Role
Research Scientist: Genomic Bioinformatics
Applying genomic approaches to coral reef research on the Great Barrier Reef
Background
I received my PhD in 2011 in Marine transcriptomics at Flinders University in Adelaide, SA. My PhD focussed on the identification of key enzymes involved in the production of bioactive secondary metabolites from the Australian marine mollusc Dicathais orbita. I analysed transcriptomes from D. orbita, investigating gene expression profiles, and identified key transcripts involved in this secondary metabolite biosynthesis. I also investigated the evolution of the generation of these bioactive compounds within related marine molluscs, and performed recombinant protein expression to characterise an arylsulfatase expressed within D. orbita. I have also had experience working with transgenic plant research, investigating alternative oxidases in the electron transport chain in Arabidopsis thaliana, cereal crop genomics at the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics, and have investigated microsatellite variation in clownfish-hosting anemones from the Great Barrier Reef.
Education

2011- Phd in Molecular biology, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia

2006- Bachelor of Science (Honours), Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia

Current Research Activities
My original role at AIMS began in 2013 as a Postdoctoral fellow investigating the role of viruses in Sponge holobiont dynamics. The workflow I developed is allowing us to profile how virus communities are shifting under environmental stress conditions, as diseases progress, and across different sites and depths on the reef. More recently, my role has expanded into applying genomics resources across a variety of different projects at AIMS, looking at everything from genomics and gene expression to host organisms, right down to the microbial and viral composition of these communities.
Publications
The following are a selection of my publications

Laffy PW, Wood-Charlson E, Turaev D, Weynberg KD, Botte E, van Oppen MJH, Webster NS, Rattei T (2016) HoloVir: A workflow for investigating the diversity and function of viruses in invertebrate holobionts. Frontiers in Microbiology 7: 822

Webster NS, Negri AP, Botté ES, Laffy PW, Flores F, Noonan S, Schmidt C, Uthicke S (2016) Host-associated coral reef microbes respond to the cumulative pressures of ocean warming and ocean acidification. Scientific Reports 6: 19324

Morrow KM, Bourne DG, Humphrey C, Botté ES, Laffy P, Zaneveld J, Uthicke S, Fabricius KE, Webster NS (2015) Natural volcanic CO2 seeps reveal future trajectories for host-microbial associations in corals and sponges. The ISME Journal 9(4):894-908

Laffy PW, Benkendorff K, Abbott CA (2013) Suppressive subtractive hybridization transcriptomics provides a novel insight into the functional role of the hypobranchial gland in a marine mollusc. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part D Genomics and Proteomics 8(2):111-122

Laffy PW, Benkendorff K, Abbott CA (2009) Trends in molluscan gene sequence similarity: An observation from genes expressed within the hypobranchial gland of Dicathais orbita. The Nautilus 123(3):154-158

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