About Us

Hello from your ISRS Student Committee!

We are an international group of coral reef students. We founded the committee in 2017 with the aim of providing International Society for Reef Studies student members with a designated source of up-to-date relevant information on all things coral reefs.

We have divided our roles within the committee to cover the broad range of tools we want to share with you. There is more information on each of us below. Please feel free to get in contact with any enquires.



jessica Bellworthy coral ISRS student eilat


Jessica Bellworthy is a PhD student working at the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences, in Eilat, Israel. She studies coral ecophysiology during early life history and how the maternal environment affects offspring fitness in the face of climate change.



Elena Bollati is a final year PhD student at the University of Southampton, UK. She is researching the function and regulation of coral fluorescent proteins.

Maha Cziesielski


Maha J. Cziesielski is a PhD student at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia. Her work focuses on temperature adaptation mechanism and symbiosis in the cnidarian model organism Exaiptasia pallida through integration of multi-omics layers.


ashley dungan coral ISRS diving

Ashley Dungan is a PhD student studying at the University of Melbourne under Madeleine van Oppen and Linda Blackall. Her research focuses on characterizing the microbiome of the model organism for corals, Exaiptasia pallida, for future use in assisted evolution experiments.

Claire Lewis


Claire Lewis is a PhD candidate at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa. She is investigating the evolution of the stress- tolerant coral genus Pavona, using phylogenetics, population genetics, molecular dating, and experimental studies.

Hannah Reich


Hannah Reich is a PhD candidate at Pennsylvania State University (USA). She studies iron stress in coral-algal symbiosis from a molecular and physiological approach.

Laura Richardson


Laura Richardson is from the UK and is currently completing herPhD at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Australia. She has been looking at the influence of coral species composition on coral reef ecosystem function.



Sandra Schleier is from Puerto Rico and has recently graduated from her Master’s in Ecology and Ecosystem Science at the University of Rhode Island. Her research focused on Caribbean coral reef ecosystem response to Acroporid coral restoration.        



Austin Yeung is a senior at Shanghai American School. He has conducted research on thermal stress on corals and investigated the effects of nutrient pollution on coral-algal symbiosis.