C3 Seminar: Professor Simon Davy and Dr Clint Oakley
Multiple–omics investigations of thermal stress and symbiont diversity in the cnidarian–dinoflagellate symbiosis.
Despite the ecological importance of coral reefs, major gaps remain in our understanding of the central metabolisms of both cnidarian and dinoflagellate partners in the coral symbiosis and how their metabolic interactions are influenced by abiotic stress. Taking advantage of genetic and physiological diversity within available symbionts has been proposed as a potential way for corals to acclimate to warming oceans. We have therefore applied a combination of metabolomics and proteomics mass spectrometry-based techniques to the study of thermal stress and symbiont diversity in the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis. The power of such techniques lies in the capacity to simultaneously assess many rapid, post-translational changes in a quantitative manner. We will describe our work to develop and apply metabolomics and proteomics approaches to the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis, and describe how metabolic and acclimatory networks interact to elicit change in each partner of the symbiosis during thermal stress or when novel symbiont strains are introduced. Further understanding of these effects is essential if we are to better understand the capacity of coral reefs to acclimate and survive in the face of climate change.
About the speaker
Prof. Simon Davy – School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), New Zealand
Professor Simon Davy is Head of the School of Biological Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), New Zealand, and President of the International Symbiosis Society. Simon completed his PhD at the University of Wales in 1994 before postdoctoral fellowships at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in Florida and the University of Sydney. He then lectured at the University of Plymouth in the UK for four years before joining VUW in 2003. Throughout his career, Simon has studied the cell biology and physiology of the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis, alongside occasional forays into coral disease ecology (and coral virology in particular). In the last few years, Simon's lab has particularly focused on aspects of host-symbiont recognition, the impacts of symbiont diversity on host physiology, and coral bleaching. Simon has supervised 25 PhD students and published nearly 120 papers during his career; he is also co-author of the Oxford University Press textbook The Biology of Coral Reefs.