Dr. Mike Sweet
Associate Professor in Aquatic Biology
Address: Aquatic Research Facility Environmental, Sustainability Research Centre,
University of Derby
If you wanted to label the work I do, I guess you would call me a ‘molecular ecologist’. I have written a book on the subject anyways (An Introduction to Molecular Ecology – 3rd Edition. Rowe, Sweet and Beebee). I am particularly interested in diseases and the majority of my work has been on corals as the host organism but I have studied sponges, urchins, frogs and fish as well. More recently my attention has moved onto the importance of the microbiome in coral health and how (or even, if) these host-associated microbiota can aid corals in their fight against climate change. To do this, we assess shifts in the microbiome of healthy and stressed corals (via means of histology and next generation sequencing for example) with the effects observed on the host (visual appearance, transcriptomics, metabolomics, proteomics etc). Combined with detailed bioinformatics and downstream analysis we can then understand how individual microbes react with others in their community - under various scenarios. The overall goal is to explore the function of these microbes and what they do for the coral and importantly what happens to the coral if these networks/interactions break down.