Bay, Line

Dr Line Bay

Research Program Director

Reef Recovery, Adaptation and Restoration

Contact number
(07) 4753 4179
+61 7 4753 4179
Contact email

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.

Principal Research Scientist, AIMS
Team Leader: Reef Recovery, Adaptation and Restoration
Senior Research Scientist, AIMS
Team Leader: Climate Change and Ocean Acidification
Research Scientist, AIMS
PhD in Population Genetics, JCU, Townsville.
BSc (Hons 1A) in Marine Biology, JCU, Townsville.

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)

International Fellowship, Australian Academy of Science
Isobel Bennet Postdoctoral Fellowship, Australian Museum.
Smart State Postdoctoral Fellowship, Queensland Government
Science Distinguished Student Prize for exceptional merit, JCU
CRC Reef Prize for best honours project, JCU
Joe and Val Baker Prize for excellence in Marine Biology, JCU
Ron Kenny Prize for best performance in Zoology, 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