Abstract. Climate change is expected to significantly threaten coral reefs and their organisms globally. Precise predictions of biological impacts are essential for effective management. In the short-term (e.g. days to weeks), elevated water temperature negatively affects coral reef fishes’ physiology, life history, and behaviour. However, there remains a lack of knowledge regarding the capacity for coral reef fishes to adjust to climate change in the long-term (e.g. over generations) through evolutionary processes. My PhD project will employ an experimental approach to predict the influence of phenotypic plasticity and genetic adaptation on a coral reef fish’s ability to persist through global warming.
Biography. Rachel is a PhD candidate at James Cook University, studying the capacity of coral reef fishes to adjust to climate change, under the guidance of Prof. Philip Munday and Dr Jennifer Donelson. Rachel completed her Bachelor of marine science at Macquarie University in Sydney. She then undertook a Masters in evolutionary biology at the University of Basel in Switzerland, where she studied the infamous adaptive radiation of African cichlid fishes. After spending time working as a marine ecologist for an NGO in South Africa, she returned to Australia to embark on a PhD at the Centre of Excellence.