Coast to Coral: Microbes and Coral Larval Settlement

Join Reef Check Australia and friends on the first Tuesday night of each month in your lounge room/office/comfy chair, for an evening of discovery, inspiration and appreciation of our local marine, coastal and catchment environments.


Abigail Turnlund is in her final year of her PhD at the University of Queensland working with the Australian Centre of Ecogenomics and Australian Institute of Marine Science. Her PhD project focuses on characterizing microbial communities that induce coral larval settlement. She is originally from California, and did her Honour’s thesis, characterizing whale shark skin microbiomes, at San Diego State University.  


Sexually propagated coral recruits grown in aquaculture enables reef restoration practices to upkeep coral genetic diversity when later out-planting them on the reef. However, the cues that trigger coral larval settlement are largely unknown. In order to increase coral larval settlement and recruit density in aquaria, we need to identify and characterize coral larval settlement cues. From a settlement-choice experiment with differing pre-conditioned microbial biofilms, we used network analysis to identify microbial communities associated with different levels of Acropora tenuis larval settlement. We further identified which microbes were facilitating transitions between high and low settlement inducing communities to better understand microbial communities inducing high coral larval settlement.   

Virtual doors (zoom) opens at 6.25pm for a 6:30 pm start.

Bring a mate and share in the discovery!

At Reef Check Australia we’re all about inspiring our mates and we love to read your thoughts! So, share your favourite parts about the night and tag us! Reef Check Australia #coasttocoral

This initiative is hosted by Reef Check Australia, and proudly supported by oh so many groups including the City of Gold Coast, Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd, Sunshine Coast Council's Environment Levy partnerships grant, The Great Barrier Reef Foundation and Townsville City Council.

Future talks take place on the first Tuesday night of each month, with a new, interesting and engaging speaker.

For more information contact

May 02, 2023 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Will you come?