Dr Megan Huggett

Dr Megan Huggett

Lecturer

School of Environmental and Life Sciences

Career Summary

Biography

The biodiversity and function of microbes in marine and coastal ecosystems. In particular, microbes as invertebrate larval settlement cues, fish gut microbiomes, benthic microbial ecology and bacterioplankton dynamics. Understanding baseline healthy ecosystem interactions and how these are impacted by environmental change.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of New South Wales
  • Bachelor of Science, University of New South Wales

Keywords

  • Bacterioplankton
  • Environmental change
  • Fish gut microbiomes
  • Larval biology
  • Marine Ecology
  • Microbial ecology

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
060504 Microbial Ecology 50
060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology) 50

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Australia
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Journal article (26 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2018 Huggett MJ, McMahon K, Bernasconi R, 'Future warming and acidification result in multiple ecological impacts to a temperate coralline alga', Environmental Microbiology, 20 2769-2782 (2018) [C1]
DOI 10.1111/1462-2920.14113
2018 Bernasconi R, Stat M, Koenders A, Huggett MJ, 'Global Networks of Symbiodinium-Bacteria Within the Coral Holobiont.', Microb Ecol, (2018)
DOI 10.1007/s00248-018-1255-4
2018 Jones J, DiBattista JD, Stat M, Bunce M, Boyce MC, Fairclough D, et al., 'The Microbiome of the Gastrointestinal Tract of a Range-Shifting Marine Herbivorous Fish', FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY, 9 (2018) [C1]
DOI 10.3389/fmicb.2018.02000
2018 Huggett MJ, Apprill A, 'Coral microbiome database: Integration of sequences reveals high diversity and relatedness of coral-associated microbes.', Environ Microbiol Rep, (2018)
DOI 10.1111/1758-2229.12686
Citations Scopus - 1
2018 Kavazos CRJ, Huggett MJ, Mueller U, Horwitz P, 'Bacterial and ciliate biofilm community structure at different spatial levels of a salt lake meta-community.', FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 94 (2018) [C1]
DOI 10.1093/femsec/fiy148
2017 Huggett MJ, Kavazos CRJ, Bernasconi R, Czarnik R, Horwitz P, 'Bacterioplankton assemblages in coastal ponds reflect the influence of hydrology and geomorphological setting', FEMS MICROBIOLOGY ECOLOGY, 93 (2017)
DOI 10.1093/femsec/fix067
Citations Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1
2017 Phelps CM, Boyce MC, Huggett MJ, 'Future climate change scenarios differentially affect three abundant algal species in southwestern Australia', MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH, 126 69-80 (2017)
DOI 10.1016/j.marenvres.2017.02.008
Citations Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1
2017 Kavazos CRJ, Huggett MJ, Mueller U, Horwitz P, 'Biogenic processes or terrigenous inputs? Permanent water bodies of the Northern Ponds in the Lake MacLeod basin of Western Australia', MARINE AND FRESHWATER RESEARCH, 68 1366-1376 (2017)
DOI 10.1071/MF16233
Citations Scopus - 1
2017 Stat M, Huggett MJ, Bernasconi R, DiBattista JD, Berry TE, Newman SJ, et al., 'Ecosystem biomonitoring with eDNA: metabarcoding across the tree of life in a tropical marine environment', SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 7 (2017)
DOI 10.1038/s41598-017-12501-5
Citations Scopus - 16Web of Science - 9
2016 Säwström C, Hyndes GA, Eyre BD, Huggett MJ, Fraser MW, Lavery PS, et al., 'Coastal connectivity and spatial subsidy from a microbial perspective', Ecology and Evolution, 6 6662-6671 (2016)

© 2016 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. The transfer of organic material from one coastal environment to another can increase productio... [more]

© 2016 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. The transfer of organic material from one coastal environment to another can increase production in recipient habitats in a process known as spatial subsidy. Microorganisms drive the generation, transformation, and uptake of organic material in shallow coastal environments, but their significance in connecting coastal habitats through spatial subsidies has received limited attention. We address this by presenting a conceptual model of coastal connectivity that focuses on the flow of microbially mediated organic material in key coastal habitats. Our model suggests that it is not the difference in generation rates of organic material between coastal habitats but the amount of organic material assimilated into microbial biomass and respiration that determines the amount of material that can be exported from one coastal environment to another. Further, the flow of organic material across coastal habitats is sensitive to environmental change as this can alter microbial remineralization and respiration rates. Our model highlights microorganisms as an integral part of coastal connectivity and emphasizes the importance of including a microbial perspective in coastal connectivity studies.

DOI 10.1002/ece3.2408
Citations Scopus - 3Web of Science - 4
2013 Yeo SK, Huggett MJ, Eiler A, Rappe MS, 'Coastal Bacterioplankton Community Dynamics in Response to a Natural Disturbance', PLOS ONE, 8 (2013)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0056207
Citations Scopus - 35Web of Science - 37
2012 Huggett MJ, Rappe MS, 'Genome Sequence of Strain HIMB30, a Novel Member of the Marine Gammaproteobacteria', JOURNAL OF BACTERIOLOGY, 194 732-733 (2012)
DOI 10.1128/JB.06506-11
Citations Scopus - 5Web of Science - 5
2012 Huggett MJ, Rappe MS, 'Genome Sequence of Strain HIMB55, a Novel Marine Gammaproteobacterium of the OM60/NOR5 Clade', JOURNAL OF BACTERIOLOGY, 194 2393-2394 (2012)
DOI 10.1128/JB.00171-12
Citations Scopus - 4Web of Science - 5
2012 Stat M, Baker AC, Bourne DG, Correa AMS, Forsman Z, Huggett MJ, et al., 'MOLECULAR DELINEATION OF SPECIES IN THE CORAL HOLOBIONT', ADVANCES IN MARINE BIOLOGY, VOL 63, 63 1-65 (2012)
DOI 10.1016/B978-0-12-394282-1.00001-6
Citations Scopus - 32Web of Science - 33
2012 Huggett MJ, Hayakawa DH, Rappe MS, 'Genome sequence of strain HIMB624, a cultured representative from the OM43 clade of marine Betaproteobacteria', STANDARDS IN GENOMIC SCIENCES, 6 11-20 (2012)
DOI 10.4056/sigs.2305090
Citations Scopus - 17Web of Science - 18
2012 Grote J, Thrash JC, Huggett MJ, Landry ZC, Carini P, Giovannoni SJ, Rappe MS, 'Streamlining and Core Genome Conservation among Highly Divergent Members of the SAR11 Clade', MBIO, 3 (2012)
DOI 10.1128/mBio.00252-12
Citations Scopus - 118Web of Science - 88
2011 Thrash JC, Boyd A, Huggett MJ, Grote J, Carini P, Yoder RJ, et al., 'Phylogenomic evidence for a common ancestor of mitochondria and the SAR11 clade', SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 1 (2011)
DOI 10.1038/srep00013
Citations Scopus - 86Web of Science - 77
2009 Huggett MJ, Nedved BT, Hadfield MG, 'Effects of initial surface wettability on biofilm formation and subsequent settlement of Hydroides elegans', BIOFOULING, 25 387-399 (2009)
DOI 10.1080/08927010902823238
Citations Scopus - 56Web of Science - 52
2008 Huggett MJ, Crocetti GR, Kjelleberg S, Steinberg PD, 'Recruitment of the sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma and the distribution and abundance of inducing bacteria in the field', AQUATIC MICROBIAL ECOLOGY, 53 161-171 (2008)
DOI 10.3354/ame01239
Citations Scopus - 22Web of Science - 23
2006 Huggett MJ, Williamson JE, De Nys R, Kjelleberg S, Steinberg PD, 'Larval settlement of the common Australian sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma in response to bacteria from the surface of coralline algae', Oecologia, 149 604-619 (2006)

Bacterial biofilms are increasingly seen as important for the successful settlement of marine invertebrate larvae. Here we tested the effects of biofilms on settlement of the sea ... [more]

Bacterial biofilms are increasingly seen as important for the successful settlement of marine invertebrate larvae. Here we tested the effects of biofilms on settlement of the sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma. Larvae settled on many surfaces including various algal species, rocks, sand and shells. Settlement was reduced by autoclaving rocks and algae, and by treatment of algae with antibiotics. These results, and molecular and culture-based analyses, suggested that the bacterial community on plants was important for settlement. To test this, approximately 250 strains of bacteria were isolated from coralline algae, and larvae were exposed to single-strain biofilms. Many induced rates of settlement comparable to coralline algae. The genus Pseudoalteromonas dominated these highly inductive strains, with representatives from Vibrio, Shewanella, Photobacterium and Pseudomonas also responsible for a high settlement response. The settlement response to different bacteria was species specific, as low inducers were also dominated by species in the genera Pseudoalteromonas and Vibrio. We also, for the first time, assessed settlement of larvae in response to characterised, monospecific biofilms in the field. Larvae metamorphosed in higher numbers on an inducing biofilm, Pseudoalteromonas luteoviolacea, than on either a low-inducing biofilm, Pseudoalteromonas rubra, or an unfilmed control. We conclude that the bacterial community on the surface of coralline algae is important as a settlement cue for H. erythrogramma larvae. This study is also an example of the emerging integration of molecular microbiology and more traditional marine eukaryote ecology. © Springer-Verlag 2006.

DOI 10.1007/s00442-006-0470-8
Citations Scopus - 118Web of Science - 105
2006 Swanson RL, de Nys R, Huggett MJ, Green JK, Steinberg PD, 'In situ quantification of a natural settlement cue and recruitment of the Australian sea urchin Holopneustes purpurascens', MARINE ECOLOGY PROGRESS SERIES, 314 1-14 (2006)
DOI 10.3354/meps314001
Citations Scopus - 47Web of Science - 49
2006 Bishop CD, Huggett MJ, Heyland A, Hodin J, Brandhorst BP, 'Interspecific variation in metamorphic competence in marine invertebrates: the significance for comparative investigations into the timing of metamorphosis', INTEGRATIVE AND COMPARATIVE BIOLOGY, 46 662-682 (2006)
DOI 10.1093/icb/icl043
Citations Scopus - 62Web of Science - 60
2005 Huggett MJ, De Nys R, Williamson JE, Heasman M, Steinberg PD, 'Settlement of larval blacklip abalone, Haliotis rubra, in response to green and red macroalgae', Marine Biology, 147 1155-1163 (2005)

Surfaces from the habitat of adult Haliotis rubra were tested as inducers of larval settlement to determine the cues that larvae may respond to in the field. Settlement was high o... [more]

Surfaces from the habitat of adult Haliotis rubra were tested as inducers of larval settlement to determine the cues that larvae may respond to in the field. Settlement was high on the green algal species Ulva australis and Ulva compressa (Chlorophyta), the articulated coralline algae Amphiroa anceps and Corallina officinalis, and encrusting coralline algae (Rhodophyta). Biofilmed abiotic surfaces such as rocks, sand and shells did not induce settlement. Ulvella lens was also included as a control. Treatment of U. australis, A. anceps and C. officinalis with antibiotics to reduce bacterial films on the surface did not reduce the settlement response of H. rubra larvae. Similarly, treatment of these species and encrusting coralline algae with germanium dioxide to reduce diatom growth did not significantly reduce larval settlement. These results suggest that macroalgae, particularly green algal species, may play an important role in the recruitment of H. rubra larvae in the field and can be used to induce larval settlement in hatchery culture. © Springer-Verlag 2005.

DOI 10.1007/s00227-005-0005-6
Citations Scopus - 30Web of Science - 25
2005 Huggett MJ, King CK, Williamson JE, Steinberg PD, 'Larval development and metamorphosis of the australian diadematid sea urchin centrostephanus rodgersii', Invertebrate Reproduction and Development, 47 197-204 (2005)

The complete larval development through to metamorphosis of the sea urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii is described for the first time. Embryos developed from small eggs (113 µm) to... [more]

The complete larval development through to metamorphosis of the sea urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii is described for the first time. Embryos developed from small eggs (113 µm) to large echinopluteus larvae (3250 µm arm length) over a period of approximately 4 months. Fully developed larvae are two-armed echinoplutei with densely pigmented postoral and anterolateral arms and oral hood. The posterodorsal and the preoral arms do not appear to form. The skeletal body rods form a basket-like structure posteriorally, and fenestrated skeletal rods support the postoral arms. Five primary podia emerge from the vestibule, at around 100 days old, and attach to the substrate at settlement. The larval epidermis recedes from the arm rods and collects on the aboral surface of the juvenile, and the adult rudiment emerges as the larva metamorphoses to the juvenile stage. © 2005 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

DOI 10.1080/07924259.2005.9652160
Citations Scopus - 17Web of Science - 19
2004 Watson MJ, Lowry JK, Steinberg PD, 'Revision of the Iciliidae (Crustacea : Amphipoda)', RAFFLES BULLETIN OF ZOOLOGY, 52 467-495 (2004)
Citations Web of Science - 3
2000 Poore AGB, Watson MJ, de Nys R, Lowry JK, Steinberg PD, 'Patterns of host use among alga- and sponge-associated amphipods', MARINE ECOLOGY PROGRESS SERIES, 208 183-196 (2000)
DOI 10.3354/meps208183
Citations Web of Science - 40
Show 23 more journal articles

Conference (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Fromont J, Huggett MJ, Lengger SK, Grice K, Schönberg CHL, 'Characterization of Leucetta prolifera, a calcarean cyanosponge from south-Western Australia, and its symbionts', Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom (2016)

© 2014 Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. The biology and ecology of calcarean sponges are not as well understood as they are for demosponges. Here, in order to ... [more]

© 2014 Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. The biology and ecology of calcarean sponges are not as well understood as they are for demosponges. Here, in order to gain new insights, particularly about symbiotic relationships, the calcarean sponge Leucetta prolifera was sampled from south-Western Australia and examined for its assumed photosymbionts. Pulse amplitude modulated fluorometry and extraction of photopigments established that the sponge was photosynthetic. Molecular analysis of the bacterial symbionts via sequencing of the V1-V3 region of the 16S rDNA gene confirmed that between 5 and 22% of all sequences belonged to the phylum Cyanobacteria, depending on the individual sample, with the most dominant strain aligning with Hormoscilla spongeliae, a widely distributed sponge symbiont. Analysis of fatty acids suggested that the sponge obtains nutrition through photosynthates from its symbionts. The relationship is assumed to be mutualistic, with the sponge receiving dietary support and the cyanobacteria sheltering in the sponge tissues. We list all Calcarea presently known to harbour photosymbionts.

DOI 10.1017/S0025315415000491
Citations Scopus - 5Web of Science - 4
2009 Hadfield MG, Huggett M, 'Larval settlement, primary tube formation, and the role of the primary tube in the polychaete Hydroides elegans', INTEGRATIVE AND COMPARATIVE BIOLOGY, Boston, MA (2009)
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 6
Total funding $45,920

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20186 grants / $45,920

Tracking the impacts of sewage overflows on ecosystem function using novel techniques$15,000

Funding body: Hunter Water Corporation

Funding body Hunter Water Corporation
Project Team Doctor Troy Gaston, Doctor Megan Huggett
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2018
Funding Finish 2018
GNo G1800079
Type Of Funding C2220 - Aust StateTerritoryLocal - Other
Category 2220
UON Y

Emerging technologies for monitoring of water quality and ecosystem health$7,820

Funding body: Lake Macquarie City Council

Funding body Lake Macquarie City Council
Project Team Doctor Megan Huggett, Doctor Troy Gaston, Associate Professor Bill Leggat
Scheme Lake Macquarie Environmental Research Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2018
Funding Finish 2019
GNo G1800202
Type Of Funding C2210 - Aust StateTerritoryLocal - Own Purpose
Category 2210
UON Y

Central Coast Science Hub$7,000

This grant supports the establishment of the Central Coast Science Hub with a specific focus on a series of community-based events held during National Science Week. The events will highlight the research of local academics, the creative works of local artists, and will foster
community environmental engagement via hands-on involvement in environmental based activities.

Funding body: Inspiring Australia

Funding body Inspiring Australia
Project Team

Dr Megan Huggett (Uon), Mr Graham Johnstone (Clean4Shore), Ms Elizabeth Robertson (Gosford Libraries), A/Prof Tracy Ainsworth (UNSW), Mr John Asquith (CEN), Dr David Powter (Marine Discovery Centre)

Scheme Inspiring Australia NSW
Role Lead
Funding Start 2018
Funding Finish 2018
GNo
Type Of Funding C3112 - Aust Not for profit
Category 3112
UON N

Isolation of particle-associated marine microbes to inform carbon flux models$7,000

We will examine particle-associated microbes in coastal NSW in order to develop and test this novel culture methodology.

Funding body: Faculty of Science and Information Technology The University of Newcastle

Funding body Faculty of Science and Information Technology The University of Newcastle
Project Team

Dr Viena Puigcorbé, Professor Josep Gasol, Professor Pere Masque

Scheme Faculty Strategic Seed Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2018
Funding Finish 2018
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

Impacts of sewage overflows on ecosystem function in the estuarine lake$5,000

Funding body: AINSE (Australian Institute of Nuclear Science & Engineering)

Funding body AINSE (Australian Institute of Nuclear Science & Engineering)
Project Team Doctor Troy Gaston, Doctor Megan Huggett, Debashish Mazumder, Ms Alessandra Suzzi
Scheme Honours Scholarship
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2018
Funding Finish 2018
GNo G1800741
Type Of Funding C3111 - Aust For profit
Category 3111
UON Y

Links between diet and microbiome of corallivores as potential indicators of coral reef health$4,100

Funding body: University of Ryukyus Collaborative Research Grant

Funding body University of Ryukyus Collaborative Research Grant
Project Team

Dr Joseph DiBattista (The Australian Museum), Dr James Reimer (University of Ryukyus), Prof Michael Bunce (Curtin University

Scheme University of Ryukyus Collaborative Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2018
Funding Finish 2019
GNo
Type Of Funding International - Competitive
Category 3IFA
UON N
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed0
Current5

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2018 PhD Predicting the Prevalence of Coral Disease in Two Pacific Ocean Coral Species PhD (Marine Science), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2018 PhD The Role of the Coral Microbiome in Structural Stability and Thermal Acclimation: Implications for the Future of the GBR Following the 2016/17 Mass Bleaching Event PhD (Environmental Sc), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2017 PhD The role of the environment and disturbance on the Ecklonia radiata holobiont
Microbes on the surfaces of macroalgae form a relationship often referred to as the holobiont. This relationship can be mutually beneficial, parasitic and commensalistic. Disturbances can severely impact marine ecosystems and have the potential to alter the holobiont relationship. Through the use of 16S next generation sequencing techniques, metagenomic analysis and a series of aquaria based studies, this project aims to determine how environmental conditions and disturbance effect the composition of microbial communities on the canopy forming kelp <em>Ecklonia radiata</em>.
Marine Science, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia Co-Supervisor
2016 Masters Nonpoint source nutrients effect on Posdionia sinuosa periphyton abundance and composition
Periphyton is a complex mixture of autotrophic and heterotrophic micro-organisms growing on submerged substrate. Periphyton are able to respond rapidly to changes in environmental conditions allowing them to be used as viable bio-indicators of a systems health. This study will provide an assessment of the periphytic accumulations in Geographe Bay, Western Australia through a manipulative experiment to gain understanding of the role of nutrients in controlling periphyton abundance and composition in order to determine if periphyton can be used as a bio-indicator.
Marine Science, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia Co-Supervisor
2015 PhD Geographical, temporal and environmental patterns of coral-Symbiodinium-bacteria networks
Characterisation of coral-<em>Symbiodinium</em>-bacteria networks on different investigation levels (geographical, temporal and environmental). The research project will include the use of Next Generation Sequencing and Network analyses.
Marine Science, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia Co-Supervisor
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Research Collaborations

The map is a representation of a researchers co-authorship with collaborators across the globe. The map displays the number of publications against a country, where there is at least one co-author based in that country. Data is sourced from the University of Newcastle research publication management system (NURO) and may not fully represent the authors complete body of work.

Country Count of Publications
Australia 20
United States 13
Canada 1
United Kingdom 1
New Zealand 1
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Dr Megan Huggett

Position

Lecturer
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Faculty of Science

Contact Details

Email megan.huggett@newcastle.edu.au
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