Samodha C. Fernando

  • Postdoctoral Associate

Academic History

  • B.S. Microbiology, University of Keleniya, Sri Lanka 2002]
  • M.S. Breeding and Reproduction, Oklahoma State University 2004
  • Ph.D. Animal Genetics, Oklahoma State University 2008

Research Interests:

My research interest are in host microbe interactions, with the emphasis of investigating the functional role of the microbial population and it’s role in ecosystem health and disease. In the Thompson lab, I am involved in several projects. My primary project is to study microbial diversity and function in the coral genus Mussismilia in healthy and white plagued infected corals using high throughput 16S tag sequencing and meta-transcriptomics to study how microbes mediate the balance between health and disease. To this end, I am developing new tools to study microbial meta-transcriptomes, especially to subtract the abundant rRNA and increase the mRNA reads. Currently, I have been able to reduce rRNAs upto 40%, while the 16S tag sequencing has been completed. In addition to studying corals, I am also interested in studying the microbiome of the starlet sea anemone Nematostella vectensis to identify the role of bacteria with a simple metazoan species.