Academic Profile

Academic Profile


Broadly, we study the interactions of prokaryotes and eukaryotes using a number of model systems. We are investigating the interactions of coral and the associated microbiome, as well as the effect macroalgae on the coral microbiome. Furthermore, we are investigating the impact of predation by protozoa on marine microbial communities and how evolution of grazing defences drives the evolution of pathogenicity in these bacteria. We are also interested in the adaptation of bacteria in the marine environment to various stresses, which leads to the evolution of pathogenicity of bacteria in these environments. We study bacterial adaptation to stress and mechanisms of molecular control of these responses, cell-to-cell communication and biofilm formation. Assistant Professor McDougald supervises staff and students in the following fields of research:

• Protozoan grazing and environmental persistence of Vibrio cholerae
• Coral-associated microbial communities as indicators of coral health
• Quorum sensing roles in adaptation and virulence
• Biofilm formation and genetic plasticity of V. cholerae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa
• Novel biofilm control technologies

Our current projects include 1) Predation by protozoa as a factor in the evolution of marine pathogens; 2) Indicators of marine health, through the analysis of microbial communities associated with coral 3) Impact of macroalgae on coral-associated microbial communities 4) Novel biofilm control strategies.
Current Projects
  • Adaptation and resilience of coral reefs to environmental change in Singapore

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