Quigley, Kate

Dr Kate Quigley

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Currently assessing the feasibility of applying Assisted Gene Flow on the Great Barrier Reef, using modelling, experimental and field-based approaches. Research focusses more broadly on understanding the genomic basis of heat tolerance and resilience in corals from the host and symbiont perspective.

Contact Information

Phone 07 4753 4192
Int (+61) 7 4753 4192
Email k.quigley@aims.gov.au or katemarie.quigley@my.jcu.edu.au

Other Profiles

JCU webpage
Google Scholar


My research focuses on developing intervention and restoration tools for the management of coral reef organisms. This involves multiple approaches and disciplines, including:

  • Evolutionary modelling
  • Symbiosis establishment, regulation, and manipulation
  • Thermal tolerance
  • Reproductive biology
  • ‘Omics technology


Tertiary Education

2017: PhD, James Cook University/AIMS, Australia

2013: MSc (University Medal), James Cook University/AIMS, Australia

2008: BSc (Honours), University of Texas at Austin, USA


Employment History

Australian Institute of Marine Science (2017 - Present)



2013 - 2016 Endeavour International Postgraduate Research Scholarship and James Cook University Postgraduate Research Scholarship

As a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at AIMS my research focusses on understanding the genomic basis of environmental stress and resilience in corals and their related dinoflagellate symbionts (Symbiodiniaceae).

This includes:

(1) testing the feasibility of Assisted Gene Flow,
(2) assessing if mass bleaching has impacted coral genetic diversity, symbiosis and corals’ adaptive potential,
(3) investigating the potential for transgenerational shuffling and assisted evolution of symbionts.

The aim is to develop large-scale intervention methods that can be applied to prevent or slow the degradation of coral reefs due to climate change.

Morris L, Voolstra C, Quigley K, Bourne D, Bay L (2019) Nutrient availability and metabolism affect the stability of coral-Symbiodiniaceae symbioses. Trends in Microbiology (Cover and Special Focus)


Quigley K*, Strader* M, Matz M (2018) Relationship between Acropora millepora juvenile fluorescence and composition of newly established Symbiodinium assemblage. PeerJ 6: e5022 *Shared lead co-author


Quigley K, Bay L, Willis B (2018) Leveraging new knowledge of Symbiodinium community regulation in corals for conservation and reef restoration. Marine Ecology Progress Series 600: 245-253


Quigley K, Torda G, Bay L (2018) The use of juveniles or larvae settled in the field in coral restoration: Symbiodinium acquisition does not differ between coral life stages in the wild. Restoration Ecology 26(3): 422-425


Quigley K, Baker A, Coffroth M, Willis B, van Oppen M (2018) Chapter 6. Bleaching resistance and the role of algal endosymbionts. pp 111-151.  In: van Oppen MJH, Lough J (Eds) Coral Bleaching: Patterns, Processes, Causes and Consequences. 2nd Edition. Ecological Studies 233, Springer (356 p)


Quigley K, Warner PA, Willis B (2018) Unexpected mixed-mode transmission and moderate genetic regulation of Symbiodinium communities in a brooding coral. Heredity 121: 524-536


Quigley K, Bay L, Willis B (2017) Temperature and water quality-related patterns in sediment-associated Symbiodinium communities impact symbiont uptake and fitness of juvenile acroporid corals. Frontiers in Marine Science 4: 401


Quigley K, Willis B, Bay L (2017) Heritability of the Symbiodinium community in vertically- and horizontally-transmitting broadcast spawning corals. Scientific Reports 7: 8219


Quigley K, Willis B, Bay L (2016) Maternal effects and Symbiodinium community composition drive differential patterns in juvenile survival in the coral Acropora tenuis. Royal Society Open Science 3(10): 160471.


Quigley K, Davies S, Kenkel C, Willis B, Matz M, Bay L (2014) Deep-sequencing method for quantifying background abundances of Symbiodinium types: exploring the rare Symbiodinium biosphere in reef-building corals. PLoS ONE 9(4): e94297


Bauer K, Abbott J, Quigley K (2010) Collared Peccary (Pecari tajacu) in Bastrop County, Texas. The Southwestern Naturalist 55(1):141-142

Adjunct Research Associate, James Cook University

Reviewer for major international journals


Student Supervision & Teaching

Luke Morris (AIMS@JCU PhD student)

Josephine Nielson (AIMS@JCU PhD student)

Alyx Terrell (JCU Professional Master’s student)

Carys Morgans (JCU Master’s student)