Carmen Astudillo Garcia

Centre for Biodiversity Theory and Modelling
Station d’Ecologie Théorique et Expérimentale du CNRS
09200 Moulis, France

Phone: ++64 9 3737599 x87785
Email: or

Research interest

My main research interest is the study of eukaryote-prokaryote interactions, especially those interactions among marine sponges and their associated microbial communities. Sponges are filter-feeding animals which play a vital role in marine benthic communities, linking benthic and pelagic habitats due to their immense pumping capacity. Many sponges host highly diverse and abundant microbial communities, with microbes comprising up to 35% of sponge biomass. The nature of sponge-microbes relationship varies considerably (mutualism, parasitism, etc.) and the sheer diversity of participants within this symbiosis makes it a challenging system to study.

The overall aim of my project is to elucidate the diversity and structure of the highly diverse bacterial communities associated with different sponges species, utilising a multidisciplinary approach that involves high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies, ecological network analyses, and transmission electron microscopy.


Summary CV

  • 2013 2016: PhD candidate in Marine Science. University of Auckland (Auckland, New Zealand).
  • 2008 2009: MSc in Environmental Sciences and Technology. Rey Juan Carlos University (Madrid, Spain).
  • 2002 2008: Degree in Environmental Sciences. Rey Juan Carlos University (Madrid, Spain).


  • Thomas T., Moitinho-Silva L., Lurgi M., Björk J.R., Easson C., Astudillo-García C., Olson J.B., Erwin P.M.,López-Legentil S.,Luter H.,Chaves-Fonnegra A., Costa R., Schupp P., Steindler L., Erpenbeck D., Gilbert J., Knight R., Ackerman G., Lopez J.V., Taylor M.W., Thacker R.W., Montoya J.M., Hentschel U. and Webster N. (2016) Global Sponge Microbiome: Diversity, structure and convergent evolution of symbiont communities across the phylum Porifera. Nature Communications.
  • Viejo R.M., Martínez B., Arrontes J., Astudillo-García C.., Hernández L. (2011) Reproductive patterns in central and marginal populations of a large brown seaweed: drastic changes at the southern range limit. Ecography Vol 34, Issue 1: 75-84.

Awards and Distinctions

  • 2013 2016: Encouraging and Supporting Innovation Doctoral Scholarship in Marine Science. University of Auckland (New Zealand).
  • 2007 2008: Grant to collaborate with the Biology and Geology Department at the University Rey Juan Carlos (Spain). Awarded by Spanish Ministry of Education and Science.