Joanne Porter is a marine scientist and entrepreneur who studies the taxonomy, chemical ecology and molecular systematics of marine Bryozoa (sea mats or sea mosses) and their bacterial symbionts.
The Bryozoa are mainly colonial marine invertebrates, ranging from single genetic units (zooids) to large structures composed of many thousands of individuals. Bryozoans form a major component of benthic marine habitats from the intertidal zone, sublittoral ecosystems and out onto the continental slope, offshore banks and seamounts. The varied and complex colony structures provide a habitat and refuge for juveniles of other invertebrate and vertebrate species as well as housing diverse bacterial communities. The calcium carbonate skeletons of marine Bryozoa provide an important model for the study of climate change and ocean acidification, both now and in the past, through their fossil record.
Joanne's current research goals can be summarised as 'working to advance understanding of the chemical ecology of marine Bryozoa and their bacterial symbionts, in order to sustainably develop novel anti-infectives for treatment of multi-resistant gram negative infections, for the future benefit of mankind'.
For more information about bryozoans, see the British Bryozoan Scratchpad, which provides the scientific community and general public with electronic access to information and data on the Bryozoa of the British Isles.