Shelby Gantt headshot.

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My primary interests are the interactions between hosts and symbionts, within benthic communities, in response to outside stressors (such as climate change) and impacts these effects have on coral reef communities.

These interest in host-symbiont interactions spawn from my work in both a marine microbial community and a chemical ecology lab during my time as an undergraduate at Georgia Tech, where I assessed the microbial communities of oxygen minimum zones and corals under ocean acidification and algal contact. (The latter inspired an additional interest in the effects of climate change on host and symbiont interactions, which I have yet to fully explore.) Impassioned with questions from my undergraduate research experience, I decided to pursue a Master of Science at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where I worked to tease apart how the microbial communities of sponges aid in host health in high pollution environments and assessed how the sponge host and its symbionts participate in the cycling of nutrients within coral reef ecosystems. All of these experiences guided me to the University of Alabama at Birmingham where I hope to expand my ability to understand host-symbiont interactions by studying the interactions between corals and their algal symbionts.

Faculty Advisor: Dustin Kemp

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