26 October 2016
The awards are based on an analysis of published work over the last decade, and recognise the highly cited contributions of early- to mid-career female researchers. This award also puts front and centre the important issue of gender equality in research.
Eugenia’s research focuses on the ecology, evolution and functional significance of the single celled dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium) that live inside the tissues of reef building corals. The symbiotic relationship between corals and Symbiodinium lies at the basis of the success of tropical reef systems and the symbionts are pivotal to coral health. Her main research interest is the response of coral symbioses to climate change and her early work showed that the specific species of coral symbionts living inside the coral determine how sensitive corals are to thermal stress, leading to coral bleaching and post-bleaching mortality. Her recent work investigates the connections between tropical and high latitude coral communities to find out how the symbionts set limits to coral distribution ranges. This work is important because there is a potential for migration of tropical coral species to occur towards higher latitude subtropical areas in response to increasing ocean temperatures.
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