Coastal microbial observatories

Our large-scale coastal microbial observatory program investigates the temporal and spatial dynamics of microbial communities in the water column. We observe sediments and coral, seaweeds, sponges and seagrasses.

Functional diversity and redundancy of marine communities

In this important project, we aim to define the assembly of microbial communities by functional properties rather than by the species. 

Microbial contribution to life in the deep sea

Despite the lack of sunlight and nutrients, many deep-sea environments are full of coral reefs and sponge gardens. We’re aiming to understand how the metabolic capacity and versatility of symbiotic bacteria support their growth.

The dynamics of evolution: Horizontal gene transfer

We’re attempting to define the temporal dynamics of gene transfer and how it shapes the genetic composition of entire bacterial communities.

Probiotics for the ocean: How microbes can improve ocean health

Using new knowledge of microbial functions and innovative approaches in experimental ecology, we aim to develop bacterial consortia that benefit seaweeds.

Function and application of novel proteins from sponge symbionts

This project aims to determine the function of eukaryotic-like proteins (ELPs) from bacterial symbionts of sponges and apply this knowledge to develop new tools for biotechnology.

Understanding disease in marine seaweeds

Disease in marine communities has increased, likely due to human impacts. We’re investigating bacterial virulence and environmental factors to understand the impact of disease on seaweeds.

Understanding the role of antibiotic producing bacteria in the seaweed ....

Investigating the impact of antibiotics in natural systems and the safeguarding role of antibiotic-producing bacteria.

Wake interference by swimming crocodiles.....

Crocodiles can swim at high speed while barely making a ripple at the surface. Replicating this could have implications for submarine design. We evaluate it using theory, modelling and lab experiments.

The effect of microbial diversity vs function on marine holobionts

This project integrates the relationship between biodiversity and functioning of communities with the new biological paradigm of holobionts that organisms are the entirety of the host plus its associated microbiome.

Understanding plant soil feedbacks control interactions between marine....

This research project investigates how below ground processes under microbial control influence the health of marine macrophytes.

Do microbes facilitate the range expansion of tropical fish into...

Recent human gut research has revealed the fundamental importance of microorganisms to human health, linking strongly with disease and overall health. Far less is known about gut microbiomes and host health in non-human vertebrates.