The research interests of our team are broad and varied within the realm of evolutionary biology, using field manipulation experiments combined with laboratory experiments, as well as observations of natural variation.
We have four main research areas:
- Understanding larval dispersal. Using clownfish as our model species, our current main research area is understanding larval dispersal and determining the separate and combined roles played by the parental phenotype and the environment.
- Effects of environmental change on coral reef organisms. We investigate how both climate change and anthropogenic stressors (noise pollution and tourism) affect the cortisol stress response in reef fish and whether they show the capacity for habituation.
- Ocean acidification and thermal stress. We are currently interested in determining whether transgenerational and/or developmental acclimation of the sea hare, Stylocheilus striatus, to the effects of ocean acidification and thermal stress can mitigate the negative effects on their embryonic and larval development.
- COTS research. We are looking into the trade offs between reproduction and immunity in the crown-of-thorns seastar, Acanthaster planci, and injection methods using natural substances to control their outbreak.
We belong to the research laboratory of CRIOBE which is based on the island of Moorea in French Polynesia which has immediate access to both fringing and barrier reefs, and from where we can visit all the other high islands and atolls in the region, such as Mataiva atoll shown below. Our research group has just installed a new aquarium facility for rearing clownfish larvae to adulthood and for which we are very proud!
Contact Suzanne Mills
Laboratoire d'Excellence “CORAIL”
USR 3278 CRIOBE CNRS-EPHE
Centre de Recherche Insulaire et Observatoire de l'Environnement (CRIOBE)
BP 1013 Moorea
98729 Polynésie française