Many bottom-dwelling marine organisms such as corals, tubeworms, mollusks and sea urchins reproduce by releasing gametes into the water column. There, the larvae develop and swim, eventually looking for a place to permanently settle down onto the submerged surfaces. For nearly a century, studies have shown how marine microbes can influence the settlement and metamorphosis of these organisms, providing a cue to indicate a suitable environment for metamorphosis. My PhD work aimed to identify the underlying genes responsible for the induction of metamorphosis in marine invertebrates. In Alker et al. 2020, we explored a model marine bacteria and show it encodes two different metamorphosis-inducing gene clusters. We currently have a manuscript in preparation that developing a modular plasmid toolkit for higher throughput genetic manipulation of non-model marine bacteria and applies it to functionally link chemical biosynthesis genes in a marine bacteria with coral metamorphosis.