Teresa Villalaz, MSc.
Université Paris Saclay – AgroParisTech
I am a panamanian animal biologist, interested in physiology, behavior and conservation. My research focuses on characterizing the diversity of marine vertebrates in the Tropical Eastern Pacific of Panama using analyses of environmental DNA in seawater.
Nardi de la Torre, BSc.
Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ)
As a STRI intern, my research focuses on alpha and beta diversity patterns in Pocillopora coral microbiomes, and I am particularly interested in the relationship between coral microbial communities and reef resilience. I also have a strong side interest in ecological interactions and fish behavior.
Benoît Salamin, BSc. Student
University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HES-SO)
I am an undergraduate student interested in the mechanisms of symbiosis between corals and pathogenic or beneficial microorganisms (bacteria, fungi…). In particular, I am interested in understanding the effect of the biotic and abiotic context on the nature of these interactions. My research focuses on how overfished sea cucumbers, well-known bioremediators on coral reefs and adjacent habitats, affect the immune system of corals and how these changes in immunity can influence the outcome of coral-microbe interactions.
Leia Zhao, BSc.
University of Cambridge
Hello! My research focuses on using DNA metabarcoding to detect potential dietary shifts in herbivorous reef fishes during upwelling in the Tropical Eastern Pacific. This can provide valuable insights on how they regulate reef dynamics by controlling macroalgae abundance throughout the year. I’m especially interested in using DNA based techniques to investigate and find solutions for ecosystems threatened by global change.
Caitlin McNally, BSc.
As an intern at STRI, I work with Laura Lardinois on how the microbiome of coral reef fish respond to changing environments. I am particularly excited by the emerging field of ocean biogeochemistry, focusing on how biologically crucial elements cycle through oceans. Outside of the lab, I am interested in utilizing scientific findings to develop effective environmental policy to protect our oceans.