Bldg 2/Lvl 2: 2246- WS13
I am intrigued by the complexity of responses that can arise by interactions of such simple partners like corals and their symbionts. Thereby, corals offer an opportunity to investigate the underlying mechanisms in biology.
I got my first chance to work with corals during my bachelor thesis at the Center for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT), Germany. During this time, I studied the effects of ocean acidification on coral holobiont functioning with a special focus on nitrogen fixation processes.
I decided to follow up on these studies during my master thesis, where I looked at the role of nitrogen cycling processes in the stress response of corals to nutrient enrichment. During this project I got the opportunity to visit KAUST for the first time and quickly decided to return for my PhD to this university.
The symbiosis of corals and Symbiodinium has evolved around the exchange of nutrients. In the OMICS-era, however, our simplified understanding of nutrient cycling processes in the coral holobiont is challenged. In particular, the omnipresence of nitrogen cycling procaryotes in coral holobionts raises questions regarding the nutritional regulation of the coral-alga symbiosis. In my Ph.D., I am thus trying to establish a new functional understanding of nutrient cycling processes in the coral holobiont. In this context, I am especially interested in the nutritional and metabolic interactions involved in coral bleaching.