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Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The University of Queensland

Dissertation Year Fellow, Florida International University

Tropics Program Research Fellow,  Florida International University





Ph.D. in Biology, Florida International University

M.S. in Biology, Florida International University

B.S. in Microbiology, The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor


KE Dougan, AJ Bellantuono, T Kahlke, RM Abbriano, Y Chen, S Shah, C Granados-Cifuentes, MJH van Oppen, D Bhattacharya, DJ Suggett, M Rodriguez-Lanetty, CX Chan (2022). Whole-genome duplication in an algal symbiont serendipitously confers thermal tolerance to corals. bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2022.04.10.487810

KE Dougan*, ZL Deng*, L Wöhlbrand*, C Reuse*, B Bunk, Y Chen, J Hartlich, K Hiller, U John, J Kalvelage, J Mansky, M Neumann-Schaal, J Overmann, J Petersen, S Sanchez, K Schmidt-Hohagen, S Shah, C Spröer, H Sztajer, H Wang, D Bhattacharya, R Rabus, D Jahn, CX Chan, I Wagner-Döbler (2022). Evolution of resilience against heat stress in a red-tide dinoflagellate. bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2022.07.25.501386


Y Chen, S Shah, KE Dougan, MJH van Oppen, D Bhattacharya, CX Chan (2022). Improved Cladocopium goreaui genome assembly reveals features of a facultative coral symbiont and the complex evolutionary history of dinoflagellate genes. In press at Microorganisms.


S ShahT LonhienneCE MurrayY ChenKE Dougan, YS LowCM WilliamsG SchenkGH Walter, LW GuddatCX Chan. (2022) Genome-Guided Analysis of Seven Weed Species Reveals Conserved Sequence and Structural Features of Key Gene Targets for Herbicide Development. Frontiers in Plant Science, 13:909073. DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2022.909073

R Lo​, KE Dougan, Y Chen, S Shah, D Bhattacharya, CX Chan (2022). Alignment-Free Analysis of Whole-Genome Sequences From Symbiodiniaceae Reveals Different Phylogenetic Signals in Distinct Regions. Frontiers in Plant Science, 13:815714. DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2022.815714

KE Dougan, RA González-Pech, TG Stephens, S Shah, Y Chen, MA Ragan, D Bhattacharya, CX Chan (2022). Genome-powered classification of microbial eukaryotes: focus on coral algal symbionts. Trends in Microbiology, 30(9):831-840. DOI: 10.1016/j.tim.2022.02.001

AP Jacobus, TG Stephens, P Youssef, R González-Pech, MM Ciccotosto-Camp, KE Dougan, Y Chen, LC Basso, J Frazzon, CX Chan, J Gross (2021). Comparative genomics supports that Brazilian bioethanol Saccharomyces cerevisiae comprise a unified group of domesticated strains related to cachaça spirit yeasts. Frontiers in Microbiology, 12:687. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.644089

R González-Pech, TG Stephens, Y Chen, AR Mohamed, Y Cheng, S Shah, KE Dougan, MDA Fortuin, R Lagorce, DW Burt, D Bhattacharya, MA Ragan, CX Chan (2021). Comparison of 15 dinoflagellate genomes reveals extensive sequence and structural divergence in family Symbiodiniaceae and genus SymbiodiniumBMC Biology, 19:73. DOI:

C Iha, KE Dougan, JA Varela, V Avila, CJ Jackson, KA Bogaert, Y Chen, LM Judd, R Wick, KE Holt, MM Pasella, F Ricci, SI Repetti, M Medina, VR Marcelino, CX Chan, H Verbruggen (2021). Genomic adaptations to an endolithic lifestyle in the coral-associated alga Ostreobium. Current Biology, 31, 1-10. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.01.018

KE Dougan, MC Ladd, C Fuchs, R Vega Thurber, DE Burkepile, M Rodriguez-Lanetty. (2020) Nutrient pollution and predation differentially affect innate immune pathways in the coral Porites porites. Frontiers in Marine Science, 7:563865. DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2020.563865

AJ Bellantuono*, KE Dougan*, C Granados-Cifuentes, M Rodriguez-Lanetty. (2019) Free‐living and symbiotic lifestyles of a thermotolerant coral endosymbiont display profoundly distinct transcriptomes under both stable and heat stress conditions. Molecular Ecology 28(24):5265-5281  DOI: 10.1111/mec.15300

G Bonthond, DG Merselis, KE Dougan, T Graff, W Todd, JW Fourqurean, M Rodriguez-Lanetty. (2018) Inter-domain microbial diversity within the coral holobiont Siderastrea siderea from two depth habitats. PeerJ 6:e4323 DOI: 10.7717/peerj.4323

TA Hendry, J.R. de Wet, KE Dougan, and PV Dunlap. (2016) Genome evolution in the obligate but environmentally active luminous symbionts of flashlight fish. Genome Biology and Evolution, 8(7):2203-2213. DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evw161

AL Gould, KE Dougan, S Koel, PV Dunlap. (2016) Life history of the symbiotically luminous cardinal fish Siphamia tubifer (Perciformes: Apogonidae) in Okinawa, Japan. Journal of Fish Biology, 89(2):1359-1377. DOI:

*Authors contributed equally

† Co-corresponding author


KE Dougan (2015). Effect of variable reproductive output and connectivity on populations of a host fish and its bacterial symbiont, with implications for future climate change. In D. Nichols & J. Xia (Eds.), Excellence in Upper-Level Writing (pp. 35-50). Ann Arbor, MI: Michigan Publishing.


KE Dougan, AJ Bellantuono, T Kahlke, RM Abbriano, Y Chen, S Shah, C Granados-Cifuentes, MJH van Oppen, D Bhattacharya, DJ Suggett, M Rodriguez-Lanetty, CX Chan (2022). Whole-genome duplication in an algal symbiont serendipitously confers thermal tolerance to corals. 58th annual Australian Marine Sciences Association Conference, Cairns, Queensland, Australia.


KE Dougan, D Bhattacharya, CX Chan. Patterns of Adaptive selection on symbiotic dinoflagellate lineages within the genus Symbiodinium (2021). 12th International Phycological Congress, Puerto Montt, Chile.


KE Dougan and M Rodriguez-Lanetty (2018). Comparative transcriptomics reveal extensive diversity of insulin-like peptides in Cnidaria. Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

DM Merselis, AJ Bellantuono, KE Dougan, T Thinesh, K Nedimeyer, NEEMO consortium, M Rodriguez-Lanetty (2018). Effects of genotype and environmental history on coral nursery production. FIU Biosymposium, Miami, FL.


AJ Bellantuono, KE Dougan, C Granados-Cifuentes, M Rodriguez-Lanetty (2017). Transcriptome analysis of Symbiodinium trenchii: comparing in symbio and free-living responses to hyperthermal stress. European Coral Reef Symposium, Oxford, United Kingdom.


KE Dougan, M Ladd, C Fuchs, R Vega Thurber, DE Burkepile, M Rodriguez-Lanetty (2017). Nutrient Enrichment suppresses an innate immunity pathway in the coral Porites porites and recovery from predation. 38th Scientific Meeting of the AMLC, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico.


T Graff, K Young, D Coan, D Merselis, AJ Bellantuono, KE Dougan, M Rodriguez-Lanetty, K Nedimyer, S Chappell, K Beaton, A Naids, A Hood, M Reagan, E Rampe, W Todd, J Poffenberger and D Garrison (2017). NEEMO 21: Tools, Techniques, Technologies, & Training for Science Exploration. 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, The Woodlands, TX.


KE Dougan, M Ladd, C Fuchs, R Vega Thurber, DE Burkepile, M Rodriguez-Lanetty (2017). Nutrient enrichment decreases phenoloxidase pathway involved in wound healing and immunity in the coral Porites porites. FIU Biosymposium, Miami, FL.

KE Dougan, DG Merselis, G Bonthond, M Rodriguez-Lanetty (2016). A high-resolution characterization of Symbiodinium communities along a depth gradient in the reef-building coral Siderastrea siderea. 13th International Coral Reef  Symposium, Honolulu, HI.


2021: UQ Genome Innovation Hub Collaborative Project Research Grant (~$30,000 AUD)

2019FIU Dissertation Year Fellowship ($20000 USD)

2018: FIU Tropics Program Research Grant ($8000 USD)

2018: 3rd Place Oral Presentation, Biosymposium, Florida International University

2017: Travel Grant, Association of the Marine Labs of the Caribbean ($225 USD)

2017: 1st Place Oral Presentation, Biosymposium, Florida International University ($100 USD)

2016: Travel Grant, Florida International University ($300 USD)

2015Captains Choice Award, NASA Extreme Environment Missions Operations

2015: Granader Prize for Excellence in Upper-Level Writing – Natural Sciences, University of Michigan ($1042 USD)

2014: Graduate Assistantship, Florida International University ($135,000 USD)

2014: EEB Travel, Research, and Internship Funding, University of Michigan ($600 USD)

2013: Underwood Alger Scholarship, University of Michigan ($1000 USD)

2012: Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program Travel Grant, University of  Michigan ($800 USD)


2020-Present: Sarah Shah, Co-Supervisor • PhD Student, UQ

2020-Present: Yibi Chen, Co-Supervisor • PhD Student, UQ

2020: Xiaoyu Hou, Co-Supervisor • Masters Student, UQ

2020: Michael Ciccotosto-Camp, Co-Supervisor • Undergraduate Student, UQ

2020: Michael Fortuin, Co-Supervisor • Undergraduate Student, UQ

2018-19: Juan Carabeo-Nieva • Undergraduate Student, FIU

2017-18: Bridgette Hernandez • Undergraduate Student, FIU

2017-18: Natalia Padillo • Undergraduate Student, FIU


2020-Present: Instructor • SCIE2100/BINF6000 Bioinformatics 1: Introduction, UQ

2020: Mentor • BIOC6512 Honours Journal Club, UQ

2019: Lead Instructor • BSC2011L: SEA-PHAGES Program, FIU / Howard Hughes Medical Institute 

2016-18: Graduate Teaching Assistant • BSC2011L: SEA-PHAGES Lab, FIU / Howard Hughes Medical Institute 

2016-17: Graduate Teaching Assistant • BSC1010L: General Biology II Lab, FIU

2014-16: Graduate Teaching Assistant • PCB3063L: Genetics Lab, FIU


2022: Teaching@UQ, The University of Queensland, 

2018: SEA-PHAGES Bioinformatics Faculty Training Workshop, HHMI Headquarters, Chevy Chase, MD

2017: Python for Everybody, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, FL

2016: Coral In Situ Metabolism (CISME) Workshop, University of Miami, Miami, FL

2015R Workshop, Florida International University, Miami, FL

2015: Functional Genomics and Proteomics, Florida International University, Miami, FL


Reviewer: BMC Genomics, Coral Reefs, Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, Molecular Ecology Resources, Biotechnology Reports

2016-18: Planning Committee / Program Designer, Biosymposium, Florida International University

2017: Presenter, Keys Marine Laboratory Science Night, Layton, FL

2016: Volunteer, DEEPEND Booth, Tortuga Music Festival Conservation Village, Miami, FL

2015: Presenter, Miami Underwater Festival, Frost Science Museum, Miami, FL

2015: Volunteer, Family Science Nights, Treasure Village Montessori, Islamorada, FL

2012-14: Volunteer, Greek Life Strategic Plan Task Force, University of Michigan

2013-14: Student Judge, Greek Activities Review Panel, University of Michigan

2013: Volunteer, Ann Arbor Community Center Summer Day Camp

2011-13: Mentor, Assisting Latinos to Maximize Achievement Program, University of Michigan

2011: Student Representative, Leadership Connection, University of Michigan

2010-12: Vice President, M.O.S.A.I.C. Multicultural Council, University of Michigan

2009-12: Mentor, Proyecto Avance: Latino Mentoring Association, University of Michigan


American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) Certified Scientific Diver

Technical Diving International Nitrox Diver

Profesional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Advanced Diver

Divers Alert Network (DAN) Oxygen Provider

DAN Basic Life Support: First Aid/CPR/AE

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