EESS talk on "The metaorganism frontier - we are not alone"


Event details

Date and time 26.11.2019 12:1513:00  
Place and room
Speaker Dr Christian R Voolstra, Professor of Genetics of Adaptation in Aquatic Systems,Dpt of Biology, University of Konstanz, DE.
Category Conferences - Seminars
Recent years have brought a changing imperative in life sciences sparked by the revolution of genomic tools to study the molecular composition and functional organization of organisms. The development of next-generation sequencing changed our understanding of microbial diversity associated with organisms and environments. There are now a multitude of studies that support the notion that a host-specific microbiome associates with multicellular organisms and provides functions related to metabolism, immunity, and environmental adaptation, among others. Consequently, interactions and communication mechanisms of members in this metaorganism presumably play a major role in maintaining host health, organismal homeostasis, and resilience to environmental disturbance. The seminar will highlight and discuss recent efforts to investigate metaorganism function and evolution using a suite of ecological, physiological, and molecular approaches.

His research area is environmental genomics with a focus on acclimation and adaptation of marine invertebrates. In particular, Dr. Voolstra studies coral metaorganism function combining ecological, environmental, microbial, and molecular approaches. Corals are metaorganisms composed of the coral host, intracellular photosynthetic dinoflagellate symbionts, and associated microbiota. Together these so-called coral holobionts form the keystone species of reef ecosystems. Dr. Voolstra’s most recent research has particularly advanced knowledge of how the bacterial microbiome contributes to coral animal host acclimation and adaptation. Dr. Voolstra has published over 150 peer-reviewed research papers, various book chapters, and holds patents related to bioactive lead structures from marine organisms. Dr. Voolstra is a Scientific Coordinator of the Tara Pacific consortium and a steering committee member of the Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance (GIGA). Dr. Voolstra received his PhD at the Institute for Genetics in Cologne, Germany in 2006 and was a Postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Merced from 2007-2009. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Marine Science at KAUST’s Red Sea Research Center in 2009, and in 2015 was promoted to Associate Professor. From 2016 to 2019, Dr. Voolstra served as the Associate Director of the Red Sea Research Center at KAUST. In 2019, Dr. Voolstra became Professor of Genetics of Adaptation in Aquatic Systems at the University of Konstanz, Germany.

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free
  • This event is internal


  • EESS - IIE



Environmental Genomics Microbial Ecology Metaorganism Symbiosis Coral Reefs