Senior Research Scientist and Team Leader
Understanding drivers of vulnerability & resilience under climate and ocean change
  • 2011 NCCARF funded senior research fellow with ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, JCU, Townsville. Research area: Adaptive strategies to climate change in coastal ecosystems.
  • 2008-2010 Smart State and Senior Research Fellow with ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, JCU, Townsville. Research area: Genomic adaptation to climate change in corals.
  • 2006-2007 Postdoctoral Research Fellow with ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, JCU, Townsville. Research area: Adaptation to climate change in corals.
  • 2006 Associate Lecturer in Population and Conservation Genetics, School of Marine and Tropical Biology, JCU, Townsville.
  • 2006 PhD in Population Genetics, JCU, Townsville.
  • 2000 BSc (Hons 1A) in Marine Biology, JCU, Townsville.
Current Research Activities
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.
Expert Committees and Boards
  • 2013 Organiser of workshop on adaptive strategies to climate change in coastal ecosystems
  • 2012 - Associate Editor BMC Evolutionary Biology
  • 2012 Co-chair of mini-symposium and editor of proceedings, ICRS, Cairns
  • 2011 Theo Murphy Think Tank: Australian Academy of Science.
  • 2011 - Adjunct research fellow: ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, JCU, Townsville.
  • 2010-2011 Expert committee for adaptive strategies to climate change in coastal ecosystems: NCCARF
Over 30 science and technical papers in international journals. The following are a selection of recent publications.

Bay LK, Guérécheau A, Andreakis N Ulstrup KE, Matz MV (2013) Gene expression signatures of energetic acclimatisation in the reef building coral Acropora millepora. PLoS ONE 8(5): e61736

Howells EJ, Berkelmans R, van Oppen MJH, Willis BL, Bay LK (2013) Historical thermal regimes define limits to coral acclimatization. Ecology 94(5): 1078-1088

Howells EJ, Beltran VH, Larsen NW, Bay LK, Willis BL, van Oppen MJH (2012) Coral thermal tolerance shaped by local adaptation of photosymbionts. Nature Climate Change: DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1330

Levy O, Kaniewska P, Alon S, Eisenberg E, Karako-Lampert S, Bay LK, Reef R, Rodriguez-Lanetty M Miller DJ, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2011) Complex diel cycles of gene expression in coral-algal symbiosis. Science 331: 175

Lawton RJ, Messmer V, Pratchett, MS, Bay LK (2011) High gene flow across large geographic scales reduces extinction risk for a highly specialized coral feeding butterflyfish. Molecular Ecology 20: 3584-3598

Bay LK, Cumbo VR, Abrego D, Kool J, Willis BL (2011) Role of cell-surface recognition in host selection of symbionts during establishment of coral-algal endosymbiosis. Diversity 3: 356-374

Graham NAJ, Ainsworth TD, Baird AH, Ban NC, Bay LK, and 13 others (2011) From microbes to people: tractable benefits of No Take Areas for coral reefs. Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review 49: 117-148

Souter P, Bay LK, Andreakis N, Császár N, van Oppen MJH (2011) A multi-gene, temperature stress related gene expression profile assay for Acropora millepora, a dominant reef-building coral. Molecular Ecology Resources 11: 328-334.

Souter P, Willis BW, Bay LK, Caley MJ, Muirhead A, van Oppen MJH (2010) Geographic location and bleaching affect population genetic structure in four species of coral in the Acropora aspera group on the Great Barrier Reef. Marine Ecology Progress Series 416: 35-45

Bay LK, Ulstrup, KE, Nielsen HB, Jarmer H, Goffard N, Willis BL, Miller DJ, van Oppen MJH (2009a) Microarray analysis reveals transcriptional plasticity in the reef building coral Acropora millepora. Molecular Ecology 18: 3062-3075

Bay LK, Nielsen HB, Jarmer H, Seneca F, van Oppen MJH (2009) Transcriptomic variation in a coral reveals pathways of clonal organization. Marine Genomics 2:119-125

Bay LK, Caley MJ, Crozier RH (2008) Metapopulation structure in a coral reef fish demonstrated by genetic data on patterns of migration, extinction and re-colonisation. BMC Evolutionary Biology 8:248

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