Australian Institute of Marine Science

Dr Karen Weynberg
Karen Weynberg photo

BSc (Hons) Biochemistry (Manchester, UK), PhD (Warwick, UK) Virology, Super Science Fellow, Australian Institute of Marine Science

Tel: +61 7 47534325

E-mail: K.Weynberg@aims.gov.au

Web: http://www.aims.gov.au/research/marine-microbes/marine-viruses

The overarching aim of my current research is to provide a detailed understanding of critical roles that viruses play in coral reef health, bleaching events and adaptation to climate change. We are interested in characterising viruses that infect the members of coral and sponge holobionts, including algal endosymbionts, bacteria, archaea, fungi and the coral and sponge animals themselves. Using methods we have optimised for coral viral metagenomics, coupled with traditional techniques in virus research, we are identifying and characterising the viruses associated with coral bleaching; disease; vertical transmission in brooding corals; elevated sea surface temperature and ocean acidification scenarios; and the functional role of viruses in the coral and sponge holobionts of keystone species found throughout the Great Barrier Reef (GBR).  We are also beginning to explore the role of viruses in the life cycle of the native pest species the Crown-of-Thorns starfish. Our long-term aim is to use our findings to help monitor shifts in viral communities and assess the health of reef organisms on the GBR.


Australian Institute of Marine Science

PMB No. 3,

Townsville MC

Queensland 4810,