1

People and ecosystems

Understanding of the links between coral reef ecosystems, the goods and services they provide to people, and the wellbeing of human societies.

2

Ecosystem dynamics: past, present and future

Examining the multi-scale dynamics of reefs, from population dynamics to macroevolution

3

Responding to a changing world

Advancing the fundamental understanding of the key processes underpinning reef resilience.

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Coral Reef Studies

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University Townsville
Queensland 4811 Australia

Phone: 61 7 4781 4000
Email: info@coralcoe.org.au

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Kate M. Quigley

Kate M. Quigley


PhD candidate


BSc. Biology (University of Texas-Austin, 2008), MSc. Marine Biology (James Cook University, 2013)


James Cook University



Kate was born and raised in southern Spain, but has lived in a number of countries including Italy, Cuba, the United States, and Peru. She completed her BSc in Biology in the United States, where an invertebrate biology class inspired her interest in symbiosis. After two and a half years living in the Andes of Peru working for the Peace Corps, she decided to move to a warmer climate and pursue a Masters at James Cook University in Australia. Kate continued on to a PhD at James Cook University and the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences, where she is currently using quantitative genetics to understand the coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis.

Project Title:

Molecular and environmental basis for Symbiodinium specificity in the coral dinoflagellate association

Project Description:

Symbiotic interactions are of fundamental importance to the ecology of many organisms through their impact on host reproduction, behaviour and co-evolution. The purpose of my PhD research is to quantify the extent to which the coral host determines the community structure of their photosymbiont community (Symbiodinium sp.) in the early life stages of corals. I also assess the contribution that environmental availability of different Symbiodinium types has on the composition of Symbiodinium communities established in coral juveniles. Quantitative genetics, Next-Generation Sequencing and RNA-sequencing allow for an in-depth look at Symbiodinium community structure and the genetic architecture that underpins this symbiosis. Results will evaluate the flexibility and specificity of the Symbiodinium-coral association and the biological feasibility of changes in symbiont types for rapid acclimation or selection to environmental change. By quantifying and identifying genetic mechanisms controlling the Symbiodinium community, we can assess if community changes may provide an avenue for corals to acclimatize and adapt to a changing climate.

Supervisors:

Principle supervisor: Prof. Bette Willis (JCU)

Supervisory committee: Dr. Line Bay (AIMS),  Dr. Bill Leggat (JCU)

Publications List:

Quigley, KM., Davies, SW., Kenkel, CD., Wllis BL., Matz MV., Bay LK. “Deep-sequencing method for quantifying background abundances of Symbiodinium types: exploring the rare Symbiodinium biosphere in reef-building corals.” PloS one 9.4 (2014): e94297.

Bauer, KK., Abbott, JC., Quigley KM. “Collared Peccary (Pecari tajacu) in Bastrop County, Texas.” The Southwestern Naturalist 55.1 (2010): 138-139.

Conference Presentations:

Quigley, KM., Davies, SW., Kenkel, CD., Wllis BL., Matz MV., Bay LK. “Deep-sequencing method for quantifying background abundances of Symbiodinium types: exploring the rare Symbiodinium biosphere in reef-building corals. Australian Coral Reef Society Annual Meeting, Sydney, August 2013, Poster

Awards and Grants:

Endeavour International Postgraduate Research Scholarship and James Cook Postgraduate Research Scholarship. AUD$56,653 per annum

AIMS@JCU Pilot Research Award 2012. AUD$750

Winter School in Mathematical & Computational Biology Bursay 2014. AUD$350

 

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Coral Reef Studies

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University Townsville
Queensland 4811 Australia

Phone: 61 7 4781 4000
Email: info@coralcoe.org.au