Host-microbe interactions in corals

Corals are severely threatened by multiple climate change stressors and it is therefore critical to understand how corals can persist in a changing ocean. However, corals associate with various microorganisms, including bacteria and symbiotic dinoflagellate algae, and it remains poorly understood how they contribute to the stress tolerance and adaptive capacity of the coral holobiont.

While much research has focused on the interactions between corals and their algal symbionts, much less is known about how other members of the coral microbiome influence holobiont stress tolerance.

My research takes advantage of coral habitats with strong environmental gradients or extreme environmental conditions to better understand how the coral holobiont can gain resistance to environmental extremes, and, thus, future ocean conditions.

Scientist involved in this project

Verena Schoepf