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The new Centre for Marine Microbiology and Genetics is partly funded by the Queensland Government under its Smart State Innovation Funding Program, which aims to build world-class research facilities, attract top-quality scientists to Queensland and stimulate cutting-edge research projects.

As part of this program, the team leader of AIMS' Understanding Marine Microbes and Symbioses, Professor Linda Blackall , won a Smart Women Award - Community/Public Sector-Science for her research on innovative wastewater management.

Dr Bryan Wilson has come to work at the CMMG on a Smart State Fellowship. His work on the early diagnosis of coral diseases will have implications for the conservation of the Great Barrier Reef, helping in the early detection and possible prevention of disease outbreaks. Smart State Fellowships provide funding for early or mid-career researchers to undertake innovative research in Queensland.

Smart State Fellowship holder Dr Line Bay of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University is a long term collaborator with AIMS and the CMMG. Her work will provide vital information for reef managers about the potential for adaptation of corals to climate change by examining natural variation in gene expression of corals and their microbial algal symbionts, and the potential for the algal symbionts to affect coral gene expression and bleaching sensitivity.

Smart State PhD Scholarship holder Emily Howells is working at the CMMG as part of her JCU studies to investigate how certain coral species are able to cope with increasing sea temperatures. Her research will have implications for understanding the resilience of corals to climate change and for managing the Great Barrier Reef as global ocean temperatures rise. Smart State Scholarships help attract promising researchers to Queensland and encourage them to stay here by providing financial support for their studies.

Associated links:

Gene technologies in environmental assessment
Tropical aquaculture
Queensland bioresources for medicine and industry
Smart State scholarship holders and awardees