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 evolution in coral adaptation to climate change. Climate warming is the biggest threat to coral reefs with
half of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR) corals dead due to recent summer heat waves. Expected outcomes
are an increased understanding of how bacteria contribute to coral heat tolerance, and new knowledge to assist in
the development of bacterial probiotics for enhancing coral thermal tolerance. This should provide significant
benefits to the protection of the GBR and Australia’s economy.”
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, in particular advancing the current understanding of how Symbiodiniaceae and cnidarians establish the symbiosis that powers coral reefs.
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 are immensely proud and wish her all the best in her future endeavours!
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.
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.
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.
We’ve had to make some adjustments with the new COVID-19 restrictions, but everyone has been up to the challenge.