Channel Island Sponge (Photo: Heidi Luter, permission to use under CCA3)

Impacts of water quality on the sponge holobiont

NAMRA researcher

Due to their immense filtering capabilities (1000s of litres per day), sponges are likely to be particularly vulnerable to the increased nitrogen inputs occurring in coastal areas.  However, little is known about the effects of nitrogen loading on the sponge-microbe symbiosis. 

Dr. Luter’s project will therefore investigate the impacts of water quality in Darwin Harbour on the sponge holobiont (sponge host & microbial associates), with a focus on the potential functional roles of sponge-associated microbes in the nitrogen cycle. 

The project is in collaboration with Dr. Nicole Webster (AIMS) and Prof. Karen Gibb (CDU)