About

Professor Philip Munday has broad interests in the ecology and evolution of reef fishes. His primary research focuses on understanding and predicting the impacts that climate change will have on populations and communities of marine fishes, both directly through changes in the physical environment and indirectly through effects on coral reef habitat. Using a range of laboratory and field-based experiments the research group he leads is investigating the effects of climate change on reef fish populations and testing their capacity for acclimation and adaptation to a rapidly changing environment. He is an international authority on the effects of ocean acidification on marine fishes.

Prof Munday has published over 170 referred papers, including major reviews on the impacts of climate change and ocean acidifcation on fishes. He is in the top 1% of cited researchers in the ISI fields of Plant and Animal Science, and Environment and Ecology. He is on the Editorial Board of the journals Biology Letters, Conservation Physiology, Biology Open and Climate Change Responses. He is heavily engaged in ocean acidification initiatives world-wide and has contributed to IPCC reports on Ocean Acidification, the White Paper on Arctic Ocean Acidification and the Australian Science Position Paper on Ocean Acidification. He is the lead author on the tropical fishes section of the Marine Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Report Card for Australia for 2009 and 2012.

Interests
Research
  • Impact of climate change on marine fishes
  • Ocean Acidification
  • Adaptation to evironmental change
  • Role of habitat in structuring fish communities
Experience
  • 2014 to 2017 - ARC Future Fellow (Professorial Tier), James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2008 to 2013 - ARC QEII Research Fellow, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2003 to 2007 - ARC Australian Research Fellow, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2003 to 2004 - Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Santa Barbara (USA)
  • 2000 to 2002 - ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellow, James Cook University (Townsville)
Honours
Awards
  • 2014 - JCU Award for Excellence in Research
  • 2009 - Vice-Chancellors Award for Excellence in Research and Research Supervision
Fellowships
  • 2014 to 2017 - ARC Future Fellow (Professor)
  • 2008 to 2013 - ARC QEII Fellowship
  • 2003 to 2007 - ARC ARF Fellowship
  • 2003 to 2004 - Fulbright Fellowship
  • 2000 to 2002 - ARC APD Fellowship
Publications

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
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ResearchOnline@JCU stores 202+ research outputs authored by Prof Philip Munday from 2000 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Australian Research Council - Centres of Excellence

ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrated Coral Reef Studies

Indicative Funding
$28,000,000 over 7 years
Summary
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.
Investigators
Terry Hughes, 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, Madeleine van Oppen 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)
Keywords
coral reef ecosystems; Climate Change Adaptation; ecological resilience; biodiversity goods and services; social-ecological dynamics

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology - Competitive Research Grant

Genomic evidence for adaptation of marine fishes to ocean acidification

Indicative Funding
$536,574 over 3 years (administered by King Abudullah University of Science and Technology)
Summary
Ocean acidification is predicted to have far-reaching impacts on marine biodiversity, especially in vulnerable ecosystems such as coral reefs. Whether marine animals can adapt to the decreasing pH is uncertain and the likely molecular mechanisms responsible for such adaptation are unknown. Recent studies show that ecologically important behaviours of marine fishes can be impaired by CO2 levels projected to occur in the ocean before the end of this century. However, in a unique multi-generational experiment with a common coral reef fish, we have demonstrated that such individuals are more tolerant to high CO2 than others and that this tolerance is heritable. In this study we will use Next-Generation Sequencing to sequence the brain's genomes and transcriptomes from parents and their offspring to test for genetic adaptation in CO2 tolerance.
Investigators
T Ravasi, Philip Munday, V Orlando, Michael Berumen and Jodie Rummer (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)
Keywords
Ocean Acidification; Coral Reef Fish; Adaptation; Genome

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology - Technology's Competititve Research Grant Program-Round 3 (CRG3)

Transcriptional program and the epigenome of transgenerational acclimation in reef fishes

Indicative Funding
$631,579 over 4 years
Summary
Transgenerational acclimation is a form of non-genetic inheritance in which the environmental conditions experienced by one-generation influences the performance of future generations in that environment. New studies show that the performance of juvenile fish at higher water temperatures is significantly improved when their parents also experienced the warmer temperature. However, the molecular mechanisms responsible for transgenerational thermal acclimation, and how it is controlled, are currently unknown. Genomic DNA methylation is a form of epigenetic inheritance that cells use to control gene expression, and recent evidence suggests that genome methylation can be driven by external signals in cells after birth as well as in adult cells. This raises the intriguing possibility that DNA methylation can serve as a mechanism for genomes to rapidly adapt to changing environments. Here we propose a unique multi-generational manipulative experiment for a common coral reef fish, Acanthochromis polyacanthus, with genome-wide measurements of gene expression and DNA methylation. Using an integrative analysis, we seek to identify molecular pathways responsible for transgenerational acclimation to rising ocean temperatures and to test the hypothesis that genomic DNA methylation serves as a central mechanism mediating transgenerational acclimation to climate change.
Investigators
Philip Munday, Jennifer Donelson, T Ravasi and T Berumen (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, College of Science & Engineering and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology)
Keywords
Climate Change; acclimation; Adaptation; coral reef; Marine Fish; Genomics

Australian Research Council - Discovery - Future Fellowships

Ocean acidification and marine fish: an evolutionary perspective

Indicative Funding
$989,144 over 5 years
Summary
The overarching aim of this research program is to advance knowledge on the long-term impacts of ocean acidification on marine fish and fisheries. The Fellowship will develop an interrelated set of projects that tests the capacity of marine fish to adapt to projected future rises in ocean CO2 and will investigate the effects of ocean acidification on apex predators and key fisheries species. The Fellowship will address critical knowledge gaps in ocean acidification research and provide advice about the impacts of ocean acidification on marine biodiversity and fisheries productivity on time scales relevant to strategic management and policy decision-making in Australia and internationally.
Investigators
Philip Munday (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)
Keywords
Ocean Acidification; Marine Fish; Adaptation

PADI Foundation - Research Grant

Effects of Elevated CO2 on Squid Behaviours and Physiology

Indicative Funding
$3,224
Summary
We will investigate the potential for transgenerational plasticity of behaviours, as well as life-history traits, in bigfin reef squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana) at near-future projected CO2 levels. Results will determine for the first time if cephalopods can potentially adapt to ocean acidification.
Investigators
Blake Spady, Sue-Ann Watson and Philip Munday (College of Science & Engineering and ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)
Keywords
Cephalopod; Behaviour; Transgenerational Plasticity; Ocean Acidification; Life-history
Supervision

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.

Current
  • Warming up to climate change: the evolutionary potential of transgenerational acclimation of coral reef fishes to elevated sea temperature (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Adaptive Potential of Coral Reef Fishes to Ocean Acidification (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • The Effects of Natural Variation in CO2 and rising CO2, on Coral Reef Fish. (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Non-genetic inheritance of stress tolerance in corals (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • The Effects of Projected Future CO2 on Cephalopod Behaviours and Physiology (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Effects of Rising Water Temperature and Food Availability on Predatory Reef Fish (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • The Role of Microbes in Acclimatisation of Corals to Environmental Changes (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • The Mechanisms Underpinning Maintained or Enhanced Performance of Coral Reef Fishes Under Elevated Carbon Dioxide Conditions (PhD , Primary Advisor)
Completed
Data

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.

Collaboration

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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  4. Dr Jodie Rummer
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  5. Dr Aurelie Moya
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