Researcher biography

I am a molecular microbiologist in the Degnan lab. My research focuses on studying the symbiotic relationship between marine sponges and the internal microbial communities they harbour. Using genomic, molecular and behavioural methods, I investigate how these symbiotic partnerships influence sponge development and how symbioses break down in response to environmental challenges. As one of the earliest multicellular life forms, marine sponges are in a unique evolutionary position to shed light on the cardinal rules governing modern animal-microbe symbioses thereby uncovering broader ecological and evolutionary implications.