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Senior Research Fellow, Curtin University

My research revolves around coral biodiversity and how best to monitor and protect it. I work in the areas of systematics, phylogenetics, ecology, population genetics and conservation biology. I have conducted research on coral reefs across the globe from the Marshall Islands to the Andaman Islands. Currently I am focusing on quantifying the distribution and abundance of coral biodiversity in the Kimberley region of Australia. Corals in this region are exposed to extreme environmental conditions and I am examining the traits that underpin the high level of thermo-tolerance of corals in this dynamic region and how corals in this region connect with those in neigbouring bioregions.

Experience

  • 2016–2023
    Senior Research Fellow, Curtin University
  • 2020–2023
    Marine Invertebrate Curator, Western Australian Museum
  • 2012–2016
    Research Scientist, Western Australian Museum
  • 2010–2012
    Scientific Officer, Marine Research, Australian Museum

Education

  • 2010 
    James Cook University, PhD/Biological Science

Publications

  • 2021
    Inclusivity is key to progessing coral biodiversity research: Reply to comment by Bonito et al (2021), Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
  • 2021
    Spatio-temporal persistence of scleractinian coral species at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Coral Reefs
  • 2021
    Integrative systematics of the scleractinian coral genera Caulastraea, Erythrastrea and Oulophyllia, Zoologica Scripta
  • 2021
    The applicability of eDNA metabarcoding approaches for sessile benthic surveying in the Kimberley region, north-western Australia, Environmental DNA
  • 2021
    Large-scale eDNA metabarcoding survey reveals marine biogeographic break and transitions over tropical north-western Australia, Diversity and Distributions
  • 2021
    Under the karst: detecting hidden subterranean assemblages using eDNA metabarcoding in the caves of Christmas Island, Australia, Scientific Reports
  • 2020
    Biological consequences of an outbreak of growth anomalies on Isopora palifera at the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Coral Reefs
  • 2020
    New records of Heliopora hiberniana from SE Asia and the Central Indian Ocean, Diversity
  • 2020
    Evolutionary biogeography of the reef-building coral genus Galaxea across the Indo-Pacific Ocean, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
  • 2020
    Extreme seascape drives local recruitment and genetic divergence in brooding and spawning corals in remote north-west Australia, Evolutionary Applications
  • 2020
    Phylotranscriptomics confirms Alveopora is sister to Montipora within the family Acroporidae, Marine Genomics
  • 2020
    eDNA metabarcoding reveals fine-scale coral reef community variation across a remote, tropical island system, Molecular Ecology
  • 2019
    Contrasting patterns of genetic connectivity in brooding and spawning corals across a remote atoll system in northwest Australia, Coral Reefs
  • 2019
    Development of a mulit-assay approach for monitoring coral diversity using eDNA metabarcoding, Coral Reefs
  • 2019
    Oceanic and coastal populations of a harvested macroinvertebrate Rochia nilotica in north-western Australia are isolated and may be locally adapted, Marine and Freshwater Research
  • 2019
    First report of the coral-killing sponge Terpios hoshinota in Western Australia: A new thereat to Kimberley coral reefs?, Diversity
  • 2019
    Socio-environmental drivers inform strategic management of coral reefs in the Anthropocene, Nature Ecology and Evolution
  • 2019
    A tropical Australian refuge for photo symbiotic benthic fauna, Coral Reefs
  • 2019
    Outbreaks of growth anomalies in Isopora palifera at Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Marine Biodiversity
  • 2019
    Defining biodiversity gaps for North Wesh Shelf marine invertebrates, Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia
  • 2018
    The state of Western Australia's coral reefs, Coral Reefs
  • 2018
    Integrated evidence reveals a new species in the ancient blue coral genus Heliopora (Octocorallia), Scientific Reports
  • 2018
    The composition and structure of shallow benthic communities in the Kimberley, north-west Australia, Records of the Western Australian Museum
  • 2018
    Genetic signatures through space, time and multiple disturbances in a ubiquitous brooding coral, Molecular Ecology
  • 2018
    Gradients of disturbance and environmental conditions shapre coral community structure for south-eastern Indian Ocean reefs, Diversity and Distributions
  • 2017
    Phylogenomics provide new insight into evolutionary relationships and genealogical discordance in the reef-building coral genus Acropora, Proceedings of the Royal Society B
  • 2016
    Cryptic genetic divergence within threatened species of Acropora coral from the Indian and Pacific Oceans , Conservation Genetics
  • 2016
    Habitat degradation increases functional originality in highly diverse coral reef fish assemblages, Ecosphere
  • 2016
    Marine biodiversity in temperate Western Australia: multi-taxon surveys of Minden and Roe Reefs , Diversity
  • 2016
    Diversity on the edge: Non-linear patterns of coral community structure at an isolated oceanic island , Marine Ecology Progress Series
  • 2016
    Post-Disturbance Stability of Fish Assemblages Measured at Coarse Taxonomic Resolution Masks Change at Finer Scales , Plos One
  • 2015
    New precise dates for the ancient and sacred coral pyramidal tombs of Leluh (Kosrae, Micronesia), Science Advances
  • 2015
    Hybridization on coral reef and the conservation of evolutionary novelty, Current Zoology
  • 2015
    Scleractinian corals and crown-of-thorns seastars of the Kermadec Islands , Bulletin of the Auckland Museum
  • 2015
    The coralline algal cascades of Tallon Island (Jalan) frinding reef, NW Australia, Coral Reefs
  • 2015
    A diverse assemblage of reef corals thriving in a dynamic intertidal reef setting, Bonaparte Archipelago, Kimberley, Australia, PLOS ONE
  • 2014
    New records of sea snakes at mid-shelf shoals of Australia's North-west Shelf, Marine Biodiversity
  • 2014
    Symbiodinium diversity and host specificity in Acropora corals from geographical extremes of Western Australia using 454 amplicon pyrosequencing, Molecular Ecology
  • 2014
    Optimal monitoring of coral biodiversity at Christmas Island, Raffles Bulletin of Zoology
  • 2014
    The status of hard coral communitites at Kosrae, Micronesia, Marine Biodiversity
  • 2014
    The status of hard coral biodiversity at Christmas Island, Raffles Bulletin of Zoology
  • 2014
    Coral-mimicking alga Eucheuma arnoldii found at Ashmore Reef, north-western Australia, Coral Reefs
  • 2014
    Predicting coral species richness: the effect of input variables, diversity and scale, PloS ONE
  • 2014
    Synthesis of Historic Marine Species Data for the Kimberley, Western Australia, (1880s – 2009): Hard Corals, Records of the West Australian Museum
  • 2014
    Taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships of the coral genera Australomussa and Parascolymia (Scleractinia, Lobophylliidae), Contributions to Zoology
  • 2013
    Multiple occupancy-abudance patterns in staghorn coral communities, Diversity and Distributions
  • 2013
    Regional conservation status of scleractinian coral biodiversity in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Diversity
  • 2013
    New records of atypical coral reef habitat in the Kimberley, Australia, Journal of Marine Biology
  • 2013
    Molecular phylogenetics of geographically restricted Acropora species: Implications for threatened species conservation, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
  • 2013
    Enigmatic declines of Australia's sea snakes from a biodiversity hotspot, Biological Conservation
  • 2013
    A comparison of proxy performance in coral biodiversity monitoriting, Coral Reefs
  • 2012
    New records of scleractinian coral fauna for the Pilbara Offshore Bioregion, Journal of the Royal Society of WA
  • 2012
    Rarity and genetic diversity in Indo-Pacific Acropora corals, Ecology and Evolution
  • 2012
    Climate change impacts on the tree of life: changes in phylogenetic diversity illustrated for Acropora corals, Biology
  • 2011
    Population trends of remote invertebrate resources in a marine reserve: the case of trochus and holothurians at Ashmore Reef, Pacific Conservation Biology
  • 2011
    Rapid increases in coral cover on an isolated coral reef, the Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve, north-western Australia, Marine and Freshwater Research
  • 2011
    Prehistoric Pacific Island Kings entombed in truncated coral pyramids, Coral Reefs
  • 2011
    A quantification of the standing stock of marine debris in Majuro Lagoon, Republic of the Marshall Islands and its effect on coral communities, Marine Pollution Bulletin
  • 2010
    Archetypal ‘elkhorn’ coral discovered in the Pacific Ocean, Systematics and Biodiversity
  • 2008
    Some rare Indo-Pacific coral species are probable hybrids, PLoS ONE
  • 2008
    Thinking Outside the Reef, Science
  • 2008
    One-Third of Reef-Building Corals Face Elevated Extinction Risk from Climate Change and Local Impacts, Science
  • 2008
    The State of Coral Reef Ecosystems of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, The State of Coral Reef Ecosystems of the US and Pacific Freely Associated States
  • 2008
    Bikini Atoll coral biodiversity resilience revealed: Five decades after nuclear testing, Marine Pollution Bulletin
  • 2004
    Acropora rongelapensis sp. nov., a new species of Acropora from the Marshall Islands (Scleractinia: Astrocoeniina: Acroporidae), Zootaxa
  • 2001
    Regional distribution patterns of Acropora in Indonesia and their use in conservation, Indonesian Journal of Coastal and Marine Resources

Grants and Contracts

  • 2017
    Coral Resilience and the optimal management of biodiversity
    Role:
    Lead Researcher
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council

Professional Memberships

  • IUCN Coral Specialist Group
  • International Society for Coral Reef Studies
  • Australian Coral Reef Society
  • Western Australian Marine Science Institution

Honours

Churchill Fellow