Melissa Roth
mroth at
Lab Phone: 

PhD, Marine Biology, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
MSc, Marine Biology, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
BSc, Ocean Sciences, Stanford University

Research Interests
I am interested in how environment shapes life in life that shapes the environment.
Keywords: environmental physiology, evolutionary physiology, ecology, climate change, photosynthesis, photoprotection, algae, coral, symbiosis, bioenergy, agriculture, dinoflagellates, fluorescent proteins, GFP, chlorophytes, biogenesis/degradation of chlorophyll complexes, non-photochemical quenching



Roth, MS†, Westcott†, DJ, Iwai, M, Niyogi, KK. 2019. Hexokinase is necessary for glucose-mediated photosynthesis repression and lipid accumulation in a green alga. Communications Biology 2: 347. doi: 10.1038/s42003-019-0577-1 †equal authorship URL

Roth, MS, Gallaher, SD, Westcott, DJ, Iwai, M, Louie, KB, Mueller, M, Walter, A, Foflonker, F, Bowen, BP, Ataii, NN, Song, J, Chen, J.-H, Blaby-Haas, C, Larabell, C, Auer, M, Northen, T, Merchant, SS, and Niyogi, KK. 2019. Regulation of oxygenic photosynthesis during trophic transitions in the green alga Chromochloris zofingiensisThe Plant Cell, tpc.00742.02018. DOI: 10.1105/tpc.18.00742 URL

Padilla-Gamiño JL, Roth MS, Rodrigues LJ, Bradley CJ, Bidigare RR, Gates RD, Smith CM, Spalding HL. 2019. Ecophysiology of mesophotic reef-building corals in Hawai‘i is influenced by symbiont–host associations, photoacclimatization, trophic plasticity, and adaptation. Limnology and Oceanography. DOI: 10.1002/lno.11164 URL

Spalding, HL, Copus, JM, Bowen, BW, Kosaki, RK, Longenecker, K, Montgomery, AD, Padillo-Gamiño, JL, Parrish, FA, Roth, MS, Rowley, SJ, Toonen, RJ, Pyle, RL. 2019. The Hawaiian Archipelago. In Loya, Y, Puglise, KA, and Bridge, TCL (Eds.). Mesophotic coral ecosystems. Springer, New York. URL

Iwai, M, Roth, MS, Niyogi, KK. 2018. Subdiffraction-resolution live-cell imaging for visualizing thylakoid membranes. The Plant Journal 96, 233-243. DOI:10.1111/tpj.14021 URL

Gallaher, SD, Roth, MS. 2018. RNA purification from the unicellular green alga, Chromochloris zofingiensisBio-protocol 8, e2793. DOI: 10.21769/BioProtoc.2793 URL

Roth, MS, Cokus, SC, Gallaher, SD, Lopez, D, Walter, A, Erickson, E, Endelman, B, Westcott, D, Larabell, C, Merchant, SS, Pellegrini, M, Niyogi, KK. 2017. Chromosome-level genome assembly and transcriptome of the green alga Chromochloris zofingiensis illuminates astaxanthin production. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 114(21):E4296–E4305. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1619928114  equal authorship URL

Roth, MS, Padilla-Gamiño, JL, Pochon, X, Bidigare, RR, Gates, RD, Smith, CM, Spalding, HL. 2015. Fluorescent proteins in dominant mesophotic reef-building corals. Marine Ecology Progress Series 521: 63-79. DOI: 10.3354/meps11108 URL

Roth, MS. 2014. The engine of the reef: Photobiology of the coral-algal symbiosis. Frontiers in Microbiology 5, 422. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2014.00422 URL

Roth, MS, Deheyn, DD. 2013. Effects of cold stress and heat stress on coral fluorescence in reef-building corals. Scientific Reports 3, 1421. DOI: 10.1038/srep01421 URL

*Press about this paper: National Science Foundation and Smithsonian Surprising Science Blog

Roth, MS, Fan, TY, Deheyn, DD. 2013. Life history changes in coral fluorescence and the effects of light intensity on larval physiology and settlement in Seriatopora hystrix. PLoS ONE 8(3): e59476. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059476 URL

Padilla-Gamiño, JL, Bidigare,RR, BarshisDJ, Alamaru, A, Hédouin, L, Hernández-Pech, X, Kandel, F, Soon, SL, Roth, MS, Rodrigues,  LJ, Grottoli, AG, Portocarrero, C, Wagenhauser, SA, Buttler, F, Gates, RD. 2013. Are all eggs created equal? A case study from the Hawaiian reef-building coral Montipora capitataCoral Reefs. DOI: 10.1007/s00338-012-0957-1 URL

Roth, MS, Goericke, R, Deheyn, DD. 2012. Cold induces acute stress but heat is ultimately more deleterious for the reef-building coral Acropora yongeiScientific Reports 2, 240. DOI: 10.1038/srep00240 URL

*Press about this paper: Nature, National Science Foundation, and NYTimes blog piece

Roth, MS, Latz, MI, Goericke, R, Deheyn, DD. 2010. Green fluorescent protein regulation in the coral Acropora yongei during photoacclimation. Journal of Experimental Biology 213: 3644-3655. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059476 URL

Roth, MS, Knowlton, N. 2009. Distribution, abundance and microhabitat characterization of small juvenile corals at Palmyra Atoll. Marine Ecology Progress Series 376: 133-142. DOI: 10.3354/meps07787 URL

Palmer, CV, Roth, MS, Gates, RD. 2009. Red fluorescent protein responsible for pigmentation in trematode infected Porites compressa tissues. Biological Bulletin 216: 68-74. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007298 URL

Sanford, E, Roth, MS, Johns, GC, Wares, JP, Somero, GN. 2003. Local selection and latitudinal variation in a marine predator-prey interaction. Science 300:1135-1137. DOI: 10.1126/science.1083437 URL

Created a website on nongeniculate coralline algae. 2001. URL