Coral reefs represent the most diverse marine ecosystems and rely upon the mutualistic symbiosis between a hosting coral and its intracellular, photosynthetic dinoflagellate. Photosynthesis-derived nutrients allow the coral to thrive in oligotrophic waters, while the disruption of this symbiotic association leads to coral bleaching. Despite the extensive study of the coral reef ecology, little is known about the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the coral-algal symbiosis. In this context, his PhD project aims to identify the molecular machinery that regulates establishment, maintenance and disruption of this association. To this end, he use the sea anemone Aiptasia pallida as model organism and various techniques that range from recombinant protein expression to targeted proteomics and binding assays.