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Sarah Jane Walsh

Sarah-Jane Walsh completed her NERC funded PhD at the University of Essex under the supervision of Dr David Smith and Dr David Suggett, and conducting field research at the Operation Wallacea Marine site in Indonesia. Her research entailed identifying histological differences across different coral genera and identifying how these differences may impact bleaching response. Much research is currently ongoing focusing on the symbiont role in bleaching and tissue narcosis. However, many of these studies fail to identify the role of the host in the bleaching response. This study aimed to identify the mechanisms which are initiated and regulated by the cnidarian host in the hope of filling this gap in the literature. The research focused on the binding capacity of coral tissues to the coral skeleton, and what initiates the fundamental breakdown of this during adhesion dysfunction. The study also looked at whether this response differs across coral genera and if so identify the reasons for this. This study hopes that identifying these key differences will have conservation implications via the identification of susceptible and robust reef habitats.

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