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Anna Roik

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel


Only recently has become common knowledge that many marine species are associated with specific but complex microbial communities, however the implications of many such metaorganism associations are yet unknown.
My current research projects investigate the functioning and ecology of marine metaorganisms, focusing on the host and its associated bacterial consortia. My projects target two ecologically significant Cnidarian species in their natural systems:
1) Reef-building corals that form high biodiversity ecosystems in tropical oceans, but are acutely threatened by ocean warming
2) The jelly fish Aurelia aurita whose worldwide distribution proves its remarkable ability to function within an enormous environmental range
I use multidisciplinary approaches combining molecular biology tools, next generation sequencing, ecophysiology methods, and ocean sensing to explore how the host and its microbial associates interact with the environment and how the homeostasis is maintained in the metaorganism. Especially today in the age of anthropogenic climate change, it is a compelling goal to elucidate whether bacterial consortia may aid their hosts to acclimatize/adapt and promote resilience in a rapidly changing environment.


Tel.: +49 431 600-4472

Research activities

The role of the bacterial microbiome in acclimatization and resilience of reef‐building corals