Welcome to Marine Microbial Symbioses.
Madeleine and Linda successful in ARC Discovery Grant 2021-2023
Our partner investigator on the grant is Asst Prof Nikki Traylor-Knowles from the University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, USA. Summary of the work: "This project aims to decipher the functions of coral-associated bacteria by taking advantage of low-diversity microbiomes that are naturally found in some coral species. A further aim is to unveil the importance of bacterial genome …20 November, 2020
PhDone! Congratulations Giada.
From all of us here at the Marine Microbial Symbioses group, we'd like to congratulate Giada on completing her PhD! Giada is incredibly dedicated and has committed herself to her research, being awarded the opportunity to travel to Cambridge during her studies and winning the Ethel McLennan Award in 2019. Thank you for your hard work and contributions to the field, …21 September, 2020
On behalf of the Marine Microbial Symbioses group, we'd like to say a huge congratulations to Ashley Dungan who presented her PhD Thesis completion seminar today via Zoom. Ashley is an irreplaceable presence in our community, and has consistently approached her research with passion, enthusiasm and rigour. Her contributions to the field of coral bleaching research are invaluable, and we …18 August, 2020
Well done, Justin!
Well done to Justin, one of our post-docs, whose final paper from his PhD has just been published in PNAS! Justin's PhD focused on the obligate symbiosis between a major crop pest, the cereal weevil Sitophilus, and its bacterial endosymbiont, Sodalis pierantonius. You can find the paper here.29 July, 2020
Fundamentals of Cnidarian Microbe Symbioses
We examine how the host and symbionts recognise one another and maintain a functional cohabitation, how microbial communities vary in space and time, how they are transmitted from one host generation to the next, and the functional roles of host-associated microbes.
Engineering of Coral Photosymbionts
We use experimental evolution and gene technologies to enhance the thermal tolerance of the coral photosymbionts, Symbiodiniaceae, with the aim to increase the climate resilience of corals.
We study the potential to augment the capacity of keystone coral taxa to tolerate stress through the manipulation of their associated prokaryotic communities, akin to probiotics in other animals.
Engineering Corals for Climate Resilience
We explore a range of approaches with the aim of enhancing coral climate resilience, including interspecific hybridisation followed by artificial selection, selective breeding and assisted gene flow, conditioning (epigenetic programming).
Funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (Blackall, van Oppen, Hinde and Brumley), we will study Symbiodiniaceae (Breviolum minutum)-bacterial symbioses using Imaging (mass spectrometry imaging, fluorescence in situ hybridization via fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy and fluorescence fluctuation spectroscopy) to explore bacterial localization, cellular heterogeneity, cell-to-cell signalling, and general chemical dynamics and Microfluidics (fluorescence microscopy and high-speed imaging to track and quantify the motion of fluorescently labelled bacteria) to interrogate bacterial responses to linear gradients of algal exudates.
Microbiologically influenced corrosion of metal surfaces in marine environments leads to corrosion rates of up to several millimetres per year. We use metagenomics to determine the corroding microbial community structure and their metabolic properties.
Madeleine van Oppen
I was originally trained in marine ecology, developed as an ecological geneticist post-BSc and began to study corals in 1997 and coral-associated microorganism in 2000. My microbial studies were initially limited to the dinoflagellate endosymbionts of corals, but more recently I have ventured into the study of other microbial groups that inhabit corals, including prokaryotes, viruses, and fungi.
My group’s current research focuses on the field of coral reef restoration, in particular the development of coral stock better able to cope with disturbed environments and predicted future ocean conditions (assisted evolution). This includes the manipulation of microbial communities associated with corals, laboratory evolution of algal endosymbionts, selective breeding of corals, and the conditioning of corals to predicted future ocean conditions.
I completed my PhD on the molecular biogeography of seaweeds at the University of Groningen (Netherlands) in 1995, and subsequently conducted postdoctoral positions at the University of East Anglia, UK (speciation in cichlid fishes), and James Cook University, Australia (Molecular relationships in the coral genus Acropora, and Genetic diversity and specificity of acroporid coral-dinoflagellate symbioses). In 2001, I took up a position at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), Townsville. I commenced my position as a professor in the School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne, in 2015, while still maintaining a part-time position as Senior Principal Research Scientist at AIMS. I currently hold an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship (2019-2023).
Linda is an environmental microbial ecologist, who has studied many different complex microbial communities ranging from host associated through to free living in numerous environments. Her research has covered mammalian microbiomes of marsupials, humans, ruminants and horses; and the microbiota of non-mammals including corals and sponges. Environmental microbiomes explored in Linda’s research span wastewater treatment (aerobic and anaerobic), solid waste digestion (landfill and composting), bioelectric systems and microbiologically influenced corrosion. The numerous methods she develops and employs in her research allow elucidation of microbial complexity and function in these diverse biomes.
- Postdoctoral researchers
Patrick Buerger is a postdoctoral researcher with CSIRO's Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform and the University of Melbourne. His research focuses on climate change and anthropogenic impacts on coral reef ecosystems. Using genetic engineering and a range of Omics technologies, he investigates the thermal resilience of algal symbionts in corals. Patrick completed his PhD in Marine Science at James Cook University and the Australian Institute of Marine Science. His work highlighted viruses as potential contributors to and mitigators of the coral black band disease and white syndrome.
Prior to his research in Australia, Patrick obtained an MSc in Tropical Marine Ecology at the University of Bremen and a BSc in General Biology at the Ruhr-University of Bochum.
If Patrick is not in the laboratory, he is passionate about innovative technologies that improve environmental conservation and science communication.
My research focuses on coral reef conservation and restoration. I commenced my postdoc at the University of Melbourne in 2019 and my project examines the feasibility of enhancing coral climate resilience via the introduction of resilient microalgal endosymbionts. I completed my PhD at the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the University of Melbourne, exploring the potential of hybridization as a tool for coral reef conservation.
My Honours Degree at the Australian National University investigated the calcification responses of corals to diurnal variation in seawater carbonate chemistry. Other than coral reefs, I have also been involved in research on marine micro-plastics, radioactive dating, and isotope analysis. Outside the office, I am passionate about science outreach and aviation, and serve as a helicopter flight instructor.
I am originally from Lyon, France, where I completed all my studies. I did both my master’s and my PhD under the supervision of Dr’s Abdelaziz Heddi and Anna Zaidman-Rémy, and worked on the obligate symbiosis between the cereal weevil Sitophilus and its bacterial endosymbiont Sodalis pierantonius. S. pierantonius provides its insect host with vitamins and amino acids, allowing Sitophilus to thrive exclusively on cereals. As such, Sitophilus is considered as a major crop pest around the world. In a first project, I investigated the mechanisms preventing a chronic host immune activation because of the constant association with immunogenic bacteria. Then, I studied how this association is modulated across the insect's lifecycle, particularly during metamorphosis.
I recently joined Prof. Madeleine van Oppen’s lab in Melbourne for my first postdoc. My project will be part of the important effort to enhance coral’s climate resilience through assisted evolution. My projects involve the identification and characterization of closely-associated bacterial symbionts of Symbiodiniaceae and cnidarians, and in fine the genetic engineering of those symbionts to improve stress resistance in the coral holobiont.
- Postgraduate researchers
Cecile Ravn Gøtze
Originally from Denmark, I have always been surrounded by a long coastline which early on sparked a life-long penchant for the sea. Following a career in design and tailoring, I decided to pursue a more engaging and satisfying career path and so I completed my Master’s degree in Microbial Ecology at the University of Copenhagen. Inspired by findings on the importance of the gut microbiome in mammalian health, I have since become fascinated with studying microbial activity and coral-associated microbes through microsensor and genetic approaches.
It has long been known that corals are comprised of a wide array of microorganisms, although a lot remains unknown about the interplay between microbial partners and coral host. Under the supervision of Prof Madeleine van Oppen, Prof Linda Blackall and Dr. Lone Høj the majority of my graduate research will be carried out at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, AIMS. Here, I will try to decipher coral microbiome interactions and function by studying the minimal microbiome, which constitutes the smallest subset of coral-associated symbiont on which the host depends for its survival.
I received my Bachelor of Science in Biology from the Free University in Berlin, Germany, but I conducted the research for my undergraduate thesis at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany. There, I worked in the research unit of Marine Evolutionary Ecology and analysed the transgenerational phenotypic plasticity of marine sticklebacks to simulated climate change. Afterwards, I completed my Master of Science in Biological Oceanography at Christian-Albrecht University of Kiel. During my master thesis in the unit Marine Symbioses at GEOMAR and Phuket Marine Biological Center, Thailand, I tested whether a coral microbiome transplantation procedure using a fresh tissue homogenate of heat tolerant donor colonies of Pocillopora verrucosa can increase coral bleaching resilience of heat sensitive conspecifics. After my studies, I continued to work as a research assistant at GEOMAR and performed a similar study with Porites lutea colonies.
I started my PhD at the end of 2019 under the supervision of Prof.’s Madeleine van Oppen, Linda Blackall and David Francis. My research aims at developing successful bacterial probiotics and probiotic techniques that enhance coral bleaching resilience. I am working with the sea anemone Exaiptasia diaphana and one coral species, Galaxea fascicularis.
(Information to come)
Originally from NY, USA, I completed my Bachelors of Science degree in Biology in 2011, conducting a senior research project in the field of environmental microbiology. I completed my Master’s degree at Nova Southeastern University in Florida under Dr. Nicole Fogarty, where I studied the impact of ocean acidification on the calcification of Caribbean adult and juvenile corals. After graduating in 2015, I worked for Mote Marine Laboratory in the Florida Keys as a Staff Chemist in the Ocean Acidification program; there I continued my work with corals and began working with Diadema antillarum, the long-spined sea urchin. Beginning early 2017, I joined Prof.’s Madeleine van Oppen and Linda Blackall at the University of Melbourne as a Ph.D student. My current research focuses on developing a bacterial probiotic to mitigate coral bleaching and assessing the efficacy of that probiotic using the model organism for corals, Exaiptasia diaphana. My research interests are in the field of climate change, coral reef ecosystems, and assisted evolution.
I received my BSc in Marine Biology and my MSc in Biodiversity and Evolution from the Alma Mater Studiorium University of Bologna, Italy. As a master and then postgraduate student, I investigated the impacts of global warming on the reproduction of a scleractinian temperate coral along a natural temperature and solar radiation gradient; it is here that I developed a deep interest and passion in coral biology. As a PhD candidate in the Marine Microbial Symbioses Group at the University of Melbourne, I work under the supervision of Prof McFadden, Prof van Oppen and Prof Davy. My focus is the symbiosis between Cnidarian and Symbiodiniaceae dinoflagellates that power coral reefs, using the anemone Exaiptasia diaphana as model organism to study corals. I am interested in the initial steps during the establishment of this mutualistic association: based on the hypothesis that Symbiodiniaceae endosymbionts and Apicomplexa parasites arose from a common ancestor that invented a powerful recognition system and mechanisms for invading and surviving in the host, my main aim is to investigate the inter-partner signalling and molecular events that allow recognition between host and photosymbionts in the setup of symbiosis.
I am interested in using genetic and molecular approaches to better understand and inform the conservation of wildlife. I completed my Bachelor of Biomedical Science and Bachelor of Science (Hons) majoring in Genetics and Ecology and Conservation at Monash University. During my Honours year, I investigated whether the mitochondrial genomes of Australian birds have evolved under climate-driven selection.
I began my PhD in 2018, supervised by Madeleine van Oppen, Peter Harrison, Ary Hoffmann and Craig Humphrey. My research investigates interspecific hybridisation as a novel option for reef management, particularly in the context of producing more resilient coral stock (compared to the native stock) for coral reef restoration initiatives.
Originally from Paris, France, I pursued my tertiary studies in the UK where I completed a BSc in Biology at the University of Bristol, followed by a MSc in Biotechnology at the University of Edinburgh. After my studies, I worked at the Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research in Porto, Portugal, on the discovery of marine natural products in cyanobacteria. During this time I started to investigate the capacity of free-living Symbiodiniaceae to form symbiolites (i.e., microbialites containing Symbiodiniaceae cells).
I joined the Marine Microbial Symbioses group in early 2020 as a PhD candidate under the supervision of Professor Madeleine van Oppen. I am currently based at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, where my research is focused on establishing new symbioses between aposymbiotic corals and heat stress tolerant Symbiodiniaceae that were previously developed through experimental evolution. These bioengineered corals will be tested for improved bleaching resilience at elevated temperatures, in the hope of developing a new approach for coral reef conservation and adaptation.
Sarah Jane Tsang Min Ching
Originally from the tropical island Mauritius, I completed my Bachelor of Science at Northeastern University in Boston, USA with a double major in marine biology and environmental science with a concentration in wildlife studies. I am currently in the first year of my Master of Science (BioSciences) degree under the supervision of Dr.'s Patrick Buerger, Wing Chan and Madeleine van Oppen. My research project aims at examining the physiological performance of cnidarian animals that associate with different types of lab-evolved Symbiodiniaceae and determining the potential trade-offs that could result from establishing symbiosis with those algal symbionts.
I studied a Bachelor of Science with a major in Genetics at The University of Melbourne. During my undergraduate studies, I completed a summer research internship at CSIRO, where I observed how genetic technologies are being implemented to preserve ecosystems, strengthening my interest in environmental conservation. I am currently studying a Master of Science (Biosciences) supervised by Madeleine van Oppen and Justin Maire. My research project focuses on the symbiosis between coral algae and their associated bacteria, and aims to characterise the function of bacterial strains believed to play a role in algal climate resistance.
I completed a Bachelor of Biotechnology in 2017 in my home country, Paraguay. Here, I was involved in research projects in the field of environmental and industrial biotechnology, studying the bioprospecting capabilities of isolated bacteria. Currently, I am in my second year of the Master of Biotechnology at The University of Melbourne and undertaking my research project under the supervision of Prof. Linda Blackall. My project aims to use metabarcoding analysis to screen microbial species present in river samples from the Murray-Darling Basin and gain understanding about the ecosystem. My research interests are in the field of applied microbial diversity and bioprospection.
Originally from Japan, I completed a Bachelor of Science with a major in Environmental Science at the University of Melbourne in 2019. During my undergraduate studies, I gained an interest in the conservation of species sustainability and diversity under climate change scenarios. I started studying a Master of Science (BioSciences) under the supervision of Prof. Madeleine van Oppen and Dr. Wing Chan in 2020. My research project involves the examination of bleached corals which have lost their associated Symbiodiniaceae species, and aims to understand the establishment of the different Symbiodiniaceae genera within adult corals.
Giulia Holland – Research Assistant
I completed my Bachelor of Science at The University of Melbourne, majoring in marine biology with a broad interest in ecology and climate change. Having completed a research project at the Marine Microbial Symbiont Facility during my undergraduate degree where I characterised the bacterial communities in Exaiptasia diaphana, I now work as a research assistant at the MMSF. Here, I am helping to characterise the prokaryotic microbiome of the corals Plesiastrea verispora and Galaxea spp., through the collection of pure cultures and metabarcoding. In 2019, I began a Master of Environment at The University of Melbourne.
Kelly – Lab Dog
Kelly is a three-year-old golden retriever. While in the office she specialises in mental health and emotional support, her full time job is as a breeding dog for Seeing Eye Dogs Vision Australia. Elite Seeing Eye Dogs are sourced from SEDs own “in-house” breeding program. Kelly lives and goes to work with her Breeder Carer, Ashley, where she enjoys all the comforts of dog life. See SEDs breeder caring web page for more information.
Ocean – Lab Dog
Ocean is a puppy-in-training for Seeing Eye Dogs Vision Australia. When she grows up, Ocean hopes that one day she will be an invaluable part of someone’s life who is blind or has low vision. For now, she’ll focus on learning basic obedience, getting comfortable in working environments, and being exposed to the noises of everyday life. Ocean lives and goes to work with her puppy raiser, Ashley, and Auntie Kelly. See SEDs puppy caring web page for more information.
Leon Hartman – Former PhD Student
Microbial communities hosted by cnidarians show evidence of both dynamism and stability, with change suggestive of adaptation by the holobiont to environmental stress. My research investigates whether Exaiptasia diaphana's thermal tolerance can be enhanced through manipulation of its prokaryotic communities. Comparison of metabolite production by thermally stressed anemones inoculated with native and manipulated communities will be used to measure the effect of this approach.
Katarina Damjanovic – Former PhD Student
After completing both Bachelor and Masters degrees in Life Sciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (Switzerland), I started my PhD in October 2015 at the University of Melbourne. The major part of my research is conducted at the Australian Institute of Marine Science in Townsville, where I investigate the feasibility of manipulating coral-associated bacteria (with the aim to enhance coral stress tolerance). Focusing on the corals Acropora tenuis and Platygyra daedalea (both broadcast spawners), as well as Pocillopora acuta (also a brooder), my experiments consist in inoculating early life stages of these corals with microbiomes and assessing the efficiency and persistence of the inoculations. Larvae and recruits exposed to various microbes are reared under controlled conditions and their microbiomes are regularly characterised through 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding. I also use fluorescence in situ hybridisation microscopy to gain insights into the transmission modes of bacteria in A. tenuis and P. acuta.
Keren Maor-Landaw – Former Postdoctoral Researcher
My post-doctoral studies focus on membrane transporters that are crucial to the cnidarian-Symbiodiniaceae symbiotic relationship. The symbiotic algae provide energy by transferring their photosynthetic production to the host and in return derive benefits from the host in the form of nutrients and shelter. Successful exchange of compounds through membranes is a fundamental key feature enabling the effective partnership and must be facilitated by proteins in the cellular membranes of each of the partners as well as in the symbiosome interface.
As a PhD student in Bar Ilan University, Israel, supervised by Prof. Oren Levy, I explored how corals respond to climate change and which cellular processes are involved during environmental stress. I compared the gene expression response of corals possessing different morphologies and corals from different ecosystems – sub tropical to temperate corals.
My MSc at Haifa University, Israel, under the supervision of Prof. Dan Tchernov and Prof. Sarit Larisch, was focused on the apoptotic enzyme Caspase 3 in a Mediterranean coral following an ocean acidification scenario, and its correlation to a unique ecophenotye.
Hannah Epstein – Former PhD Student
I am a PhD candidate at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at JCU and the Australian Institute of Marine Science under the supervision of Prof. Madeleine van Oppen, Prof. Philip Munday and Dr. Gergely Torda. My research explores the main drivers of community composition in the coral microbiome to inform the development of microbiome engineering techniques that may enhance climate resilience in corals. My project is part of a larger collaborative study led by Madeleine van Oppen and Ruth Gates (Hawai’i Institute of Marine Science) researching assisted evolution approaches for corals in the face of climate change.
Hannah completed her PhD in October 2018 and is now a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Victoria, Canada.
Leela Chakravarti – Former PhD Student
Sam Girvan – Former Masters Student
With a keen interest in marine biology and genetics I completed my Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne with a double major in zoology and marine biology. I finished my Masters of Bioscience degree in 2019 under the supervision of Dr.'s Patrick Buerger and Madeleine van Oppen at the University of Melbourne. My research project aimed to discover whether the algae-associated bacterial communities have evolved alongside the algae, potentially allowing the observed increase in algal thermal tolerance determined from previous studies.
Roy Belderock – Former Masters Student
I completed my masters at University of Amsterdam. My main interests are conservation genetics, adaptation and symbiotic interactions in reef ecosystems. Especially the interest in symbiotic interactions is what brought me to this lab.
In the past I gained experience studying reproductive isolation in Caribbean giant barrel sponges by applying histological techniques in combination with DNA barcoding. At the Marine Microbial Symbiont Facility, I expanded on that skill set with Symbiodiniaceae reinfection experiments on Exaiptasia diaphana. In addition, I also worked on inducing sexual reproduction of E. diaphana. The larvae could help the team to study the Symbiodiniaceae recognition pathway in early life stages.
Gabriela Lozano Rodriguez
I am passionate about working to preserve the environment and have worked on a number of projects in this field. Before moving to Australia to study a Master of Biotechnology at the University of Melbourne, I spent five years working in environmental, chemical and pharmaceutical industries in Mexico. My earlier research projects have related to the purification, structural elucidation and mechanism of action of toxins produced by fire coral (Millepora alcicornis) to understand its potential medicinal applications. I am currently working as a Research Assistant at the Marine Microbial Symbioses Group at the University of Melbourne where I am working to develop a spawning protocol for multiple genotypes of coral. I love the outdoors and spend as much time as I can hiking and playing flag football.
Blackall, LL, Dungan, AM, Hartman, LM, & van Oppen, MJH (2020). Probiotics for corals. Microbiology Australia, 41(2), 100–104.
Buerger, P, Alvarez-Roa, C, Coppin, CW, Pearce, S.L, Chakravarti, LJ, Oakeshott, JG, Edwards, OR, & van Oppen, MJH (2020). Heat-evolved microalgal symbionts increase coral bleaching tolerance. Science Advances, 6(20), eaba2498.
Chakravarti, LJ, Buerger, P, Levin, RA, & van Oppen, MJH(2020). Gene regulation underpinning increased thermal tolerance in a laboratory-evolved coral photosymbiont. Molecular Ecology.
Damjanovic, K, Blackall, LL, Menéndez, P, & van Oppen, MJH (2020). Bacterial and algal symbiont dynamics in early recruits exposed to two adult coral species. Coral Reefs, 39(1), 189–202.
Damjanovic, K, Menéndez, P, Blackall, LL & van Oppen, MJH (2020). Mixed-mode bacterial transmission in the common brooding coral Pocillopora acuta. Environmental Microbiology, 22(1), 397–412.
Dungan, AM, Bulach, D, Lin, H, van Oppen, MJH, & Blackall, LL (2020). Development of a free radical scavenging probiotic to mitigate coral bleaching [Preprint]. Bioengineering. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.02.185645
Dungan, AM, Hartman, LM, Tortorelli, G, Belderok, R, Lamb, AM, Pisan, L, McFadden, GI, Blackall, LL, & van Oppen, MJH (2020). Exaiptasia diaphana from the great barrier reef: A valuable resource for coral symbiosis research. Symbiosis, 1–12.
Hartman, LM, van Oppen, MJH & Blackall, LL (2020). The Effect of Thermal Stress on the Bacterial Microbiome of Exaiptasia diaphana. Microorganisms, 8(1), 20.
Hartman, LM, van Oppen, MJH, & Blackall, LL (2020). Microbiota characterization of Exaiptasia diaphana from the Great Barrier Reef. Animal Microbiome, 2, 1–14.
Jin, YK, Kininmonth, S, Lundgren, PB, van Oppen, MJH, & Willis, BL (2020). Predicting the spatial distribution of allele frequencies for a gene associated with tolerance to eutrophication and high temperature in the reef-building coral, Acropora millepora, on the Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs, 39(1), 147–158.
Maor-Landaw, K, van Oppen, MJH, & McFadden, GI (2020). Symbiotic lifestyle triggers drastic changes in the gene expression of the algal endosymbiont Breviolum minutum (Symbiodiniaceae). Ecology and Evolution, 10(1), 451–466.
Matthews, JL, Raina, J-B, Kahlke, T, Seymour, JR, van Oppen, MJH, & Suggett, DJ (2020). Symbiodiniaceae-bacteria interactions: Rethinking metabolite exchange in reef-building corals as multi-partner metabolic networks. Environmental Microbiology, 22(5), 1675–1687.
Quigley, KM, Randall, CJ, van Oppen, MJH, & Bay, L. K. (2020). Assessing the role of historical temperature regime and algal symbionts on the heat tolerance of coral juveniles. Biology Open, 9(1).
Quigley, Kate M, Bay, LK, & van Oppen, MJH (2020). Genome-wide SNP analysis reveals an increase in adaptive genetic variation through selective breeding of coral. Molecular Ecology.
Selmoni, O, Lecellier, G, Ainley, L, Collin, A, Doucet, R, Dubousquet, V, Feremaito, H, Ito Waia, E, Kininmonth, S, Magalon, H, Malimali, S, Maugateau, A, Meibom, A, Mosese, S, René-Trouillefou, M, Satoh, N, van Oppen, MJH, Xozamé, A, Yékawene, M, … Berteaux-Lecellier, V. (2020). Using Modern Conservation Tools for Innovative Management of Coral Reefs: The MANACO Consortium. Frontiers in Marine Science, 7, 609. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2020.00609
Tortorelli, G, Belderok, R, Davy, SK, McFadden, GI, & van Oppen, MJH (2020). Host genotypic effect on algal symbiosis establishment in the coral model, the anemone Exaiptasia diaphana, from the great barrier reef. Frontiers in Marine Science.
van Oppen, MJH, Medina, M (2020). Coral evolutionary responses to microbial symbioses. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 375(1808), 20190591. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0591
Robbins SJ, Singleton CM, Chan CX, Messer LF, Geers AU, Ying H, Baker A, Bell SC, Morrow KM, Ragan MA, Miller DJ, Forêt S, Ball E, Beeden R, Berumen M, Aranda M, Ravasi T, Bongaerts P, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Cooke I, Leggat B, Sprungala S, Fitzgerald A, Shang C, Lundgren P, Fyffe T, Rubino F, van Oppen M, Weynberg K, Robbins SJ, Singleton CM, Xin Chan C, Messer LF, Geers AU, Ying H, Baker A, Bell SC, Morrow KM, Ragan MA, Miller DJ, Foret S, Voolstra CR, Tyson GW, Bourne DG, Voolstra CR, Tyson GW, Bourne DG, ReFuGe C (2019) A genomic view of the reef-building coral Porites lutea and its microbial symbionts. Nature Microbiology, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41564-019-0532-4.
Damjanovic K, Menéndez P, Blackall LL, van Oppen MJH (2019) Early life stages of a common broadcast spawning coral associate with specific bacterial communities despite lack of internalized bacteria. Microbial Ecology, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00248-019-01428-1.
Quigley KM, Bay LK, van Oppen MJH (2019) The active spread of adaptive variation for reef resilience. Ecology & Evolution, DOI: 10.1002/ece3.5616.
Damjanovic K, van Oppen MJH, Menéndez P, Blackall LL (2019) Experimental inoculation of coral recruits with marine bacteria indicates scope for microbiome manipulation in Acropora tenuis and Platygyra daedalea. Frontiers in Microbiology, 10, 1702, doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2019.01702.
Chan WY, Peplow LM, Menéndez P, Hoffmann AA, van Oppen MJH (2019) The roles of age, parentage and environment on bacterial and algal endosymbiont communities in Acropora corals. Molecular Ecology, 28, 3830-3843, https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.15187.
Smith HA, Moya A, Cantin NE, van Oppen MJH, Torda (2019) Observations of simultaneous sperm release and larval planulation suggest reproductive assurance in the coral Pocillopora acuta. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6, 362, https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2019.00362.
van Oppen MJH, Blackall LL (2019) Coral microbiome dynamics, functions and design in a changing world. Nature Reviews Microbiology, in press.
Cavicchioli R, Ripple WJ, Timmis KN, Azam F, Bakken LR, Baylis M, Behrenfeld MJ, Boetius A, Boyd PW, Classen AT, Crowther TW, Danovaro R, Foreman CM, Huisman J, Hutchins DA, Jansson JK, Karl DM, Koskella B, Welch DMB, Martiny JBH, Moran MA, Orphan V, Reay D, Remais JV, Rich V, Singh BK, Stein LY, Stewart FJ, Sullivan MB, van Oppen MJH, Weaver SC, Webb EA, Webster N (2019) Scientists’ warning to humanity: microorganisms and climate change. Nature Reviews Microbiology, doi.org/10.1038/s41579-019-0222-5.
Chan WY, Hoffmann AA, van Oppen MJH (2019) Hybridization as a conservation management tool. Conservation Letters, 0, e12652, doi:10.1111/conl.12652.
Epstein HE, Smith HA, Cantin NE, Torda G, van Oppen MJH (2019) Temporal variation in the microbiomes of Acropora species does not reflect seasonality. Frontiers in Microbiology, 10: 1775, https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2019.01775.
Riginos C, Hock K, Ambrocio MM, Mumby PJ, van Oppen MJH, Lukoschek V (2019) Asymmetric dispersal is a critical element of concordance between biophysical dispersal models and spatial genetic structure in Great Barrier Reef corals. Diversity & Distributions, DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12969.
Chakravarti LJ, Negri AP, van Oppen MJH (2019) Thermal and herbicide tolerances of chromerid algae and their ability to form a symbiosis with corals. Frontiers in Microbiology, 10:173. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.00173.
Epstein H, Torda G, van Oppen MJH (2019) Relative stability of the Pocillopora acuta microbiome throughout a thermal stress event. Coral Reefs, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00338-019-01783-y.
Chan WY, Peplow LM, Menéndez P, Hoffmann AA, van Oppen MJH (2019) Enhancing larval fitness of reef-building corals via interspecific hybridization: implications for coral reef restoration. Scientific Reports, 9:4757 | https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-41190-5.
Epstein H, Torda G, van Oppen MJH (2019) Microbiome engineering: Enhancing climate resilience in corals. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 17(2), 100-108, doi:10.1002/fee.2001.
Price NN, Muko S, Legendre L, Steneck R, van Oppen MJH, Albright R, Carpenter RC, Chui Pui A, Fan T-Y, Gates RD, Harii S, Kitano H, Kurihara H, Mitarai S, Nozawa Y, Padilla-Gamiño J, Put A.O., Sakai K., Suzuki G., Edmunds PJ (2019) Global biogeography of coral recruitment: tropical decline and subtropical increase. Marine Ecology Progress Series,621, 1-17.
Epstein H, Torda G, Munday P, van Oppen MJH (2019) Parental and early life stage environments drive establishment of bacterial and dinoflagellate communities in a common coral. ISME J, 13, 1635–1638, doi.org/10.1038/s41396-019-0358-3.
Buerger P, Weynberg KD, Wood-Charlson EM, Sato Y, Willis BL, van Oppen MJH (2019) Novel T4-bacteriophages associated with black band disease in corals. Environmental Microbiology, 21, 1969-1979.2018
Liu H, Stephens TG, González-Pech RA, Beltran VH, Lapeyre B, Bongaerts P, Cooke I, Aranda M, Bourne DG, Forêt S, Miller DJ, van Oppen MJH, Voolstra CR, Ragan MA and Chan CX (2018) Symbiodinium genomes reveal adaptive evolution of functions related to coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis. Communications Biology, 1, 95, DOI: 10.1038/s42003-018-0098-3.
Chakravarti LJ, van Oppen MJH (2018) Experimental evolution in coral photosymbionts as a tool to increase thermal tolerance. Frontiers in Marine Science, 5, 227, doi: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00227.
van Oppen MJH, Bongaerts P, Frade P, Peplow LM, Boyd SE, Nim HT, Bay LK (2018). Adaptation to reef habitats through selection on the coral animal and its associated microbiome. Molecular Ecology, 27, 2956-2971
Chan Wing Y, Peplow LM, Menéndez P, Hoffmann AA, van Oppen MJH (2018) Interspecific Hybridization May Provide Novel Opportunities for Coral Reef Restoration. Frontiers in Marine Science, 5, 160. doi:10.3389/fmars.2018.00160
Buerger P, van Oppen MJH (2018) Viruses in corals: hidden drivers of coral bleaching and disease? Microbiology Australia. 39, 1, 9-12.
Laffy PW, Wood-Charlson EM, Turaev D, Pascelli C, Botté ES, Bell S, Weynberg KD, van Oppen MJH, Rattei T, Webster NS (2018) Coral Reef Viromics: Diversity, host-specificity and functional capacity. Environmental Microbiology, 20, 2125-2141, doi:10.1111/1462-2920.14110.
Cumbo VR, van Oppen MJH, Baird AH (2018) Temperature and Symbiodinium physiology affects the establishment and development of symbiosis in corals. Marine Ecology Progress Series,587, 117-127.
van de Water JAJM, De Mares MC, Dixon GB, Raina J-B, Willis BL, Bourne DG, van Oppen MJH (2018) Antimicrobial and stress responses to increased temperature and bacterial pathogen challenge in the holobiont of a reef-building coral. Molecular Ecology, online early, doi: 10.1111/mec.14489
Weynberg KD, Laffy PW, Wood-Charlson EM, Turaev D, Rattei T, Webster NS, van Oppen MJH (2017) Coral-associated viral communities show high levels of diversity and host auxiliary functions. PeerJ 5:e4054 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.4054
Marcelino VR, van Oppen MJH, Verbruggen H (2017) Highly structured prokaryote communities exist within the skeleton of coral colonies. The ISME Journal, Marcelino VR, van Oppen MJ, Verbruggen H (2017) Highly structured prokaryote communities exist within the skeleton of coral colonies. The ISME Journal,doi:10.1038/ismej.2017.164
Marcelino VR, Morrow KM, van Oppen MJH, Bourne DG, Verbruggen H (2017) Diversity and stability of coral endolithic microbial communities at a naturally high pCO2 reef. Molecular Ecololg, DOI: 10.1111/mec.14268
Anthony, K,, Bay, L. K., Costanza, R., Firn, F., Gunn, J., Harrison, P., Heyward, A., Lundgren, P., Mead, D., Moore, T., Mumby, P. J., van Oppen, M. J. H., Robertson, J., Runge, M. J., Suggett, D. J., Schaffelke, B., Wachenfeld, D., Walshe, T. (2017) New interventions are needed to save coral reefs. Nature Ecology & Evolution: DOI: 10.1038/s41559-41017-40313-41555
Torda, G., Donelson, J. M., Aranda, M., Barshis, D. J., Bay, L., Berumen, M. L., … van Oppen, M. J. H., … Munday, P. L. (2017). Rapid adaptive responses to climate change in corals. Nature Climate Change, 7(9), 627–636. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate3374
Damjanovic, K., Blackall, L. L., Webster, N. S., & van Oppen, M. J. H. (2017). The contribution of microbial biotechnology to mitigating coral reef degradation. Microbial Biotechnology, 10(5): 1236-1243. https://doi.org/10.1111/1751-7915.12769
Chakravarti, L. J., Beltran, V. H., & van Oppen, M. J. H. (2017). Rapid thermal adaptation in photosymbionts of reef-building corals. Global Change Biology, 275, 2214–2273. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13702
van Oppen, M. J. H., Gates, R. D., Blackall, L. L., Cantin, N., Chakravarti, L. J., Chan, W. Y., … Putnam, H. M. (2017). Shifting paradigms in restoration of the world’s coral reefs. Global Change Biology, 23(9), 3437–3448. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13647
Levin, R. A., Suggett, D. J., Nitschke, M. R., van Oppen, M. J. H., & Steinberg, P. D. (2017). Expanding the Symbiodinium (Dinophyceae, Suessiales) toolkit through protoplast technology. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1111/jeu.12393
Montalvo-Proaño, J., Buerger, P., Weynberg, K. D., & van Oppen, M. J. H. (2017). A PCR-based assay targeting the major capsid protein gene of a dinorna-like ssRNA virus that infects coral photosymbionts. Frontiers in Microbiology, 8, 1–8.https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2017.01665
Weynberg, K. D., Neave, M,, Clode, P. L., Voolstra, C. R., Brownlee, C., Laffy, P., Webster, N. S., Levin, R. A., Wood-Charlson, E. M., van Oppen, M. J. H. (2017) Prevalent and persistent viral infection in cultures of the coral algal endosymbiont Symbiodinium. Coral Reefs: doi:10.1007/s00338-00017-01568-00337
Levin, R. A., Voolstra, C. R., Agrawal, S., Steinberg, P. D., Suggett, D. J., & van Oppen, M. J. H. (2017). Engineering strategies to decode and enhance the genomes of coral symbionts. Frontiers in Microbiology, 8, 1220. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2017.01220
- Australia’s top scientists elected as Fellows of the Academy in Australian Academy of Science (25 May 2020)
‘Heat resistant’ coral developed to fight bleaching in ScienceDaily (21 May 2020).
Lab-grown algae might help save corals from climate change by Ula Chrobak, in Popular Science (15 May 2020)
Coral bleaching: Scientists ‘find way to make coral more heat-resistant’ in BBC (14 May 2020)
Lab-evolved algae could protect coral reefs by Warren Cornwall, in Science (13 May 2020)
Radio Marinara (3 May 2020)
- What it’s really like to be a marine biologist by Siobhan Hegarty, in ABC (12 March 2020)
- Corals can’t keep up with climate change, and scientists are stepping in by Corryn Wetzel, in ScienceLine (31 January 2020)
Breeding Baby Corals for Warmer Seas by Dr Nerissa Hannick, in Pursuit (26 March 2019)
Researchers embrace a radical idea: engineering coral to cope with climate change by Warren Cornwall, in Science (21 March 2019)
Time to speed up coral evolution? by Elizabeth Finkel, in Cosmos (5 April 2018)
- The Great Barrier Reef can repair itself, with a little help from science by Ken Anthony, Britta Schaffelke, Line K Bay & Madeleine van Oppen, in The Conversation (10 October 2017)
We are very excited to announce that our beloved lab dog, Kelly, gave birth to four beautiful golden retriever pups on Monday! All of the pups (3 girls and 1 boy) are healthy and happy, and Kelly is taking great care of them. 10 July, 2020 News
Congratulations to group leader Professor Linda Blackall, who was elected to the Australian Academy of Science! Linda was one of 20 scientists elected to the Academy this year, all recognised for their outstanding contributions to science and their fields.25 May, 2020 News
Weekly meetings, COVID-19 style
We've had to make some adjustments with the new COVID-19 restrictions, but everyone has been up to the challenge.20 April, 2020 News
M van Oppen: 0409267577 Botany Building
L Blackall: 0424186346 University of Melbourne
Lab Tel: +61 (0) 383446653 Room 217, Biosciences 2
For supervisor enquiries please contact the relevant supervisor via the People page.