Kelp genomics and climate change (PhD)
I am interested in looking at signs of adaptation to climate change in kelp forests at the genetic level as well as tackling some more fundamental population genomics questions.
As many temperate reef ecosystems around the world, kelp forests intrinsic adaptive capacities are challenged by gradual warming induced by climate change and more frequent and intense discrete extreme thermal events such as marine heatwaves. While ecological impacts have been well studied, detecting the underlying genetic basis of local adaptation to multiple stressors and the extent to which various genetic metrics (such as genetic diversity, effective population size and connectivity) are impacted is lacking empirical studies.
Taking advantage of new genomic tools and cross-institutional collaborations, my research aims at detecting signs of adaptation primarily to thermal stress (cold or warm adapted) in Ecklonia radiata, a dominant kelp species in temperate reefs throughout Australia, New-Zealand and South Africa. I will apply this work to a combination of natural populations and artificially stressed individuals through mesocosm experiments.
Ultimately the gained knowledge in genomics could be applied to novel restoration strategies to future-proof conservation of kelp forests and fill knowledge gaps in our understanding on temporal genetic variations in a changing ocean
Supervisors: Thomas Wernberg, Melinda Coleman (NSW DPIE), Jacqueline Batley.
- 2019: Master of Science in Oceanography and Marine Ecology, Aix-Marseille University (Marseille, France).
Thesis: Impact of the 2011 marine heatwave on the genetic diversity and structure of Ecklonia radiata along the coast of Western Australia.
- 2017: Bachelor of Life and Earth Sciences (Sea track), Aix-Marseille University (Marseille, France) with an exchange program at University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia).
Peer reviewed papers
- Coleman MA, Wood G, Filbee-Dexter K, Minne AJP, Goold HD, Verges A, Marzinelli EM, Steinberg PD, Wernberg T (2020) Restore or redefine: future trajectories for restoration. Frontiers in Marine Science: Marine Conservation and Sustainability, accepted 26/3/20.
- Gurgel CFD, Camacho O, Minne AJP, Wernberg T, Coleman MA (2020) Marine heatwave drives cryptic loss of genetic diversity in underwater forests, Current Biology, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.01.051.
Achievements and awards
- 2019: International Research Training Program Scholarship for a PhD at UWA