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Georgina Matthews

Masters by Research student
Supervisors: Dr. James Guest, and Prof. John Bythell

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After becoming involved with scuba diving at a young age my eyes were opened to the pure tranquillity and beauty of the underwater world.


Keen to learn more about marine life I headed to Madagascar to volunteer with a reef monitoring programme whilst studying A ‘levels. As I continued to learn more about marine life and coral reefs, I became strikingly aware that they are running out of time, particularly coral reefs. As said best by Dr. Sylvia Earle herself “No water No life. No blue, No green”


Determined to make a difference I decided to pursue a BSc in Marine Biology at Bangor University. During my degree I secured a yearlong internship to join the team at the Australian Institute of Marine Science as Dr. Line Bays intern under the lab of reef Recovery, Adaptation and Restoration.


During this time, I assisted with multiple coral heat stress and nutrient experiments using the National Sea Simulator. I gained extensive laboratory work experience including processing samples, molecular extractions and physiological assays as well as participating in two research trips to the Great Barrier Reef. The first, a 4-week trip to sample over 10 different reefs and run daily heat stress experiments on location on collected samples. The second, a trip to out-plant hybrid juvenile corals from the 2018 spawning events.


After working within the coral biology field, it became ever clearer that this was the right path for me and successfully secured a place at Newcastle University for my Masters by Research Degree under the supervision of Prof. John Bythell and Dr. James Guest.


There is an understanding that the microbiome might offer a unique and alternative gateway for holobiont plasticity and adaptation. By joining the Coralassist Lab, I aim to test whether the microbiome of Acropora digitifera responds to environmental change, what bacteria are particularly responsible for the change and the functions they are responsible for within the microbiome.

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