In collaboration with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS), Laura is exploring how extreme hot and cold temperatures change the fat composition of a native Sydney stony coral, Plesiastrea versipora, and the subtropical intrusive coral, Pocillopora aliciae.
This will help us understand how migrating corals are able to make Sydney their new home and what Sydney reefs might look like in future oceans. This will also inform how supported ecosystems change along with their coral hosts and what organisms we can expect to see in our backyard.
In April this year, Laura conducted heat stress experiments in SIMS’ Ian Potter Research Aquarium to understand how corals cope when exposed to increased temperatures. Through August, Laura will be returning to SIMS with fresh samples from Manly’s North head to see if they can brave the cold with temperatures as low as 12C.