My main area of research is on ecophysiological experiments to better understand heat tolerance and identify the mechanisms which underpin this trait. The overall aim of my Ph.D. is to predict coral survivors under rapid climate change. This will be achieved through identifying physiological traits and novel proteomic signatures associated with the heat tolerant phenotype. For selective breeding to be successful desired traits need to be heritable. I am working to calculate the degree of transgenerational adaptation these traits and phenotype.
My interest in anthropogenic environmental changes, physiological adaptions and ecological shifts started during my B.Sc. in Biological Sciences at The University of Plymouth. Here, I worked with algae physiology in response to climate stressors. After my degree I worked for volunteer-based conservation and education organisations where I witnessed some of the many challenges brought about by climate change in the tropical regions, which are amplified in economically poorer communities. I chose to pursue my research into understanding these impacts and to the restoration methods used to aid coral reefs in the face of climate change.
I completed my M.Sc. in Tropical Marine Biology with distinction from the University of Essex. During this time, I joined CoralAssist on a work placement in Palau where I collected data for my thesis ‘Heritability of thermal tolerance in coral and its importance in juvenile growth and survivorship’. I then joined the CoralAssist Lab as a ONEPlanet funded Ph.D. researcher in 2019.