• PhD candidate 

Telephone: +44(0) 141 330 5469

Email: a.bell.4@research.gla.ac.uk 

Room 414a, Gregory Building

Research Summary

Research title

Host-Symbiodinium dynamics on tropical coral reefs. 

Research summary

Around 500 million people worldwide rely upon coral reefs for survival with 30 million people depending on coral reefs entirely for their livelihood. Increasing ocean temperatures is leading to increased severity and frequency of global coral bleaching – where corals lose their Symbiodinium. However, even in severe bleaching events, not all reefs are affected equally. 

My reseach looks at how spatial variation in Symbiodinium communities might impact corals' bleaching susceptibility. Furthermore, corals have been observed to at least temporarily switch symbiont types in favour of more tolerant Symbiodinium types in response to changing environment.The ability to do this, however, depends on the availability of other tolerant types in the environnment.  

As concerns continue to rise over the fate of tropical coral reefs in the face of global climate change, it is critical that the diversity of Symbiodinium and the resulting adaptive potential of reefs across large geographic sales are understood. My research considers how reef hosts affect Symbiodinium community compositions and how these host, in turn, interact with these communities.





    Research grants

    • The PADI Foundation, 2016. £5000
    • GES Mobility Grant, 2016. £2000

    Travel grants

    • The Challenger Society Travel Award, 2017. £250
    • Association for Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean Travel Award, 2017. $500
    • Society for Experimental Biology COB Travel Grant, 2017. £500
    • GES Conference Support Grant, 2017. £400
    • Marine Biological Association Student Travel Bursary, 2017. £100



    • Reef Conservation UK Conference, London, UK (2016)
    • The 38th Scientific Conference of the Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean, Mexico (2017)
    • European Coral Reef Symposium, Oxford, UK (2017)