Nathan Formel

Research Highlights

Research Interests

Development of techniques to improve efficacy of coral restoration efforts.

Improving collaboration between coral restoration practitioners to enhance coral restoration at the ecosystem scale.

Promoting an open-source approach to technology development for marine research.

Nathan Formel

Senior Research Associate (University of Miami/CIMAS), Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division


4301 Rickenbacker Causeway
Miami, Florida 33149

“Studying the ocean and coral reefs provides a constant source of surprises, challenges, and one of the best office views a person could ask for. I can’t imagine a more incredible resource to conserve for future generations.”

Nate Formel is a marine biologist whose work has focused mainly on conservation and restoration of coral reef ecosystems in Florida, Hawaii, and the Caribbean. He holds an M.S. from the University of Miami and is currently a Senior Research Associate at AOML’s Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division and the University of Miami’s Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS). Formel’s work at CIMAS and AOML has focused on developing novel, low-cost, and open-source sampling equipment to expand the suite of tools used to study coral reef ecosystems. His current work is focused on enhancing and informing coral restoration to improve restoration efficacy and survivorship of outplanted corals.

Current Work

Senior Research Associate, Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division

My current work is focused on enhancing and informing coral restoration to improve restoration efficacy and survivorship of outplanted corals.

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2008, B.S. Biology with a Concentration in Marine Biology, Northeastern University, Boston, MA

Three Seas Program/East West Marine Biology: A year-long intensive program focused on independent research in three marine ecosystems in coastal Massachusetts, California, and French Polynesia.

2013, M.S. Marine Affairs & Policy, University of Miami, Miami, FL
Thesis work focused on ecosystem indicator development for coral reefs utilizing long-term survey data to enhance current coral monitoring. GPA: 4.0/4.0

  1. DeMerlis, A., A. Kirkland, M.L. Kaufman, A.B. Mayfield, N. Formel, G. Kolodziej, D.P. Manzello, D. Lirman, N. Traylor-Knowles, and I.C. Enochs. Pre-exposure to a variable temperature treatment improves the response of Acropora cervicornis to acute thermal stress. Coral Reefs, 41(2):435-445, 2022
    Ref. 4081
  2. Formel, N., I.C. Enochs, C. Sinigalliano, S.R. Anderson, and L.R. Thompson. Subsurface Automated Samplers for eDNA (SASe) for biological monitoring and research. HardwareX, 10:e00239, 2021
    Ref. 4031
  3. Enochs, I.C., N. Formel, D. Manzello, J. Morris, A.B. Mayfield, A. Boyd, G. Kolodziej, G. Adams, and J. Hendee. Coral persistence despite extreme periodic pH fluctuations at a volcanically acidified Caribbean reef. Coral Reefs, 39(3):523-528, 2020
    Ref. 3788

Department of Commerce Silver Medal 2019

For the development of a low-cost, open source subsurface autosampler (SAS) that eliminates barriers to water sampling and increases research capacity for all oceanographers.