Post-doctoral Researcher

Gehrmann Building, Level 8, room 834

School of Biological Sciences – UQ

St Lucia, QLD 4072


T: +61 7 33652729





Post-doctoral Research Fellow, The Pennsylvania State University, USA, 2010

Post-doctoral Research Fellow, The University of Queensland, Australia, 2008

PhD, “Diversity and Ecology of Symbiodinium in pocilloporid corals”, The University of Queensland, Australia, 2007

MSc, “Reproduction and speciation in the coral genus Madracis“, The University of Groningen, Netherlands, 2000


Current Research

Climate change is predicted to drive tropical reef corals towards high latitude communities. Past evidence indicates that these high latitude coral communities can act as refugia and sources of evolutionary novelty. At present information on high latitude coral reefs and their associated symbiont communities remains sparse. In my current research I aim to address some of the questions pertaining to the potential of reef corals to move into higher latitudes by studying subtropical and high-latitude coral communities along the eastern Australian coast. I will specifically assess the: a) level of overlap between tropical and high-latitude communities in terms of coral symbioses, b) presence of genetic breaks, c) influence of coral reproductive mode, symbiont strategy, and symbiont transmission on species ranges. I will further experimentally modulate symbiotic partnerships under various climate scenarios to get an insight into the potential for generational changes in coral-symbiont partnerships. This data provides a step forward to understand the potential of reef corals to move current species ranges, and ties in with ongoing research on ecological dynamics of fish, coral and echinoderm assemblages at high latitude reefs and established research priorities ( for conservation of subtropical reefs under the pressure of climate change.


Coral Reef Symbioses

Marine invertebrate symbioses with the dinoflagellate genus Symbiodinium are highly diverse, and include various marine taxa such as Scleractinians (reef building corals), Alcyonacea (soft corals), Actinaria (sea anemones), Zoanthidae (zoanthids), Corallomorpharia (corallomorphs), Hydrozoa (hydroids), giant clams, as well as certain foraminiferans, sponges, flatworms, nudibranchs, and ciliates.


Research interests

Symbiosis ecology, bio-geography and evolution.


Environmental tolerance ranges and specificity of larval and juvenile corals.



Adaptation in reef corals, and species range shifts.




Prof Todd LaJeunesse, Symbiosis Ecology and Evolution Laboratory, The Pennsylvania State University, USA

Dr Linda Tonk, Coral Reefs Ecosystems Laboratory, The University of Queensland

Dr Pim Bongaerts, Coral Reefs Ecosystems Laboratory, The University of Queensland

Dr Bert Hoeksema, Netherlands Centre for Biodiversity, Naturalis, Leiden, Netherlands