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Dr Patrick Buerger leads the Marine Omics and Technology Lab at Applied BioSciences, Macquarie University. He is a molecular and computational ecologist with a research focus on microbial genomics, biotechnology and bioinformatics. 

Using omics technologies, genetic solutions, assisted evolution and comparative genomics, Dr Buerger and his team investigate how aquatic organisms adapt to new environments and harness this knowledge to influence their biology for specific outcomes and to address critical challenges.

Current projects include:

  • Enhancing Thermal Tolerance in Microalgae: This project involves the identification of molecular mechanisms that underpin increased thermal tolerance. The team uses genome and transcriptome sequencing of microalgae that have undergone heat-evolution through assisted evolution.

  • Coral Resilience to Climate Change: Investigating genetic adaptations in corals and their impact on thermal tolerance to better understand coral resilience to climate change.

  • Genetic Engineering of Microalgae: Dr Buerger's team works on enhancing microalgae's thermal tolerance by implementing genetic engineering techniques targeting both the nucleus and chloroplast.

  • Somatic Hybridisation of Microalgae: This project aims to develop novel phenotypic diversity and genotypes in microalgae through somatic hybridization. The process includes comprehensive physiological and genetic characterisations.

Patrick is also part of the team "Enhanced Corals and Treatments" from the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP). Previously, Patrick worked as a postdoctoral fellow with CSIRO's Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform and the University of Melbourne, and completed his PhD in Marine Science on "Viruses and coral diseases" at the Australian Institute of Marine Science and James Cook University in Townsville, Australia.

Research interests

If you like to join the team, please get in contact via email. We are currently seeking domestic and international HDR students with a background in bioinformatics, molecular biology, biotechnology and/or genetics. 

We offer a strong collaborative and supportive environment with great facilities, infrastructure and network. Our team also emphasizes the development of cutting-edge crossover skills between bioinformatics, genetics, and ecology.


Education/Academic qualification

Marine Science, PhD, Viruses and Coral Diseases, Australian Inst Marine Sci, Australian Institute of Marine Science

Award Date: 30 Sept 2017

Marine Ecology, Master of Science, University of Bremen


General Biology, Bachelor of Science, University of Bochum


External positions

Postdoctoral Fellow - Coral genomics, CSIRO Land and Water


Visiting Scientist, The University of Melbourne



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