Contact details

Dr Simon Dunn
Coral Reef Ecosystems Lab
School of Biological Sciences
The University of Queensland
Gehrmann Laboratories (#60)
St Lucia QLD 4072 Australia

(tel) +61 (0) 733659154


Ms Alicia Crawley

Dr Ken Anthony
Dr Mathieu Pernice
Dr Nela Rosic
Mr Jez Roff
Ms Maxi Jennifer Eckes
Ms Rachael Middlebrook
Ms Ruth Reef

People > Simon Dunn

Position: Senior Research Staff
Last update: 04-Sep-2013


Cnidarian-Dinoflagellate Symbiosis

Simon grew up in the UK and obtained a BSc (Hons) in Marine and Freshwater Biology from Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London in 1998. His PhD focused on the roles of the cell death pathways, apoptosis and necrosis, during the onset of cnidarian-dinoflagellate bleaching and was completed at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (2002). This was followed by a short-term post-doctoral position working on apoptosis in neuroblastoma and medullablastoma carcinoma at the University of Liverpool (2002-2003). He then moved to Corvallis, Oregon, USA to take up a position in the Weis lab. This work returned to a focus on the cellular interactions of cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis (2003-2007). His current research program at the Center for Marine Studies at UQ continues to focus on changes in gene expression and the molecular and cellular interactions associated with the onset, maintenance and breakdown of cnidarian–dinoflagellate symbiosis. For further details please go to the symbiosis research lab webpage.
Keywords: acidification, anemone, apoptosis, autophagy, bleaching, cell death pathways, cell signalling, coral, coral bleaching, coral health, coral immunity, coral physiology, coral-algal interactions, dinoflagellate, Functional genomics, genetics, immunity, MAA, molecular biology, Molecular evolution, molecular mechanisms, physiology, Symbiodinium, symbiosis


PhD Marine Molecular and Cell Biology - University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK (2003)
BSc(Hons) Marine and Freshwater Biology - Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, UK - 1st Class (1998)


Dunn SR, Thomas M, Nette G, Dove S (2012) A lipidomic isotopic approach to understanding dissolved inorganic carbon uptake and subsequent fatty acid lipogenesis within cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis. PLoS One 7: 46801-46801

Thomas M, Dunn SR, Altvater J, Dove S, Nette G (2012) Rapid identification of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in a marine extract by HPLC-MS using data dependent acquisition.. Journal of Analytical Chemistry 84: 5976-5983

Dunn SR, Pernice M, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Dove S (2012) Thermal stress promotes mitochondrial degradation in symbiotic cnidarians: Are the batteries of the reef going to run out?. PLoS One 7: 39024-39024

Pernice M, Dunn SR, Miard T, Dufour S, Dove S, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2011) Regulation of Apoptotic Mediators Reveals Dynamic Responses to Thermal Stress in the Reef Building Coral Acropora millepora. PLoS One 6: 16095-16095

Rosic NN, Pernice M, Dunn SR, Dove S, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2010) Differential Regulation by Heat Stress of Novel Cytochrome P450 Genes from the Dinoflagellate Symbionts of Reef-Building Corals. APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY 76: 2823-2829

Dunn SR, Weis VM (2009) Apoptosis as a post-phagocytic winnowing mechanism in a coral-dinoflagellate mutualism. ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY 11: 268-276

Roff G, Dove S, Dunn SR (2009) Mesenterial filaments make a clean sweep of substrates for coral growth. CORAL REEFS 28: 79-79

Crawley A, Kline DI, Dunn SR, Anthony KRN, Dove S (2009) The effect of ocean acidification on symbiont photorespiration and productivity in Acropora formosa. GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY - in press

Reef R, Dunn SR, Levy O, Dove S, Shemesh E, Brickner I, Leggat W, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2009) Photoreactivation is the main repair pathway for UV-induced DNA damage in coral planulae. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY 212: 2760-2766

Dunn SR (2009) Immunorecognition and immunoreceptors in the Cnidaria. (Review). Invertebrate Survival Journal 6: 7-14

Dunn SR, Schnitzler CE, Weis VM (2007) Apoptosis and autophagy as mechanisms of dinoflagellate symbiont release during cnidarian bleaching: every which way you lose. PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 274: 3079-3085

Dunn SR, Phillips WS, Green DR, Weis VM (2007) Knockdown of actin and caspase gene expression by RNA interference in the symbiotic anemone Aiptasia pallida. BIOLOGICAL BULLETIN 212: 250-258

Dunn SR, Phillips WS, Spatafora JW, Green DR, Weis VM (2006) Highly conserved caspase and Bcl-2 homologues from the sea anemone Aiptasia pallida: Lower metazoans as models for the study of apoptosis evolution. JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION 63: 95-107

Dunn SR, Thomason JC, Le Tissier MDA, Bythell JC (2004) Heat stress induces different forms of cell death in sea anemones and their endosymbiotic algae depending on temperature and duration. CELL DEATH AND DIFFERENTIATION 11: 1213-1222

Dunn SR, Bythell JC, Le Tissier MDA, Burnett WJ, Thomason JC (2002) Programmed cell death and cell necrosis activity during hyperthermic stress-induced bleaching of the symbiotic sea anemone Aiptasia sp.. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MARINE BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY 272: 29-53

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