Caroline Palmer

Caroline Palmer
University of Plymouth | UoP

PhD

About

30
Publications
12,183
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
1,489
Citations
Citations since 2017
7 Research Items
846 Citations
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
Introduction
I study coral immunity - how corals stay healthy and return to health after a perturbation. I've identified coral immunity mechanisms and characterised wound healing. I've established that measures of immunity determine coral susceptibility to both disease and bleaching, and that coral immune systems can acclimatise to warmer water. I take a holistic approach to coral health, with and awareness that defense of "self" is complicated by the presence of a dynamic, specific microbiota. I recently proposed the testable Damage Threshold Hypothesis of Coral Susceptibility to conceptualise how immune modulation varies to determine tolerance. I am the lead scientist on Seeking Survivors, a long term coral health and citizen science project in Costa Rica aiming to optimise restoration with immunity

Publications

Publications (30)
Article
Full-text available
Phagocytosis is the cellular defense mechanism used to eliminate antigens derived from dysregulated or damaged cells, and microbial pathogens. Phagocytosis is therefore a pillar of innate immunity, whereby foreign particles are engulfed and degraded in lysolitic vesicles. In hexacorallians, phagocytic mechanisms are poorly understood, though putati...
Article
Full-text available
Coral growth anomalies (GAs) are chronic diseases that adversely affect organism health and fitness. We investigated immunity and fecundity within and among GA-affected and visually healthy control colonies of the reef-building coral Acropora hyacinthus. Compared to controls, GAs had higher activity of the key immunity enzyme phenoloxidase (PO), su...
Article
Full-text available
Corals are multipartite sedentary organisms, which have evolved complex, physiological networks in order to survive perturbations and environmental fluctuations. However, climate change is warming tropical waters, pushing the limits of coral tolerance and driving global declines. Coral susceptibility to thermal anomalies is variable among species a...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is killing coral at an unprecedented rate. As immune systems promote homeostasis and survival of adverse conditions I propose we explore coral health in the context of holobiont immunity. Immunity, purveyor of health Immune systems are the purveyors of homeostasis and orchestrators of relationships among hosts, mutualists, commensals...
Chapter
Full-text available
Cnidarians comprise a diverse and phylogenetically basal phylum, some of which—such as scleractinian corals (Anthozoa)—are responsible for the formation and maintenance of ecosystems. Anthozoan immunology is a relatively new field, yet has great potential to inform invertebrate immunology, medicine, as well as coral reef conservation and restoratio...
Article
Full-text available
High sedimentation rates have been linked to reduced coral health within multiple systems; however, whether this is a direct result of compromised coral immunity has not been previously investigated. The potential effects of sedimentation on immunity of the hard coral Montipora patula were examined by comparing physiological responses of coral frag...
Article
Full-text available
Reef-building corals form bio-diverse marine ecosystems of high societal and economic value, but are in significant decline globally due, in part, to rapid climatic changes. As immunity is a predictor of coral disease and thermal stress susceptibility, a comprehensive understanding of this new field will likely provide a mechanistic explanation for...
Article
As a determinant of survival, immunity is likely to be significant in enabling coral larvae to disperse and successfully recruit, however, whether reef-building coral larvae have immune defenses is unknown. We investigated the potential presence and variation in immunity in the lecithotrophic larvae of Acropora tenuis through larval development. En...
Article
Full-text available
Coral reefs are threatened by increasing levels of coral disease and the functional loss of obligate algal symbionts (bleaching). Levels of immunity relate directly to susceptibility to these threats; however, our understanding of fundamental aspects of coral immunology is lacking. We show that three melanin-synthesis pathway components (mono-pheno...
Article
Full-text available
Disease epizootics are increasing with climatic shifts, yet within each system only a subset of species are identified as the most vulnerable. Understanding ecological immunology patterns as well as environmental influences on immune defenses will provide insight into the persistence of a functional system through adverse conditions. Amongst the mo...
Data
Temperature profile (°C) of Experiment 1. Blue line: shaded control system, red line: sun-exposed system. Colony fragments were placed into the treatment flow-through system on Day 1. The vertical line marks the time of sampling. (TIF)
Data
Standard Q-Q plots of residuals from gene-wise linear mixed models on Experiment 2 data. Quantiles of the residuals from our most sample-rich experiment (Experiment 2, “stress-recovery”) were plotted against the theoretical quantiles of the normal distribution. The gene names are indicated above each plot. (TIF)
Data
Chlorophyll a fluorescence, effective quantum yield (ΦPSII), of in hospite Symbiodinium during acclimation in Experiment 2. Mean ± standard deviation of both effective quantum yield and light measurements taken for each Porites astreoides (n = 15) in the control flow-through system. (TIF)
Data
Temperature (°C) and light (Log10Lumens) profile of Experiment 2. Stress samples were taken at 14∶30 on 8/16. Recovery samples were taken at 14∶45 on 8/17. (TIF)
Data
Evaluation of RNA quality among different preservation methods. Duplicate samples from a single colony of Porites astreoides were fixed in either 96% ethanol (E), RNAlater (R), or snap-frozen in liquid nitrogen (Ln) and stored at −20°C for five days. The various preservatives were also compared to RNA extracted from non-fixed tissue (F). RNA was ru...
Data
Lonza Gel of RNA from samples used in experiment 2 (Stress-Recovery). RNA (orange bands) is from samples at the stress time point. DNA appears as yellow bands. It is important to note that 3 µl of sample was loaded, regardless of concentration, therefore some samples appear brighter due to higher RNA amount. Rows with the same number indicate two f...
Article
Full-text available
Coral reefs are declining worldwide due to increased incidence of climate-induced coral bleaching, which will have widespread biodiversity and economic impacts. A simple method to measure the sub-bleaching level of heat-light stress experienced by corals would greatly inform reef management practices by making it possible to assess the distribution...
Article
Full-text available
Sessile animals, like corals, frequently suffer physical injury from a variety of sources, thus wound-healing mechanisms that restore tissue integrity and prevent infection are vitally important for defence. Despite the ecological importance of reef-building corals, little is known about the cells and processes involved in wound healing in this gro...
Article
The melanin-synthesis pathways, phenoloxidase (PO) and laccases, are staple components of invertebrate immunity and have been shown to be vital in disease resistance. The importance of this pathway in immunity is a consequence of the release of oxygen radicals with cytotoxic effects and the production of insoluble melanin, which aids in the encapsu...
Article
In scleractinian (hard) corals, immune responses involving phenoloxidase (PO) activity are known to play a role in coral wound healing, but there have been no studies investigating their roles in mitigating either disease or bleaching in an Indo-Pacific coral. PO activity induces the release of reactive oxygen species leading to a cytotoxic cellula...
Article
Full-text available
Coral reefs are among the most diverse and productive ecosystems on our planet. Scleractinian corals function as the primary reef ecosystem engineers, constructing the framework that serves as a habitat for all other coral reef-associated organisms. However, the coral’s engineering role is particularly susceptible to global climate change. Ocean wa...
Article
Full-text available
Immunity is a key life history trait that may explain hierarchies in the susceptibility of corals to disease and thermal bleaching, two of the greatest current threats to coral health and the persistence of tropical reefs. Despite their ongoing and rapid global decline, there have been few investigations into the immunity mechanisms of reef-buildin...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
I wrote this Australian Research Council Fellowship proposal on coral immunity in 2010. It was a direct continuation of my PhD. It wasn't funded despite favourable reviews, however much of the proposed work was conducted by other scientists.
Article
Full-text available
A wide array of fluorescent proteins (FP) is present in anthozoans, although their biochemical characteristics and function in host tissue remain to be determined. Upregulation of FP's frequently occurs in injured or compromised coral tissue, suggesting a potential role of coral FPs in host stress responses. The presence of FPs was determined and q...
Article
Full-text available
Reports of coral disease have increased dramatically over the last decade; however, the biological mechanisms that corals utilize to limit infection and resist disease remain poorly understood. Compromised coral tissues often display non-normal pigmentation that potentially represents an inflammation-like response, although these pigments remain un...
Article
Full-text available
Reports of coral disease have increased dramatically over the last decade; however, the biological mechanisms that corals utilize to limit infection and resist disease remain poorly understood. Compromised coral tissues often display non-normal pigmentation that potentially represents an inflammation-like response, although these pigments remain un...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing evidence of links between climate change, anthropogenic stress and coral disease underscores the importance of understanding the mechanisms by which reef-building corals resist infection and recover from injury. Cellular inflammation and melanin-producing signalling pathway are two mechanisms employed by invertebrates to remove foreign o...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
To characterise coral immune mechanisms, elucidate their function in maintaining holobiont homeostatsis (i.e. maintaining health) and how they can be used to measure and promote tolerance to perturbations.
Project
To understand patterns of coral mortality and survival through a bleaching event, from an immunological perspective.