Joshua Helgoe

PhD Student, Biological Sciences


Advisor: Dr. Mauricio Rodriguez-Lanetty

I study the cellular mechanisms of coral bleaching primarily through the experimental lens of the model anemone Exaiptasia diaphana. I am most interested in using high-throughput methods, namely proteomics and metabolomics, to characterize the cellular stress response of cnidarians to bleaching triggers (i.e., heat stress, UV stress) and pollutants. By understanding the fundamentals of coral symbiosis and resilience we can develop novel coral conservation strategies that we urgently need in the midst of the coral crisis. Though I study cnidarians at a molecular level, my research expands beyond the lab to conducting field research in places such as the Moorea, French Polynesia LTER and working with coral restoration organizations such as CRF to optimize coral nurseries.