Kelsey Johnson-Sapp

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kelsey sapp

Kelsey Johnson-Sapp

Ph.D. Student
Marine Biology and Ecology

Kelsey received her B.S. from Stetson University in 2015, where she researched long-term reproductive adaptations of invasive fish species in Florida freshwater systems. After working as a Dive Master in the Florida Keys the following year, she attended Duke University’s Master of Environmental Management program where she would discover her love of coral reefs and their vital role in maintaining coastal resilience and ocean health. During her master’s, she collaborated with Dr. John Burns at the Gates Laboratory to develop her prowess with Structure-from-Motion photogrammetry techniques to model reef complexity on an interactive 3D platform. She then applied her new modeling skillset to conduct a comparative analysis of natural and artificial reefs off of the Miami coast to quantify complexity and coral recruitment of each habitat as part of her Master’s Project. Now on a Ph.D. trajectory, Kelsey is interested in leveraging the natural adaptive capacity of corals to incorporate into reef restoration frameworks as climate change continues to destabilize the ocean environment.