Malcolm McCulloch

Malcolm McCulloch is a coral reef expert at the School of Earth and Environment, The University of Western Australia. His research addresses important contemporary issues such as the impacts of climate change and direct human activities on coral reefs.

He has developed innovative new indicators of how these processes have affected coral reefs over a range of timescales by utilising geochemical records preserved in the skeletons of corals. He has showed for example how boron isotopes preserved in corals act as a proxy for changes in seawater pH, with this now rapidly growing area of research providing the most reliable means for determining the rates of ocean acidification from increased anthropogenic CO2 emissions. He has also developed other proxies to determine changes in ocean temperature, salinity and sediment/nutrient inputs into coral reefs, with important implications for the management of coastal catchments, the resilience of coral to climate change, as well as the capacity of the oceans to serve as a major sink for CO2.

Professor McCulloch is an ARC Laureate Fellow at UWA and, until recently, a WA Premier’s Research Fellow. He is leader of the UWA node of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies, a Fellow of the Royal Society and The Australian Academy of Sciences.


Fellow Australian Academy Science, Fellow Royal Society