Hollie Putnam

  • Associate Professor
  • Biological Sciences
  • Phone: 401.874.9510
  • Email: hputnam@uri.edu
  • Office Location: Office: CBLS 191
  • Website


I am broadly interested in physiological ecology of marine invertebrates. I strive to understand how the immediate abiotic environment and biotic interactions drive organism phenotype and ecological and evolutionary processes. To date, I have primarily utilized scleractinian, or reef-building corals, and other calcifying marine invertebrates, such as shellfish, as my study systems. These organisms are ecosystem engineers that shape important fisheries and are ideal systems in which to focus on biological response within the context of local environmental stress and a changing climate. There is enormous variability in the way organisms respond to environmental perturbations resulting in differential survival of species. I study the mechanisms underlying this variability including innovations related to genetic adaptation, rapid acclimatization through epigenetic mechanisms and phenotypic plasticity, parental effects, and shifts in the dynamic associated microorganism assemblages (i.e., the microbiome). My research crosses differrent levels of biological complexity including gene, protein, metabolite, and organismal response to identify how these levels interact to drive phenotypic consequences and ecological patterning.

I practice reproducible and open science and work in a very collaborative frame. For more information please visit my lab website at www.hollieputnam.com


Ph.D. (Zoology), 2012, University of Hawaii, Manoa
M.S. (Biology), 2008, California State University, Northridge
B.S. (Biology), 2004, University of Wisconsin, Superior

Selected Publications

Putnam HM, Davidson J, and Gates RD. (2016) Ocean acidification influences DNA methylation and phenotypic plasticity in environmentally susceptible corals. Evolutionary Applications
Madin JS, Hoogenboom MO, Connolly SR, Darling E, Falster D, Huang D, Keith SA, Mizerek T, Pandolfi JM, Putnam HM, and Baird AH. (2016) A trait-based approach to advance coral reef science. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 31(6), 419-428.
Putnam HM and Gates RD. (2015) Preconditioning in the reef-building coral Pocillopora damicornis and the potential for trans-generational acclimatization in coral larvae under future climate change conditions. Journal of Experimental Biology 218:2365-2372
Van Oppen MJ, Oliver J, Putnam HM, and RD Gates. (2015) Building coral reef resilience through assisted evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112(8), 2307-2313
Putnam HM, Mayfield AB, Fan TY, Chen CS, and Gates RD. (2013) The physiological and molecular responses of larvae from the reef-building coral Pocillopora damicornis exposed to near-future increases in temperature and pCO2. Marine Biology 160:2157-2173
Putnam HM, Stat M, Pochon X, and Gates RD. (2012) Endosymbiotic flexibility associates with environmental sensitivity in scleractinian corals. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 279:4352-4361
Putnam HM, and Edmunds PJ. (2011) The physiological response of reef corals to diel fluctuations in seawater temperature. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 396:216-223
Putnam HM, Edmunds PJ, and Fan TY. (2010) Effect of a fluctuating thermal regime on adult and larval reef corals. Invertebrate Biology 129:199-209