One of the major challenges in biology is linking phenotype to genotype, and this challenge is amplified when the phenotype of interest involves interactions between multiple symbiotic partners. Corals and their symbiotic algae represent an iconic symbiosis, but this relationship is threatened by climate change. Research in the Davies lab leverages in situ environmental data and mesocosm/culturing work with large-scale genomic and transcriptomic data to identify the mechanisms underlying adaptation, dispersal, and symbiosis in corals. Our long-term research vision aims to uncover mechanistic links from phenotype to genotype and predict evolutionary trajectories for this critical symbiosis under climate change.

Our ongoing research projects include:

Assessing coral and symbiont genetic diversity and population connectivity across multiple scales
The influence of environmental variability on coral thermal performance
The impacts of disturbances on coral and microbial resilience
The dynamics of coral symbiosis establishment, maintenance and loss
The physiological and genomic consequences of coral range expansion