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Janja Ceh

Research Associate

Biology Program, NYU Abu Dhabi

Center for Genomics and Systems Biology (CGSB)

Email: jc13227[at]


M.Sc. Zoology and Ecology, University of Vienna

Ph.D. Marine Biology, Murdoch University

Janja is a marine microbial ecologist with a keen interest in tropical marine biology and a particular passion for coral reefs. She is intrigued to understand how climate change scenarios influence the delicate dynamics between marine invertebrates and microorganisms and how microbial associates assist the host to adapt.


She has an MSc degree in Zoology and Ecology from the University of Vienna in Austria and a PhD degree in Marine Biology from Murdoch University in Australia, where she investigated coral microbial interactions on Ningaloo Reef.

Following her doctoral studies, Janja joined the Universidad de Antofagasta in Northern Chile as a postdoc, where she secured funding from the Chilean government to establish her own lab and carry out research on jellyfish-microbe assemblages. While in Chile, she further participated in research projects that investigated coral microbiomes of Easter Island and the Eastern Pacific and collaborated in describing a pathogenic phage from Chilean salmon cultures.


In her last job appointment as an independent researcher at the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia, she studied the microbiome of tropical marine algae.


Janja has secured scholarships and job appointments on every continent and has traveled extensively, primarily to learn about the many marine ecosystems around the globe. She loves nature and is an avid scuba diver, sailor, and mountaineer.

Selected Publications

Ceh, J., Kilburn, M.R., Cliff, J.B., Raina, J.B., van Keulen, M. and Bourne, D.G., 2013. Nutrient cycling in early coral life stages: Pocillopora damicornis larvae provide their algal symbiont (Symbiodinium) with nitrogen acquired from bacterial associatesEcology and Evolution, 3(8), pp.2393-2400.

Lee, M.D., Kling, J.D., Araya, R. and Ceh, J., 2018. Jellyfish life stages shape associated microbial communities, while a core microbiome is maintained across allFrontiers in Microbiology, 9, p.1534.

Raina, J.B., Tapiolas, D.M., Forêt, S., Lutz, A., Abrego, D., Ceh, J., Seneca, F.O., Clode, P.L., Bourne, D.G., Willis, B.L. and Motti, C.A., 2013. DMSP biosynthesis by an animal and its role in coral thermal stress responseNature, 502(7473), pp.677-680.

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