Picture of Cynthia on a sandy beach.
Cynthia Rogers collecting small gobid fish in the intertidal zone off Heron Island on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
Photo: Romi Castagnino

Marine ecologist Cynthia Riginos new honory doctor


Marine ecologist Cynthia Riginos has received an honorary doctorate at the Faculty of Science. Cynthia Riginos is a pioneer in a new research field, seascape genomics, that aims to better understand how different marine parameters interplay with a specie’s ecology and genetics.

Congratulations to the Honorary doctor title, what are your feelings upon this?

“It was a complete surprise to learn that I am going to be conferred the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa. I am very honoured and touched that my wonderful colleagues at the University of Gothenburg nominated me”.

What is so interesting with seascape genomics?

“Most marine organisms spend their first weeks or months of life floating around in the sea, transported by currents, and not easily tracked by curious humans. This “secret” part of the life cycles fascinates me. Seascape genomics gives us some insights into these movements and their consequences for the evolution, ecology, and conservation of marine organisms. Seascape genomics combines the traditional disciplines of population genetics and landscape ecology. It seeks to understand and predict patterns of genetic diversity with a deep appreciation of how location and environment affect genetic diversity.”

What is the topic of your research right now?

“The world is too fascinating to have one single research topic! Right now, I am most interested in understanding how marine organisms – particularly corals and blue mussels – adapt to different environmental challenges. We can apply that understanding towards conservation and restoration in light of climate change and other human impacts. Dispersal, hybridization, invasive species, and open data are other active themes in my research”.

Portrait of Cynthia Riginos
Marine ecologist Cynthia Riginos has received an honorary doctorate at the Faculty of Science.

What has been the highlights in your cooperation with the University of Gothenburg?

“The University of Gothenburg is world-renowned for its research in marine evolutionary biology. A career highlight has been to work with and alongside so many inspirational researchers in my field and live at the Tjärnö Marine Laboratory for 10 months, made possible by my temporary position as “Marks professor” of the University of Gothenburg (2023-2024). I anticipate that the collaborations and friendships will continue far into the future and that I can reciprocate this hospitality in Australia”, says Cynthia Riginos.

The promotion ceremony takes place on October 25, 2024.