Dr Christina Kellogg, USGS (2018 Rudi Lemberg Travelling Fellow). Seminar “Microbial Diversity of Deep-Sea Corals”, Monday 22nd October at 10:00-11:00am, Turner Theatre, BioSciences 2 building, University of Melbourne

Dr Christina Kellogg, United States Geological Survey (USGS) is the 2018 Rudi Lemberg Travelling Fellow. She will deliver a presentation entitled “Microbial Diversity of Deep-Sea Corals“.

Monday 22nd October at 10:00-11:00am in Turner Theatre, BioSciences 2 building, University of Melbourne.

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About the speaker

Dr. Christina Kellogg, United States Geological Survey (USGS), is an international leader in coral microbial ecology. She has been working in deepwater coral ecosystems since 2004 and has been privileged to visit them personally in submersibles. She has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed papers as well as a number of book chapters and has given invited keynote talks on both her aerosol microbiology and deep-sea coral microbial work. She is a judge for the $7 million dollar Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE competition, the goal of which is to accelerate development of autonomous deep-sea mapping and sensor capacity. She is currently part of the multi-agency DEEP SEARCH project to explore deep-sea coral, canyon, and gas seep ecosystems off the United States’ southeast coast. Dr. Kellogg holds a Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from the University of South Florida and a B.S. cum laude in Biology from Georgetown University.

About the talk

Dr. Kellogg will review her recent work on cold-water corals around the United States (specifically, those found between 200–1000 meters deep). While studies of bacterial associates of shallow-water corals have occurred for over 40 years, deep-sea corals have only been the topic of microbial studies for the last decade. Deep-sea corals do not have the complicating factor of an algal symbiont with its own thermal tolerances and to a degree have been buffered by distance from increased water temperatures, sewage, or nutrient impacts. Deep-sea corals provide an opportunity to study coral-bacterial symbioses without many of the confounding factors that tropical corals are subject to and may more easily reveal critical roles of heterotrophic bacterial symbionts. This talk is framed around questions about these coral-associated microbes: Who are they? What are they doing? How are they affecting and changing our world through their biogeochemical interactions with the environment, host corals, and each other? Dr. Kellogg will describe characterizing and comparing baseline microbiomes for seven deep-sea coral species, including both stony and soft corals. She will also describe the first metagenomic data from a deep-sea coral.