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Michael A.

Research Associate

Biology Program, NYU Abu Dhabi

Email: mao13[at]


Dipl. Chem., Chemistry, University of Freiburg

Ph.D. Chemistry, University of Edinburgh

Michael, a passionate sailor, surfer and scuba diver, aimed to combine his passion for the marine environment and his academic background in chemistry to coral reef science. His chemistry background includes experience in structural protein analysis and development of Nanosensors for intracellular detection of autoimmune diseases and viral infection studies. He started his marine science career volunteering at CoreSEA Koh Phangan, Thailand assisting scientists from ZMT Bremen. In his upcoming role he worked with Prof. Christian R. Voolstra on osmolyte regulation in Symbiodiniacae and corals at KAUST, Saudi Arabia. This allowed him to pick up a Research Associate position at NYU Abu Dhabi with Prof. Shady A. Amin and start a coral metabolomics project investigating the highly adapted and resistant stony corals of the Arabian gulf region. He aims to increase our knowledge of the marine world by employing innovative high resolution mass spectrometry methods and developing sustainable coral sampling techniques. His current work tries to elucidate the intricate symbiosis between Endozoicomonacea and their coral hosts using a multi-omics approach.

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Selected Publications

M.A. Ochsenkühn, P. Schmitt-Kopplin, M. Harir, S.A. Amin (2018). Coral metabolite gradients affect microbial community structures and act as a disease cue. Communications Biology. 1, 184.

M.A. Ochsenkühn, T. Röthig, C. D’Angelo, J. Wiedenmann, C.R. Voolstra (2017). The role of floridoside in osmoadaptation of coral-associated algal endosymbionts to high-salinity conditions. Sci. Adv. 3, e1602047.

M.A. Ochsenkühn, P.R.T. Jess, H. Stoquert, K. Dholakia, C.J. Campbell (2009). Nanoshells for Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy in Eukaryotic Cells: Cellular Response and Sensor Development. ACS Nano. 3, 11, 3613-3621.

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