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Research overview

My PhD project, funded by the St. Leonards world-leading St Andrews doctoral scholarship, aims to identify the role of lipids in coral biomineralization and the effects of future climate change. To address my research project, I am conducting in-vitro aragonite precipitation experiments with the addition of different lipids, a coral culturing experiment of Seriatopora and Stylophora spp. corals raised under different temperature treatments, and finally a fieldwork experiment on Acropora and Pocillopra spp. corals at the CRIOBE research station in Moorea, French Polynesia. Throughout my project I am using techniques such as Gas-Chromatography Mass Spectroscopy (GC-MS) to identify the lipids in the tissues and skeleton of corals, as well as Raman Spectroscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) to explore the structures of coral skeletons and of aragonite precipitated in the laboratory under the conditions which occur in the coral organism.  Overall, this data will enable me to elucidate the effects of different lipid biomolecules on how corals build their skeleton and the coral’s resistance and resilience to future climate change scenarios. 

Before working on this PhD project, I worked as Project Leader for two Coral Restoration Projects run by the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles (MCSS). On top of this, I graduated in 2017 with a BSc in Biochemistry from King’s College London, and with a MSc in Marine Biological Resources (IMBRSea) in 2019. All of which have allowed me to pursue my interest in understanding how Coral Reefs may withstand the drastic future predictions of our changing climate. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

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