Microorganisms are diverse, abundant, and drive primary production, biogeochemical cycling, and other processes within ocean ecosystems. 

My research integrates diverse approaches in order to:

1. Characterize the diversity and evolutionary histories of marine microbes;    
(Related papersCorrea et al. 2016, Frontiers in Microbiology; Correa et al. 2013, The ISME Journal; Stat et al. 2012, Advances in Marine BiologySilverstein et al. 2012, Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. Ser. BCorrea & Baker 2009, Coral ReefsCorrea et al. 2009, Marine BiologyBaker & Romanski (Correa) 2007, Marine Ecology Progress Series)

2. Interrogate the context-dependent roles of microbes in host health and disease; and
(Related papersVega Thurber et al. 2017, Nature Reviews MicrobiologyZaneveld et al. 2016, Nature Communications; Correa et al. 2016, Frontiers in Microbiology; Soffer et al. 2014, The ISME JournalBrandt et al. 2013, PLoS ONECorrea et al. 2013, The ISME JournalVega Thurber et al. 2012, PLoS ONEVega Thurber & Correa 2011, JEMBECorrea et al. 2009, Coral Reefs)

3. Model how microbes impact ecosystem processes and persistence. 
(Related papers: Vega Thurber et al. 2017, Nature Reviews Microbiology; Zaneveld et al. 2016, Nature Communications; Vega Thurber et al. 2012, PLoS ONECorrea & Baker 2011, Global Change Biology)



I primarily using reef-building corals and their microbial symbionts as a model system. Corals are ecosystem engineers that harbor diverse assemblages of dinoflagellate algae (genus Symbiodinium), viruses, bacteria, archaea, and fungi. Coral-associated microbial assemblages are generally different from those in the surrounding seawater. 




Viruses are likely to impact coral and reef health by infecting coral tissues or symbionts, triggering changes in colony physiology and energy flows on reefs. My research helped delineate a probable ‘core coral virome’: the nine viral families most commonly found in stony corals, particularly those exposed to abiotic stressors. Investigations of stressed corals have demonstrated that environmental changes can trigger viral production, which correlates with coral bleaching, a diminished health state in wich Symbiodinium are lost en masse from hosts. Several viral groups likely infect Symbiodinium, including phycodnaviruses, megaviruses, and +ssRNA viruses; such viruses may contribute to some coral bleaching signs. These viruses, their diverse Symbiodinium hosts, and their roles in coral reef ecosystems are a central component of my lab’s research.

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© Adrienne Simoes Correa 2016