Hannah Aichelman of the Davies Lab is this year’s recipient of the Dana Wright Fellowship. Hannah’s research interests are broadly focused on understanding resilience and responses to rapid climate change of the coral animal and its symbiotic algae.
Her current work uses physiological and molecular tools to answer these questions in both tropical and temperate marine ecosystems. In the tropics, she is working with corals from the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System to consider species and reef zone-specific responses through time for corals under temperature and ocean acidification stress. Further north in temperate waters, she is utilizing the facultatively symbiotic coral Oculina arbuscula to consider how the coral animal and its symbiont independently respond to temperature extremes both while in symbiosis and when the symbiont is outside of the coral. Better understanding stress responses of temperate corals, like O. arbuscula, will hopefully provide key insights into understanding how tropical coral symbioses will be affected by climate change.
This fellowship was established in memory of Dana Wright (CAS ’00), an alum of the BU Marine Program. After completing her studies, Wright went on to work in research in right whale acoustics at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod.