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Sarah Griffiths

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My research is focussed on genetic diversity in ecological systems – what can it reveal about population ecology, what effect does it have at the community and ecosystem levels, and how can we utilise it most effectively for biodiversity conservation? My work centres on critical conservation issues including ocean acidification, habitat restoration and disease, and incorporates population genetics, microbial ecology, and gene expression approaches.


My primary study system is marine sponges and the rich communities of microbes that inhabit their tissues, known as microbiomes. I use a holistic approach to understand sponge-microbiome relationships, and how their diversity affects resilience and ecosystem processes in the face of environmental change.



Griffiths SM, Anwis RE, Lenzi L, Lucaci A, Behringer DC, Butler MJ, Preziosi RF (2019) Host genetics and geography influence microbiome composition in the sponge Ircinia campana. Journal of Animal Ecology. 

Griffiths SM, Harrison XA, Weldon C, Wood MD, Pretorius A, Hopkins K, Fox G, Preziosi RF & Antwis RE (2018) Genetic variability and ontogeny predict microbiome structure in a disease-challenged montane amphibian. The ISME Journal (12) 2506-2517. 

Truelove NK, Box SJ, Aiken KA, Blythe-Mallett A, Boman EM, Booker CJ, Byfield TT, Cox CE, Davis MH, Delgado GA, Glazer BA, Griffiths SM, Kitson-Walters K, Kough AS, Pérez Enríquez R, Preziosi RF, Roy ME, Segura-García I, Webber MK & Stoner AW (2017) Isolation by oceanic distance and spatial genetic structure in an overharvested international fishery. Diversity and Distributions (23) 1292-1300. 

Antwis RE, Griffiths SM, Harrison XA, Aranega-Bou P, Arce A, Bettridge AS, Brailsford F et al. (2017) 50 important research questions in microbial ecology. FEMS Microbiology Ecology (93)5.



Griffiths SM, Fox G, Briggs PJ, Donaldson IJ, Hood S, Richardson P, Leaver GW, Truelove NK, Preziosi RF (2016) A Galaxy-based bioinformatics pipeline for optimised, streamlined microsatellite development from Illumina next-generation sequencing data. Conservation Genetic Resources (8) 481-486.
Bertolotti, A, Griffiths SM, Preziosi RF, Salinas de Leon P. (2015) Isolation and characterization of 10 polymorphic microsatellite loci for the endangered Galapagos-endemic whitespotted sandbass (Paralabrax albomaculatus). PeerJ 3:e1253 
Truelove NK, Griffiths SM, Ley-Cooper K, Azueta J, Majil I, Box SJ, Behringer DC, Butler IV. MJ & Preziosi RF (2015) Genetic evidence from the spiny lobster fishery supports international cooperation among Central American marine protected areas. Conservation Genetics (16) 347-358.
Truelove NK, Burdfield-Steel E, Griffiths SM, Ley-Cooper K, Preziosi RF, Butler IV. MJ, Behringer DC, Box S, Canty S, Azueta J & Majil I. (2012) Genetic connectivity of Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) in Belize. Proceedings of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (64).


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