Supervisor: Dr Martina Doblin
Bleaching of coral is a major issue due to its environmental and economic influence and as a result a great deal of research has gone into trying to understandcoral bleaching mechanisms. However since coral is a holobiont consisting of a cnidarian, zooxanthellae and bacteria the results can't be properly interpreted without a good understanding of the biology of the symbiosis. My project deals with determining which symbionts interact with each other and how this interaction changes with different environmental stresses. This will allow a more focused investigation into the exchanges and methods of communication within the coral in the future thus allowing the results from experiments on bleaching to be interpreted within a relevant context.
1) Visualise the 3 compoents of the symbiosis using stains, first with the confocal then with the OMX
2) Assess the changes in the symbionts under different environmental conditions
3) Assess alterations of the individual symbiont and the effect on the other sybionts