Tahirih Perez - AIMS@JCU

Tahirih Perez


Masters by Coursework
College of Science and Engineering

Tahirih Perez


Masters by Coursework
College of Science and Engineering
Enhanced Corals and Treatments 2 Program

Tahirih was born in Papua New Guinea, raised in Brisbane, and spent the majority of her life in New Jersey USA. Being stripped from the ocean when moving to the U.S made her passion for coral reefs grow stronger as she was determined to come back home. Tahirih graduated from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa with her Bachelor’s of Science in Marine Biology, and Bachelor’s of Arts in Dance. During her undergraduate and post-graduation she worked as a Research Technician with the Coral Resilience Lab at the Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology. She is now currently pursuing her Master’s of Marine Biology by Research at JCU while working at AIMS for her masters thesis.

Enhanced Corals and Treatments 2 Program

2022 to 2024

Project Description

Enhancing the thermal tolerance of corals via assisted evolution. Specifically by selective breeding of corals and experimental evolution of their algal symbionts.

Project Importance

The idea of assisted evolution accelerates natural occurrences to create evolutionary advantages for coral reefs. High genetic diversity allows exploration of heat tolerance, adaptation, and restoration responses. Along with symbiodiniaceae manipulation gives us the opportunity to understand the intimate relationships in the coral holobiont fundamental to a healthy coral reef ecosystem.

Project Methods

Field based coral collections will take place and brought back to facilities. Gamete collections of Acropora colonies will be collected to cross breed, and chemically bleach, followed by quantitative data collections.

Project Results

Heat tolerant, successful cross-breed corals via ex-situ and genetic techniques via symbiont manipulation. These are the hopeful findings to be achieved through this treatment program to continue to generate critical knowledge on reef resilience.


Climate change,
Controlled Environment,
Coral reefs,
Field based,
Manipulative experiments,
Ocean acidification,
Ocean warming,
Quantitative marine science,
Temporal change

Supervised By:

Matthew Nitschke (AIMS)

Madeleine Van Oppen (JCU)

Annika Lamb (AIMS)