My recent research targets the role of microbes in the coral reef ecosystem and in coral health and adaptation to changing environments. Understanding how the functional diversity of microbial communities promotes coral reef resilience is the ultimate goal. Particular objectives deal with characterizing microbial activity in unexplored coral reef microhabitats, understanding the metabolic links established between coral hosts and associated microbiome and investigating the potential of microbes for the amelioration of ecosystem-scale stressors in coral reefs.
Coral reef microbial ecology and the role of microbes in coral health and coral reef resilience
Evolutionary ecology and adaptation of reef corals and their microbial symbionts
Coral "omics" and the use of high-throughput sequencing data to answer ecological questions
Biogeochemistry of coral reefs; carbon, sulphur and nitrogen cycling in coral reefs
Feb 2016 - present
University of Algarve
Postdoctoral researcher at the Center of Marine Sciences (CCMAR) at the University of Algarve, Portugal, within the group of Prof. dr. Ester Serrão (Marine Ecology and Evolution), and PI in the project "Coral’s Gastric Cavity: a bioreactor for microbe-driven metabolic pathways".
Jun 2011 - Dec 2015
University of Vienna
Postdoctoral researcher within the group of Prof. dr. Gerhard J Herndl (Microbial Oceanography) at the Department of Limnology and Bio-Oceanography (former Marine Biology) in the University of Vienna, Austria, and PI in the project "COSMIC - Coral Surface Microlayer: production and dynamics of mucus-associated microbial communities”.
May 2004 - Jun 2009
Royal NIOZ and University of Amsterdam
PhD research in coral biology and microbial ecology, with thesis entitled “Corals through the light - Phylogenetics, functional diversity and adaptive strategies of coral-symbiont associations over a large depth range”, supervised by Prof. dr. Rolf PM Bak at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) and the University of Amsterdam (UvA), The Netherlands.