My current research focuses on understanding how reef-building corals function at the molecular level, with a particular focus on dissecting the processes of symbiosis and calcification. I use molecular techniques to explore the impacts of global environmental stresses on the coral holobiont. I have developed extensive knowledge and practical skills in the area of coral genomics, starting from classical gene cloning techniques to high-throughput RNA sequencing. My background means that I am familiar with the complexity as well as the fragility of the coral holobiont, and have a broad understanding of partners’ communication.
In addressing these research topics, I have taken the opportunity to work in the laboratories of the current leaders in this field, Professors Denis Allemand (Monaco), and David J. Miller (JCU, Townsville).
I completed my PhD at the Scientific Centre of Monaco (2004-2007) where I studied the relation that exists between calcification and photosynthesis in Cnidarian-Dinoflagellate symbiosis. From 2007 to 2009, I held a Lecturer position at the University of Nice where I studied the molecular dialogue between the two partners of the symbiosis, and more particularly the molecular response to heat stress. In 2009, I was awarded a prestigious European fellowship from the Marie Curie actions (Outgoing International Fellowship). I shared my time between Australia (ARC CoE for Coral Reefs Studies, Townsville) and France (UPMC-CNRS, Villefranche-sur-mer), and investigated the timely topic of ocean acidification’s impact on marine invertebrates using high-throughput sequencing.