EMRI member Prof Madeleine van Oppen wins prestigious ARC Laureate Fellowship (2019-2023)
Engineering microbes that increase coral climate resilience
An exciting proposal by Professor Madeleine van Oppen facilitated the award of a 2018 ARC Laureate Fellowship. Professor van Oppen’s program will seek to bioengineer the microalgae and bacteria that are integral to coral tissue, giving them characteristics that make them more resilient to climate change.
Coral reefs around the world are being lost at an alarming rate. Developing microbial symbionts to enhance coral climate resilience will give Australian and other coral reef ecosystems an increased chance of surviving the impact of climate change. The project will also enhance understanding of the functional roles of microbial symbionts of corals, and advance the microbial symbiosis discipline globally. Expected outcomes include healthier coral reefs through the use of more climate resilient coral stock in reef conservation and restoration initiatives.