Cecilia G. Conaco, Ph.D.
Associate Professor 



Education:
Ph.D. Molecular and Cellular Biology 
Stony Brook University, U.S.A.

Research Interests: 
Cecilia is fascinated by neuronal development and early animal evolution. She is also interested in the regulatory networks that control gene expression dynamics underlying the ability of many marine organisms to rapidly respond and adapt to their environment.

Selected Publications:
  • Quimpo TJR, Ligson CA, Manogan DP, Requilme JNC, Albelda RL, Conaco C, Cabaitan PC. 2020. Fish farm effluents alter reef benthic assemblages and reduce coral settlement. Mar. Pollut. Bull., 153:111025.
  • Conaco C, Cabaitan PC. 2020. Influence of salinity and temperature on the surivival and settlement of Helipora coerulea larvae. Mar. Pollut. Bull., 150:110703.
  • Sayco SLG, Conaco C, Neo ML, Cabaitan PC. 2019. Reduced salinities negatively impact fertilization success and early larval development of the giant clam Tridacna gigas (Cardiidae: Tridacninae). J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 516:35-43
  • Moncada C, Hassenruch C, Gardes A, Conaco C. 2019. Microbial community composition of sediments influenced by intensive mariculture activity. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol., 95(2):fiz006.
  • Guzman C, Atrigenio M, Shinzato C, Aliño PM, Conaco C. 2019. Warm seawater temperature promotes substrate colonization by the blue coral, Heliopora coerulea. Peer J, 2019 (9): e7785.
  • Enricuso OB, Conaco C, Sayco SLG, Neo ML, Cabaitan PC. 2019. Elevated seawater temperatures affect embryonic and larval development in the giant clam Tridacna gigas (Cardiidae: Tridacninae).  J. Molluscan Stud. 85:66-72.
  • Da-Anoy JP, Cabaitan PC, Conaco C. 2019. Species variability in the response to elevated temperature of select corals in north-western Philippines. J Mar Biol Assoc U.K,  99(6):1273-1279.
  • Ravelo SF, Conaco C. 2018. Comparison of the response of in hospite and ex hospite Symbiodinium to elevated temperature. Mar Freshw Behav Physiol, 51(2):93–108.
  • Guzman C, Shinzato C, Lu TM, Conaco C. 2018. Transcriptome analysis of the reef-building octocoral, Heliopora coerulea. Sci Rep 1–11. 
  • Gajigan AP, Yñiguez AT, Villanoy CL, San ML, Jacinto, GS, Conaco C. 2018. Diversity and community structure of marine microbes around the Benham Rise underwater plateau, Northeastern Philippines (#22613 ) Structure and. Peer J 1–17.
  • Cabaitan PC, Malvicini C, Sabban F, Conaco C. 2018. Versatile habitat conditioning by damselfish cultivating turf algae on giant clams. Hydrobiologia 805(1):89–96.
  • Baquiran, J. I. P., & Conaco, C. 2018. Sponge-microbe partnerships are stable under eutrophication pressure from mariculture. Mar Pollut Bull 136:125–134. 
  • Gajigan AP, Diaz LA, Conaco C. 2017. Resilience of the prokaryotic microbial community of Acropora digitifera to elevated temperature. MicrobiologyOpen. 00:e478.
  • Gajigan AP, Conaco C. 2017. A microRNA regulates the response of corals to thermal stress. Mol. Ecol. 26(3):3472–3483.
  • Cabaitan PC, Malvicini C, Sabban F, Conaco C. 2017. Versatile habitat conditioning by damselfish cultivating turf algae on giant clams. Hydrobiologia 805(1):89-96.
  • Cabaitan PC, Conaco C. 2017. Bringing back the giants: juvenile Tridacna gigas from natural spawning of restocked giant clams. Coral Reefs 36(2):519. 
  • Atrigenio M, Aliño PM, Conaco C. 2017. Influence of the Blue Coral Heliopora coerulea on Scleractinian Coral Larval Recruitment. J Mar Biol 1-5. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/6015143.
  • Atienza LW, Conaco C. 2017. A coral's genetic response to stress. Philipp. Sci. Lett. 10(2):109-110.
  • Da-Anoy J, Villanueva RD, Cabaitan C, Conaco C. 2017. Effects of coral extracts on survivorship, swimming behavior, and settlement of Pocillopora damicornis larvae. JEMBE 486:93-97. 
  • Guzman C and Conaco C. 2016. Gene expression dynamics accompanying the sponge thermal stress response. PLoS ONE. 11(10): e0165368. 
  • Conaco C, Tsoulfas P, Sakarya O, Dolan A, Werren J, Kosik KS. 2016. Detection of prokaryotic genes in the Amphimedon queenslandica genome. PLoS ONE. R50002. 
  • Guzman C and Conaco C. 2016. Comparative transcriptome analysis reveals insights into the streamlined genomes of haplosclerid demosponges. Scientific Reports. 5:18774. DOI: 10.1038/srep18774. 
  • Conaco C, Neveu P, Zhou H, Arcila ML, Degnan SM, Degnan BM, Kosik KS. 2012. Transcriptome profiling of the demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica reveals genomewide events that accompany major life cycle transitions. BMC Genomics. 13:209. 
  • Conaco C, Bassett DS, Zhou H, Arcila ML, Degnan SM, Degnan BM, Kosik KS. 2012. Functionalization of a proto-synaptic gene expression network. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 109 Suppl 1:10612-8. 
  • Srivastava M, Simakov O, Chapman J, Fahey B, Gauthier MAE, Mitros T, Richards GS, Conaco C, Dacre M, Hellsten U, Larroux C, Putnam NH, Stanke M, Adamska M, Darling A, Degnan SM, Oakley TH, Plachetzki DC, Zhai Y, Adamski M, Calcino A, Cummins SF, Goodstein DM, Harris C, Jackson DJ, Leys SP, Shu S, Woodcroft BJ, Vervoort M, Kosik KS, Manning G, Degnan BM, Rokhsar DS. 2010. The Amphimedon queenslandica genome and the evolution of animal complexity. Nature. 466(7307):720-6. 
  • Sakarya O, Conaco C, Egecioglu O, Solla SA, Oakley TH, Kosik KS. 2010. Evolutionary expansion and specialization of the PDZ domains. Mol. Biol. Evol. 27(5):1058-69. 
  • Karginov FV, Conaco C, Xuan Z, Schmidt BH, Parker JS, Mandel G, Hannon GJ. 2007. A biochemical approach to identifying microRNA targets. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 104(49): 19291-19296. 
  • Otto SJ, McCorkle SR, Hover J, Conaco C, Han JJ, Impey S, Yochum GS, Dunn JJ, Goodman RH, Mandel G. 2007. A new binding motif for the transcriptional repressor REST uncovers large gene networks devoted to neuronal functions. J Neurosci. 27(25):6729-39.