• MB3190: Coral Reef Ecology (Level 3; TSV)
  • MB5190: Coral Reef Ecology (Level 5; TSV)
  • My research focuses on broad-scale ecological processes and the functional importance of different taxa to the resilience of coral reef ecosystems, in particular the functional role of herbivorous fishes and the dangers of seaweed expansion on coral reefs. I have worked at over 30 locations spanning the world’s tropical oceans and this experience has provided him with considerable insight into the differences among these systems in terms of diversity, reef community structure, human use patterns and, perhaps more importantly, the underlying processes. My current research focuses on understanding the functional importance of different herbivorous fishes in preventing and/or reversing seaweed expansion on coral reefs, the differential responses of herbivorous fishes to changes in the benthic community structure on coral reefs, the recruitment dynamics and replenishment of reef fish populations, and the effects of increasing water temperature on the physiology and function of reef fish.
  • 2016 to 2018 - Senior Research Fellow, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
  • 2016 to 2017 - President, Australian Coral Reef Society
  • 2013 to 2015 - DECRA Research Fellow, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
  • 2012 to 2013 - Research Fellow, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
  • 2011 to 2012 - Senior Postdoctoral Fellow, Red Sea Research Center, KAUST
  • 2010 to 2011 - Experimental Scientist, Australian Institute of Marine Science (Townsville, Australia)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2014 - ESA George Mercer Award - Outstanding Ecological Paper
  • 2013 - Churchill Medal
  • 2012 - Virginia Chadwick Award
  • 2009 - Virginia Chadwick Award
  • 2008 - Science for Management Award, GBRMPA
  • 2008 - Terry Walker Award, Australia Coral Reef Society
  • 2013 - Isobel Bennett Marine Biology Fellowship, Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation
  • 2011 - Churchill Fellowship
  • 2007 to 2009 - Ian Potter Doctoral Fellowship at Lizard Island

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 81+ research outputs authored by Dr Andrew Hoey from 2002 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Equity Trustees - Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment

Canopy-forming macroalgae on coral reefs: how does it affect key ecosystem processes?

Indicative Funding
Coral reefs are in global decline, with a range of stressors leading to regional reductions in the cover of live corals. While some reefs recover, others are overgrown by fleshy macroalgae such as the canopy-forming Sargassum. Once established, such macroalgal-dominated states are difficult to reverse as positive feedbacks maintain the degraded state. This project will answer the questions: (a) How do clearings in dense beds of macroalgae affect key ecosystem processes such as herbivory and (b) Are herbivorous fishes able to damage or remove Sargassum holdfasts ('root-systems'), thereby preventing canopy-forming macroalgae from regrowing?
Zoe Loffler and Andrew Hoey (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)
Macroalgae; Sargassum Phaeophyceae; Coral reef; Clearings; Phase-shift; Herbivory

Australian Museum - Crown-of-Thorns Starfish research grants

Microhabitat preferences and post-settlement demography for juvenile crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS)

Indicative Funding
We will document fine-scale (within reef) variation in the abundance of juvenile (0+ year old) CoTS and relate patterns of abundance to specific features of the local habitat (e.g., depth and aspect) and micro-habitat (eg., cover of different coralline algae and corals) to further refine where to find newly settled CoTS. In areas with high settlement of CoTS, we will also quantify early post-settlement growth and mortality for a single cohort of CoTS, by measuring the local abundance and size structure of juvenile CoTS at selected locations through the course of 1 year.
Morgan Pratchett, Jennifer Wilmes, Andrew Hoey and Vanessa Messmer (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)
Acanthaster; Demography; Settlement; Disturbance; Coral Reefs

Australian Coral Reef Society - Student Research Award

Project Title The effect of canopy forming macroalgae on key ecosystem processes on coral reefs

Indicative Funding
Herbivores play an important role in controlling algal biomass on coral reefs, however, different herbivores target different lifestages of algae. Grazing fishes have been hypothesised to prevent the establishment of adult macroalgae by consuming macroalgal juveniles, while browsing fishes consume adult macroalgae. However, the size at which macroalgae transition from being susceptible to grazers vs browsers, and the influence of small-scale habitat features on this relationship are unknown.
Zoe Loffler and Andrew Hoey (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)
Macroalgae; Sargassum Phaeophyceae; Coral Reef; Propagules; Phase-shift; Herbivory

Australian Coral Reef Society - Student Research Award

The effect of temperature on algae-fish interactions on coral reefs

Indicative Funding
Marine herbivores play a pivotal role in structuring coral reef communities, building resiliency in the face of a changing climate by the mechanical removal of fleshy macroalgae. Ocean warming is currently one of the greatest threats to marine ecosystems. As global climates are changing, understanding how marine flora and fauna interact is a crucial but understudied aspect of how entire ecosystems will respond. The purpose of this study is to assess the effects of increasing temperature on the interaction between tropical marine herbivorous fish and seaweeds. Specifically, as oceans warm, how primary production by seaweeds will scale with consumption by herbivores.
Alexia Graba-Landry and Andrew Hoey (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)
Plant-herbivore interactions; Macroalgae; Coral Reefs; Ocean warming; Herbivory; Metabolic Theory of Ecology

Department of the Environment and Energy - Director of National Parks - Contract Research

Updated review of research and monitoring in Australia's Commonwealth Marine Reserves relating to natural values

Indicative Funding
$40,821 over 2 years
Review and summarise all information (including scientific literature, technical reports and other relevant outputs of scientific research and monitoring) relevant to Australia?s Commonwealth Marine Reserves (CMRs). Relevance to CMRs will be assessed on the basis of geographic overlapping with CMR boundaries and adjacent areas and relevance (eg connectivity) to the CMRs'values, including any literature that links uses or pressures to natural values. All information will be incorporated into an updated CMR research database for the Australian Director of National Parks.
Andrew Hoey, Morgan Pratchett and Vanessa Messmer (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)
Commonwealth Marine Reserves; Tropical Reef; Temperate Reef; Resource Management; Ecosystem Health

Australian Research Council - Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

Macroalgal-Driven Feedbacks and the Dynamics of Coral Reef Ecosystems

Indicative Funding
$375,000 over 3 years
Coral reefs are in decline worldwide with many being overgrown by large fleshy macroalgae. While the causes of reef degradation are relatively well established, there is an absence of information on how key ecological processes respond to this degradation. This research will determine how the foraging behaviour of fishes capable of preventing and reversing macroalgal overgrowth, and the replenishment of fish and coral populations are influenced by the composition and density of macroalgal beds. The outcomes will provide a framework for predicting future changes in key processes on coral reefs and will identify temporal windows in which management actions may be most effective; leading to more effective protection of coral reefs.
Andrew Hoey (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)
Macroalgae; ecological feedback; Resilience

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Spatial Dynamics in the Territories of Stegastes spp. Relative to Coral Growth, Disease and Mortality within Opal Reef (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Effects of Suspended Sediments on the Performance of Early Life History Stages of Coral Reef Fishes. (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Macroalgae Regime Shift of the Great Barrier Reef: Ecological and Microbial Coral-algal Interactions (Masters , Secondary Advisor)
  • Effects of Coral Loss on Reproductive Biology and Population Viability of Chaetodon Butterflyfish (Masters , Secondary Advisor)
  • Resilience of Coral Assemblages in NW Australia (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Effect of canopy forming macroalgae on key processes on coral reefs. (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • The Impacts of Coral Reef Health on Fish-Parasite Interactions (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • No Take Marine Reserve performance under varying environmental and anthropogenic influences (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Physiological and behavioural strategies used by fish to mitigate the effects of ocean warming. (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Coral core microbiome: composition, microhabitat distribution host influence and response to environmental changes. (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • How Coral Reef Fish Communities are Shaped by both Socioeconomic Drivers and Larval Dispersal Patterns (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Spatial Variation in the Density and Demography of Newly Settled Crown-of-thorns Starfish (Acanthaster cf. solaris). (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Evidence of Functional Diversity loss in Harvested Parrotfishes and Surgeonfishes in American Samoa (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • The Effect of Temperature on Seaweed-Herbivore Interactions on Tropical Coral Reef Systems (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Variation in Structure and Function of Reef Fish Assemblages Among Different Coral Habitats. (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Beyond the Reef: The Influence of Seascape Structure on Fish Communities and Ecological Processes on Coral Reefs (PhD , Primary Advisor)

These are the most recent metadata records associated with this researcher. To see a detailed description of all dataset records, visit the JCU Research Data Catalogue.


The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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