Experience: 20 years
Specialization: Marine Biology, Coral Restoration
Cindy Lewis is the Director of the Keys Marine Lab and has been lead Staff Scientist since 2008. Dr. Lewis received her bachelor’s degree at Cornell University and master’s degree at the University of Buffalo, Graduate Program in Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior. Her master’s work focused on coral-algal symbiosis and she has extensive field experience in stony coral and soft coral reproduction and spawning. Dr. Lewis completed her Ph.D. in the Biology Department at Florida International University, studying the effects of hyperthermal stress on coral symbiosis, bleaching, disease, and the microbiome in the federally–listed pillar coral, Dendrogyra cylindrus. This research was largely funded by a National Science Foundation Rapid Response Research grant with Dr. Mauricio Rodriguez-Lanetty. Information gained from her work with pillar coral since 2014 has prompted the establishment of ex situ genetic rescue nurseries for this critically threatened species, involving multiple federal, state, and local partners. Dr. Lewis is the KML delegate to the Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean (AMLC) and active on the communications committee. Additionally, she maintains active status as an American Academy of Underwater Science (AAUS) diver and is a NAUI Dive Master. Community involvement includes municipality representative to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council, South Florida Coral Disease Advisory Council participant, member of Leadership Monroe County Class XXVIII, councilwoman on the Layton City Council, and board member/treasurer/musician in the Keys Community Concert Band.