Professor Madeleine van Oppen is an ecological geneticist with an interest in microbial symbioses and climate change adaptation of reef corals. Her work has been published in >200 peer reviewed papers and book chapters. Her early career focused on evolutionary and population genetics of algae and fish, and subsequently corals. She obtained a PhD in the molecular ecology of algae in 1995 (U Groningen, Netherlands) and is currently an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow with part positions at the University of Melbourne and the Australian Institute of Marine Science. Her team is using bioengineering approaches aimed at increasing coral climate resilience and the likelihood that coral reefs will survive this century. These interventions include coral host hybridisation and conditioning, bacterial probiotics and directed evolution of microalgal symbionts.