despite high levels of horizontal connectivity at shallow depths

Xaymara M. Serrano, I. B. Baums, K. O'Reilly, T. B. Smith, R. J. Jones, T. L. Shearer, F. L.D. Nunes, A. C. Baker, 2014, Molecular Ecology on p. 4226-4240

No gene flow across the Eastern Pacific Barrier in the reef-building coral Porites lobata

Iliana B. Baums, Jennifer N. Boulay, Nicholas R. Polato, Michael E. Hellberg, 2012, Molecular Ecology on p. 5418-5433

Growth dynamics of the threatened caribbean staghorn coral acropora cervicornis

Diego Lirman, Stephanie Schopmeyer, Victor Galvan, Crawford Drury, Andrew C. Baker, Iliana B. Baums, 2014, PLoS One on p. e107253

Response of deep-water corals to oil and chemical dispersant exposure

Danielle M. DeLeo, Dannise V. Ruiz-Ramos, Iliana B. Baums, Erik E. Cordes, 2016, Deep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography on p. 137-147

Gene expression variation resolves species and individual strains among coral-associated dinoflagellates within the genus symbiodinium

John E. Parkinson, Sebastian Baumgarten, Craig T. Michell, Iliana B. Baums, Todd C. LaJeunesse, Christian R. Voolstra, 2016, Genome Biology and Evolution on p. 665-680

Intraspecific diversity among partners drives functional variation in coral symbioses

John Everett Parkinson, Anastazia T. Banaszak, Naomi S. Altman, Todd C. LaJeunesse, Iliana B. Baums, 2015, Scientific Reports

The extended phenotypes of marine symbioses: Ecological and evolutionary consequences of intraspecific genetic diversity in coral-algal associations

John E. Parkinson, Iliana B. Baums, 2014, Frontiers in Microbiology

News Articles Featuring Iliana Baums

Long-distance relationships for endangered corals

Flash-frozen sperm collected from corals in Florida and Puerto Rico was used to fertilize coral eggs from hundreds of miles away in Curaçao. The technique could be used as a conservation tool by introducing genetic variation into endangered corals and potentially accelerating their adaptation to climate change.

Penn State biologist and colleagues receive $4M to identify heat-tolerant corals

An international team that includes Penn State biologist Iliana Baums has been awarded a $4 million grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation to identify corals that are naturally resilient to climate change. This is one of four newly funded projects supported by the foundation that are focused on the conservation and restoration of coral reefs in the context of the climate crisis.

Reef-building corals and microscopic algae within their cells evolve together

The microscopic algae that live inside and provide nutrients to their reef-building coral hosts may be evolving in tandem with the corals they inhabit, so each partner is fine-tuned to meet one another’s needs. A new study by Penn State biologists reveals that genetic differences within a species of these microalgal symbionts correspond to the coral species they inhabit, a discovery that could have implications for the conservation of these endangered corals.

Corals are first animals seen to pass on mutations acquired as adults

Corals have an evolutionary superpower. Adult corals can pass on mutations they have acquired during their lives to their offspring, overturning a long-standing belief that no animals can hand down such mutations – although most can’t.

New tool for identifying endangered corals could aid conservation efforts

Coral conservation efforts could get a boost from a newly developed genotyping “chip” — the first of its kind for corals. The chip allows researchers to genetically identify corals and the symbiotic algae that live within the coral’s cells, a vital step for establishing and maintaining genetic diversity in reef restoration efforts.

Ecology Institute announces grant recipients

The Ecology Institute has awarded 11 proposals from across the University as part of its Flower Grant program, including five projects submitted by faculty at Commonwealth Campuses.

Coral Researchers Recognized for Significant Contributions to Field

Iliana Baums and her research team were recognized by members of the coral reef community as making significant contributions to coral reef research.

How to restore a coral reef

New guidelines drafted by a consortium of concerned experts could enable corals to adapt to changing environments and help restore declining coral populations in the Caribbean.