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 36+ research outputs authored by Dr Vanessa Messmer from 2005 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Australian Museum - Crown-of-Thorns Starfish research grants

Early detection of Crown-of-Thorns starfish recruitment using settlement traps and genetic analyses

Indicative Funding
$22,727 over 1 year
Major knowledge gaps remain around the settlement and early post-settlement stages of Crown-of-Thorns starfish (CoTS). Early detection of large settlement pulses provides our best chance to potentially stop future CoTS outbreaks. Our recent work has shown that CoTS larvae settled to our custom-built settlement traps. In order to detect settlement, genetic analyses were developed to analyse the samples. The aim is to additionally use new innovative analyses that will allow us to compare settlement rates at different time points, reefs, sites and depths. More traps will also be deployed during the next spawning season to improve our understanding of settlement preferences and test the traps as an early warning system on reefs not subject to outbreaks yet.
Vanessa Messmer and Morgan Pratchett in collaboration with Jason Doyle and Sven Uthicke (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and Australian Institute of Marine Science)
Crown-of-Thorns Starfish; Genetic Analysis; Early detection; digital droplet PCR; settlement traps; CoTS ourbreaks

Fisheries Research & Development Corporation - Annual Competitive Round

Establishing baselines and assessing vulnerability of commercially harvested corals across northern Australia

Indicative Funding
$384,300 over 5 years (administered by JCU)
This project is critically important to provide necessary data on the distribution, abundance and biology of commonly harvested corals across northern Australia, both to ensure that current harvest levels and practices are sustainable and address legislative requirements for harvesting and exporting species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
Morgan Pratchett and Vanessa Messmer in collaboration with Stephen Newman (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and WA Department of Fisheries)
Corals; aquarium fishery; Stock Assessment; Population Structure; Vulnerability

Australian Museum - Crown-of-Thorns Starfish research grants

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

Indicative Funding
$35,717 over 1 year
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

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 and temporal variation in the demography of early-stage juvenile Pacific crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster cf. solaris) from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (2020, PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Predation on the early life stages of the crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster cf. solaris) (2017, PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Modelling tools for the management of crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster cf. solaris) outbreaks on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (2019, PhD , Secondary Advisor)

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)

Connect with me
Share my profile
Share my profile:

Advisory Accreditation
Primary Advisor (P)
Find me on…
Icon for Scopus Author page Icon for ResearcherID page Icon for ORCID profile Icon for Google Scholar profile Icon for ResearchGate profile

Similar to me

  1. Dr Carla Ewels
    College of Science & Engineering
  2. Dr Stephen Lewis
  3. Prof Morgan Pratchett
    ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
  4. Dr Ciemon Caballes
    ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies