Bay, Line

Dr Line Bay

Team Leader and RRAP Sub-Program Leader
Coral Aquaculture and Deployment and Enhanced Corals and Treatments

(07) 4753 4179
+61 7 4753 4179

Line K Bay is a biologist with a passion for biodiversity, conservation and coral reefs. Originally from Denmark she first came to Australia in the early 1990’s and was so taken by the beauty of its’ land, sea and cultural scapes that she never left.

Line has two decades of professional experience in the genetics, ecology and evolution of coral reef organisms. She received a PhD in population genetics from James Cook University (JCU), then taught evolutionary genetics at JCU before undertaking a post-doc with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and AIMS for which she was awarded a Queensland Smart State Fellowship. She joined AIMS in 2011 as a Research Scientist and has served as a Team Leader of the Reef Recovery, Adaptation, and Restoration team since 2015. Dr Bay is now a Principal Research Scientist and Sub Program leader of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP).

Line’s research group uses field and laboratory based experiments to study how environmental and genetic factors affects the health and stress tolerance reef building corals and their symbionts. Her projects are supported by grants from government and private donors, and involving national and international collaborators, post – doctoral fellows, graduate students and Interns.

Line is an enthusiastic science communicator and is particular interested in the translation of scientific knowledge to natural resource managers, policy makers and the general public. She has been involved in environmental education and science training for nearly two decades and is committed to the inclusion of Indigenous peoples in science including Traditional Owners of coral reefs.

Tertiary Education

2006 PhD in Population Genetics, JCU, Townsville.

2000 BSc (Hons 1A) in Marine Biology, JCU, Townsville.

Employment History

2018 Principal Research Scientist, AIMS.

2015 Team Leader: Reef Recovery, Adaptation and Restoration

2013-2018 Senior Research Scientist, AIMS

2013-2015 Team Leader: Climate Change and Ocean Acidification

2011-2012 Research Scientist, AIMS


2010-2011 International Fellowship, Australian Academy of Science

2008 Isobel Bennet Postdoctoral Fellowship, Australian Museum.

2008-2010 Smart State Postdoctoral Fellowship, Queensland Government

2000 Science Distinguished Student Prize for exceptional merit, JCU

2000 CRC Reef Prize for best honours project, JCU

1996 Joe and Val Baker Prize for excellence in Marine Biology, JCU

1996 Ron Kenny Prize for best performance in Zoology, JCU


My research integrates physiological, genetic and genomic data to understand how corals interact with their environment. In particular, I am interested in the rates and mechanisms of physiological acclimatisation, and the potential for genetic adaptation in response to climate and ocean change.

Partnerships & Collaborations

Research Partnerships

2017  Present, Theme Leader: Coral Genetics. Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program.

Research Collaborations

Prof Molly Przeworski and Dr Zach Fuller (Colombia University)

  • Polygenic signatures of heat tolerance and bleaching in corals

Dr Phil Cleves and Prof John Pringle (Stanford University)

  • Elucidating gene function in corals with CRISPR-Cas9

Prof Mikhail Matz and Dr Groves Dixon (University of Texas)

  • Eco-genomics and adaptation of corals

Dr Manuel Aranda (KAUST)

  • Transgenerational acclimation in corals

Dr Margaret Miller and Dr Aric Bickel (SECORE)

  • Early growth and survival on reseeding surfaces

Dr Carly Kenkel (Southern California University)

  • Eco-genomics and adaptation of corals

Dr Emily Howells (University of Wollongong) and Dr David Abrego (Southern Cross University)

  • Transgenerational acclimation in corals

Supervision and mentorship

Post-doctoral mentorship

2019 – 2021  Dr Hugo Harrison

2017 – 2020  Dr Kate Quigley

2017 – 2019  Dr Carly Randall (now a Research Scientist at AIMS)

2016 – 2018  Dr Carly Kenkel (now an Ass Prof at Uni Southern California)

PhD, Masters and Undergraduate Research Students

Current students

2019 – 2022 Josephine Nielsen (PhD JCU – Thermal plasticity and performance trade-offs in corals)

2017 – 2021  Luke Morris (PhD AIMS@JCU - Nutrient availability and coral thermal tolerance).

Graduated students

2020  Holland Elder (PhD Oregon State University – Genetic markers of thermal tolerance)

2020  Jose Montalvo-Proana (PhD AIMS@JCU - Acclimation of corals to future environments)

2018 Stefano Montenari (PhD AIMS@JCU - Hybridisation in reef fishes)

2017 Josephine Nielsen (Honours Class 1A JCU – Coral heat and cold tolerance) ** Dean of the College of Marine & Environmental Sciences Award

2016 Hanaka Mera (MSc JCU – Genetic constraints on evolution)

2016 Kate Quigley (PhD AIMS@JCU - Environmental and genetic drivers of coral symbioses)

2016 Melissa Rocker (PhD NESP - Energy budgets and fitness of corals)

2014 Allison Paley (PhD AIMS@JCU - Bleaching sensitivity and colour polymorphism in corals)

2012 Kate Quigley (MSc JCU -  Detection of low abundance Symbiodinium)

2012 James Tan (PhD JCU - Growth and reproduction in corals)

2011  Melissa Rocker (MSc JCU - Symbiodinium types)

2010 Laura Woodings. (MSc JCU - Gene expression of coral colour morphs)

2010 Aurelie Guérécheau (MSc . École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France. Development of multiplexed gene expression assays)

2011 Emily Howells (PhD AIMS@JCU - Genetic resilience and adaptation of Symbiodinium)

2011 Rebecca Lawton (PhD JCU - Specialization versus susceptibility of butterflyfishes)

2008 David Jones (Honours Class 1A JCU –Effective population size in a coral reef fish)

Other Activities

Committees / Roles

Boards and advisory groups

2019  present Advisory board member for Translational BioSciences' unit at Macquarie University

2020 Co-convenor of small structures focus group

2018  present Science Committee Member: Reef Check

2017 Chair of Science Advisory Panel for Reef Habitat Restoration via macroalgal removal

Adjunct positions

2020 Adjunct Associate Professor: Research and Innovation, James Cook University  

2011 – 2018 Adjunct research fellow: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, JCU.

Editorial roles 

2019 - present  Editor for Proceedings of the Royal Society

2016 - 2019   Editor for Frontiers in Marine Science

2015 - 2019  Biological Topic Editor Coral Reefs

2012 - 2019  Associate Editor BMC Evolutionary Biology

Conference organisation

2018 Reef Futures. Florida, USA – organising committee

2018 GBR Restoration Conference. Cairns, AUS – organising committee

2018 Symposium “Novel approaches to the conservation and management of coral reefs under climate change” IMCC Kuching Malaysia. Organiser.

2016 Acclimatisation and adaptation of coral reef organisms in response to environmental change. ICRS, Hololulu, USA. Symposium organiser.

2013 Climate Change Adaptation of Australian Ecosystems. NCCARF, Kingscliffe. Organiser and Chair.

2012 - 2013   AIMS Speed Talking Championships. Organiser and MC.


Media and outreach

Traditional media

Extensive experience with traditional media and news with selected appearances across platforms below. Documentary filming with several production companies including BBC and iBiology.

2019 The Great Continental Train Journey BBC

2019 Climate Change: The Facts. BBC Documentary

2019 Interview on Australia Radio RN News

2019 Science et Vie – French TV

2019 News article in Science Magazine

2019 The Science Show Radio National

2018 News article in Traits Times

2018 World Ocean Day Feature on CNN

2018 ABC 7:30 Special about the GBR presented by Peter Greste.

Online popular articles:

Conference and Invited Presentations (last three years)

2019 The management and conservation of coral reefs in the 21st century. Species on the Move, South Africa. ** invited keynote

2019 The management and conservation of coral reefs in the 21st century. ANZMBS Sydney, Australia.  ** invited keynote

2019 RRAP Concept Feasibility Study – draft key results. Biodiversity Funders annual conference, Santa Cruz, CA. ** invited keynote

2018 Biological approaches to coral restoration and adaptation. Reef Futures. Key Largo, Florida.. ** invited keynote

2018   Next Generation corals for tomorrow’s reefs. GBR Restoration Symposium. ** invited keynote

2018 The Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program: An overview. Marine and Coastal Habitat Restoration workshop. DoEE, Canberra. ** invited presentation

2018 Sorting the wheat from the chaff: evaluating the potential benefits and risks of novel interventions on coral reefs. International Marine Conservation Congress, Kutching Malaysia.

2018 Presentation to Council: Overview of interventions being considered by RRAP Concept Feasibility Phase.

2018 Presentation to IRAC: Overview of interventions being considered by RRAP Concept Feasibility Phase.

2018 Presentation to Greening Australia: Next Generation corals for tomorrow’s reefs.

2017 Managed translocations on the GBR: UC Davies, USA. ** invited speaker

2017 Bleaching and WQ what is the connection? NESP WQ hub annual conference, Townsville.

2017 The potential for multi-trait genetic adaptation in a coral. ACRS, Townsville.

2017 The case for the restoration of coral reefs under climate change. Coastal restoration network symposium. TropWater, JCU

2017 The Great Barrier Reef: Status, trend and new solutions under climate change University of Southern California departmental seminar. ** invited speaker

2017 Enhancing the resilience of corals through assisted gene flow. International Congress for Conservation Biology, Cartagena, Colombia. ** invited speaker

Undergraduate teaching

2017 BZ3450 – Ecological genetics of coral reefs (JCU)

2012 - 2014  BZ3450 – Ecological and Conservation Genetics (JCU)

2007 - 2014  MB5350 – Current Issues in Coral Reef Ecology (JCU)

2007 - 2014  MB3210 – Biology of reef corals (JCU)

2006 - 2008 BZ3450 – Ecological and Conservation Genetics (JCU)

2012 BZ3450 – Ecological and Conservation Genetics (JCU)

2006 MB5450 – Molecular approaches for marine ecology and evolution (JCU)

2006 BZ2420 – Genetics and Biodiversity Conservation (JCU)


Over 60 peer reviewed publications with > 2300 citations

Visit Google Scholar Profile for full list

 Population genetics of the coral Acropora millepora: Toward genomic prediction of bleaching ZL Fuller, VJL Mocellin, LA Morris, N Cantin, J Shepherd, L Sarre, J Peng Yi Liao, Joseph Pickrell, Peter Andolfatto, Mikhail Matz, Line K Bay, Molly Przeworski (2020) Science 369 (6501)

Reduced thermal tolerance in a coral carrying CRISPR-induced mutations in the gene for a heat-shock transcription factor
PA Cleves, AI Tinoco, J Bradford, D Perrin, LK Bay, JR Pringle Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117 (46), 28899-28905

Substrate stabilisation and small structures in coral restoration: State of knowledge, and considerations for management and implementation
DM Ceccarelli, IM McLeod, L Boström-Einarsson, SE Bryan, ... PloS one 15 (10), e0240846

 Global gene expression patterns in Porites white patch syndrome: Disentangling symbiont loss from the thermal stress response in reef‐building coral 
CD Kenkel, VJL Mocellin, LK Bay Molecular Ecology 29 (20), 3907-3920

Seasonal variation in the lipid profile of Acropora millepora at Halfway Island, Great Barrier Reef
JA Conlan, LK Bay, A Jones, A Thompson, DS Francis Coral Reefs, 1-13

Interventions to help coral reefs under global change—A complex decision challenge
KRN Anthony, KJ Helmstedt, LK Bay, P Fidelman, KE Hussey, ... Plos one 15 (8), e0236399

Rapid counting and spectral sorting of live coral larvae using large-particle flow cytometry
CJ Randall, JE Speaks, C Lager, M Hagedorn, L Llewellyn, R Pulak, ... Scientific reports 10 (1), 1-11

ZL Fuller, VJL Mocellin, LA Morris, N Cantin, J Shepherd, L Sarre, J Peng Yi Liao, Joseph Pickrell, Peter Andolfatto, Mikhail Matz, Line K Bay, Molly Przeworski (2020). Population genetics of the coral Acropora millepora: Toward genomic prediction of bleaching Science 369 (6501)

 Genome‐wide SNP analysis reveals an increase in adaptive genetic variation through selective breeding of coral 
KM Quigley, LK Bay, MJH van Oppen Molecular Ecology

Symbiont community diversity is more variable in corals that respond poorly to stress
LI HoweKerr, B Bachelot, RM Wright, CD Kenkel, LK Bay, AMS Correa Global Change Biology 26 (4), 2220-2234

Sexual production of corals for reef restoration in the Anthropocene
CJ Randall, AP Negri, KM Quigley, T Foster, GF Ricardo, NS Webster, ...Marine Ecology Progress Series 635, 203-232

Assessing the role of historical temperature regime and algal symbionts on the heat tolerance of coral juveniles
KM Quigley, CJ Randall, MJH van Oppen, LK Bay Biology open 9 (1)

Physiological effects of heat and cold exposure in the common reef coral Acropora millepora
JJV Nielsen, CD Kenkel, DG Bourne, L Despringhere, VJL Mocellin, ...Coral Reefs, 1-11

National Marine Science Plan recommendation 3: towards a national integrated approach to experimentation for managing and enhancing Australia's coastal marine ecosystems
P Seinberg, K Anthony, M Coleman, BD Eyre, P Gribben, A Negri, L Bay, ...Sydney Institute of Marine Science

Genetic variation in heat tolerance of the coral Platygyra daedalea offers the potential for adaptation to ocean warming
H Elder, V Weis, J Montalvo-Proano, VJL Mocellin, A Baird, E Meyer, ...bioRxiv