Dr. Nicole Webster obtained her PhD in 2001 by researching the microbial ecology of Great Barrier Reef sponges. Nicole undertook postdoctoral research between 2001-05 at the University of Canterbury / Gateway Antarctica where she investigated the utility of microbial symbionts as biomarkers for environmental stress in the Antarctic marine ecosystem and explored the role of microorganisms as inducers for settlement and metamorphosis of coral reef invertebrates. Nicole is currently a principal research scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science where she undertakes research into how microorganisms contribute to reef ecosystem health. In 2017, Nicole commenced a joint appointment as Principal Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Ecogenomics at the University of Queensland. In both positions Nicole uses experimental and field based ecological research to explore multiple facets of coral reef microbiology and symbiosis.
She is an invited speaker to the ECODIM X Symposium. The title of her lecture is "Sponge microbial symbioses - insights derived from basal metazoan."