B2/L2 - Sea Side - 2246-WS09
One of the most diverse and productive ecosystems on earth relies on the symbiosis between a coral host and an algal symbiont. This relationship allows for corals to dominate in tropical nutrient poor waters by the recycling of nutrients between the host and the symbiont. Stressors induced by climate change and anthropogenic sources are causing the breakdown of this relationship and the decline of coral reefs all around the world.
My interests lie in the molecular drivers behind the coral-algal symbiosis and how changing environmental conditions will alter this interaction. During my undergrad at The Pennsylvania State University, I worked in the Medina Lab on a project using whole mount in situ hybridization to study gene expression and development of Cassiopea xamachana (the upside-down jellyfish) and its symbiont, Symbiodinium. My research at KAUST will follow a similar path using in situ hybridization to study nitrogen recycling genes involved in this symbiosis using the model organisms Cassiopea and Aiptasia (sea anemones).
● Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)
● Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division (BESE)