Christian R. Voolstra

Associate Professor (Adjunct), Marine Science

Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division
Center membership : 
Red Sea Research Center

Reef Genomics


Education Profile

  • ​​​​​Ph.D. University of Cologne, Germany, 2006
  • M.Sc. University of Cologne, Germany, 2001

Research Interests

​Dr. Voolstra's research area is ecological and environmental genomics. His research aims to develop an integrated understanding of the ecology and evolution of the coral metaorganism (i.e. cnidarian host, dinoflagellate intracellular symbiont, associated microbiota) on a molecular level to predict adaptive capabilities and biotic response to environmental change. Coral reefs are biodiversity reservoirs and a significant source of nutrition and pharmaceuticals, but coral reefs face an unprecedented decline in the last decades due to anthropogenic impact.

Selected Publications

  • ​Bacterial profiling of White Plague Disease in a comparative coral species framework. Roder C, Arif C, Bayer T, Aranda M, Daniels C, Shibl A, Chavanich S, Voolstra CR. Nature ISME 2014 8, 31-39; doi:10.1038/ismej.2013.127.
  • The Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance (GIGA): Developing Community Resources to Study Diverse Invertebrate Genomes. GIGA Community of Scientists. Journal of Heredity 2014, 105 (1): 1-18. doi:10.1093/jhered/est084 Editor's Choice.
  • Integrating microRNA and mRNA expression profiling in Symbiodinium microdriaticum, a dinoflagellate symbiont of reef building corals. Baumgarten S, Bayer T, Aranda M, Liew JY, Carr A, Micklem G, Voolstra CR. BMC Genomics 2013, 14:704. Highly Accessed.
  • First biological measurements of deep-sea corals from the Red Sea. Roder C, Berumen ML, Bouwmeester J, Papathanassiou E, Al-Suwailem A, Voolstra CR. Nature Scientific Reports 2013, 3.
  • The microbiome of the Red Sea coral Stylophora pistillata is dominated by tissue associated Endozoicomonas bacteria. Bayer T, Neave MJ, Alsheikh-Hussain A, Aranda M, Yum LK, Mincer T, Hughen K, Apprill A, Voolstra CR. Applied Environmental Microbiology 2013 Vol. 79, No. 15, 4759-62.