University of Technology, Sydney
I am a third year PhD candidate in Climate Change Cluster, University of Technology Sydney. I am working on Symbiodinium which is endosymbiotic microalgae living inside of corals, but are also tied to a “free-living” life stage outside of their hosts. I focus on this “free-living” living Symbiodinium because most corals acquire Symbiodinium from the surrounding environment; however the ecology of these free-living Symbiodinium is not well described. The aims of my study are to understand free-living Symbiodinium diversity and distribution, and evaluate life history stages that enable population persistence outside of their hosts. My research is carried out on the Great Barrier Reef and within Sydney harbour to compare between tropical and temperate regions. The free-living Symbiodinium diversity in temperate regions is little known, however it suggested that these regions may become refuges of corals under future climates and therefore represent important study sites.