Kathryn Morrissey has been appointed to Project 6, based at the University of Ghent. Her research is supervised by Dr Olivier De Clerk. Originally from Cape Town in South Africa, Kathryn completed her degree in Applied Marine Science in June 2015 at the University of Cape Town. Her thesis focused on ‘Marine Algal Virus Communities along Southern African Coasts’. Kathryn is a professional and recreational diver (an ideal skill to have for her field work experiments which she has so far undertaken in Turkey and Croatia), and she has carried out volunteer work at Two Oceans Aquarium where she took care of a range of marine animals including penguins and turtles.
“I am intrigued by molecular systems and have a keen interest in genetics and biochemical mechanisms. Understanding natural processes allow us to recognize negative external forces involved in affecting environmental homeostasis.”
As part of her research, Kathryn is investigating bacterial communities associated with Caulerpa species and how these communities change under different abiotic stresses. She also develops and applies DNA-stable isotope probing techniques to label bacteria, providing detailed information about the functional diversity of microorganisms and the role they play in host metabolism. The aim of her work is to piece together an ecological framework of the essential host-bacteria interactions in this system, therefore leading to better understanding of the highly invasive nature of Caulerpa species.
Kathryn can be contacted at:
Dept of Biology
University of Gent
Krijgslaan 281, S8
9000 Gent, Belgium
Here is a short video introduction to Kathryn’s work as part of the ALFF project: