I investigate how processes occurring at the physiological scale influence the growth, survival and reproduction (fitness) of organisms. My work establishes mechanistic links between environmental conditions, individual performance and population processes, and focuses on three main themes.

Environmental controls on individual performance

I use process-based models to determine how energy acquisition and allocation influence demographic rates of different coral species. Recent projects have demonstrated how the physiological response of corals to light and water flow influences colony health and reproduction, and how enhanced condition of coral colonies prior to an environmental stress mitigates mortality risk. My work on freshwater fishes has shown that the quality and predictability of food resources determines the performance advantages of different behavioural strategies.

Adaptive significance of phenotypic plasticity

My research has developed 2- and 3-dimensional models of light interception by coral colonies, then analysed and field-tested these models to demonstrate that morphological plasticity in foliose corals maximises total energy available for coral growth and reproduction. Recent research under this theme has also investigated how spawning female fish control the phenotype of their offspring by varying hormone deposition among different eggs within a clutch.

Metabolism and photosynthesis

Photosynthesis by algal symbionts within coral tissue is extremely important for reef growth. My work in this field has shown that colonies grown at high-light intensities suffer reduced daily energy acquisition, but that seasonal fluctuations in symbiont densities have a negligible influence on colony energetics. My recent research has also revealed that, in contrast to the deleterious effects of temperature stress on the activity of Photosystem II within coral symbionts, the function of Photosystem I is robust to temperature stress, particularly when rates of heterotrophic feeding are high.

  • BS5460: Fundamentals of Ecology (Level 5; TSV)
  • MB3190: Coral Reef Ecology (Level 3; TSV)
  • MB5190: Coral Reef Ecology (Level 5; TSV)
Research Disciplines

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 71+ research outputs authored by A/Prof Mia Hoogenboom from 2005 onwards.

Current Funding

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

AIMS@JCU - Scholarship

Identification of environmental and biological factors affecting survival and ecophysiology of post settled and adult corals

Indicative Funding
$20,000 over 4 years
This project will assess environmental and biological conditions that result in the best survival and growth of juvenile corals to identify whether those conditions differ across species and deployment ages/sizes. It will also test the physiological response of early life stages of corals and it will identify optimal substrates for coral recruitment filling the gaps regarding which species and habitats are best suited for re-seeding. Outcomes of this work will enable us to produce best-practice guides for achieving high post-settlement and post-deployment survival for use in coral restoration. Field trials will be conducted in Keppel Islands.
Cinzia Alessi, Carly Randall, Andrew Negri, Mia Hoogenboom and Cathy Page in collaboration with Christine Giuliano, Line Bay and Andrew Heyward (College of Science & Engineering and Australian Institute of Marine Science)
Reef Restoration; Coral Recruitment; Coral physiology

Australian Research Council - Centres of Excellence

ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrated Coral Reef Studies

Indicative Funding
$28,000,000 over 8 years
The overarching aim of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrated Coral Reef Studies is to provide the scientific knowledge necessary for sustaining ecosystem goods and services of the world's coral reefs, which support the livelihoods and food security of millions of people in the tropics. The Centre will enhance Australia's global leadership in coral reef science through three ambitious research programs addressing the future of coral reefs and their ability to adapt to change. A key outcome of the research will be providing tangible benefits to all Australians by bui8lding bridges between the natural and social sciences, strengthening capacity, and informing and supporting transformative changes in coral reef governance and management.
Graeme Cumming, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Malcolm McCulloch, Peter Mumby, Sean Connolly, John Pandolfi, Bob Pressey, Andrew Baird, David Bellwood, Joshua Cinner, Sophie Dove, Maja Adamska, Mia Hoogenboom, Geoff Jones, Mike Kingsford, Ryan Lowe, Mark McCormick, David Miller, Philip Munday, Morgan Pratchett, Garry Russ and Tiffany Morrison in collaboration with Janice Lough, David Wachenfeld, Stephen Palumbi, Serge Planes and Philippa Cohen (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, The University of Queensland, The University of Western Australia, College of Science & Engineering, Australian National University, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Stanford University, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and WorldFish)
coral reef ecosystems; Climate Change Adaptation; ecological resilience; biodiversity goods and services; social-ecological dynamics

AIMS@JCU - Scholarship

Modelling the net growth of coral reefs under climate change: the neglected role of bio-eroding sponges

Indicative Funding
$20,000 over 4 years
The project will investigate the hypothesis that under climate change, sponges will erode coral reefs at a faster rate than corals can form reefs. If true, sponge bioerosion may make it more difficult for corals to sustain reefs under climate change. The project will use controlled experiments to determine how sponge reproduction and fitness are affected by predicted climate change conditions. These data will then be used to develop models to predict sponge fitness, sponge-coral competition, reef erosion patterns, and overall reef resilience under climate change scenarios.
Blake Ramsby, Nicole Webster, Mia Hoogenboom, Marcus Sheaves and Stephen Whalan (College of Science & Engineering, Australian Institute of Marine Science and Southern Cross University)
Cliona sp. (Clionaidae); Bioerosion; Sponge

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.

  • Small scale variability of carbonate chemistry on coastal coral reefs, and its ecological implications for the Great Barrier Reef (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Responses of Corals and Coral Reef Ecosystems to Ocean Acidification under Variable Temperature and Light (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Changes in behaviour and sociality of Chaetodon butterflyfish linked to population declines and coral loss (Masters , Advisor Mentor)
  • The Impact of Ocean Acidification on Ecological Processes that Structure Coral Communities (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Identifying Environmental and Biological Drivers of the Success and Failure of Coral Recruits (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Thermal adaptation of corals in the context of climate change (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Cumulative Impacts of Water Quality and Climate Change (Sea Surface Temperature Warming and Ocean Acidification) on Important Reef Species (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Incorporating evolutionary perspectives into conservation: an assessment of local adaptation, phenotypic plasticity, and interpopuation hybridization in a reef fish (Acanthochromis ployacanthus) (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Investigation into Artificial Intelligence Methods for Hyperspectral Image Analysis in Coral Reef Science Applications (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)

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


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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