Role
  • Coral Reef Ecologist
  • AIMS Senior Principal Research Scientist
  • Leader of the AIMS Team 'Cumulative Stressors and Critical Thresholds'
  • Leader of the Ocean Acidification Project 'CO2 Seeps'
Background
I have worked as a coral reef ecologist since 1988. My research aims to better understand how ecological processes in coral reefs are altered by chronic and acute disturbances, especially from ocean acidification and terrestrial runoff of sediments and nutrients. Before starting at AIMS in 1995, I worked for the 'Red Sea Marine Science Program' at the Centre for Marine Tropical Ecology (ZMT) in Bremen, Eilat and Aqaba, and as Lecturer, Research Assistant and Tutor at the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, Germany.
Education
  • 1989: Diplom Biology, University of Munich, Germany
  • 1995: PhD, University of Munich
Current Research Activities
  • I presently lead a project to examine the ecological effects of ocean acidification on benthic ecosystems. We document and experiment along gradients of CO2 away from shallow volcanic CO2 seeps in Papua New Guinea. These seeps serve as a natural laboratory to study organism and ecosystem responses to long-term exposure to elevated CO2.
  • I am also involved in projects to investigate the effects of terrestrial runoff on water clarity in the GBR, and cumulative impacts of water quality and climate change on coral reef ecosystems. These projects are co-funded by the Australian Government's National Environmental Research Program (NERP).
Expert Committees and Boards
Various advisory roles for government bodies and NGOs on water quality, acidification and climate change issues. Contributions to the development of 'Water Quality Guidelines' and the 'Scientific Consensus Statement on water quality in the Great Barrier Reef', and the 'Vulnerability assessment of coral reefs to climate change'.
Publications
Over 120 publications in international journals/book chapters & 2 books. Total citations >10,000, h-index: 51 (Google Scholar).

Complete publication list: http://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=AqHxsRMAAAAJ&hl=en

Here a selection:

Fabricius KE, Kluibenschedl A, Harrington L, Noonan S, De'ath G (2015) In situ changes of tropical crustose coralline algae along carbon dioxide gradients. Scientific Reports 5: 9537

Fabricius KE, De'ath G, Noonan S, Uthicke S (2014) Ecological effects of ocean acidification and habitat complexity on reef-associated macroinvertebrate communities. Proc Royal Society B 281: 20132479

Fabricius KE, Logan M, Weeks S, Brodie J (2014) The effects of river run-off on water clarity across the central Great Barrier Reef. Marine Pollution Bulletin 84: 191-200

Fabricius KE, Cséke S, Humphrey C, De¿ath G (2013) Does trophic status enhance or reduce the thermal tolerance of scleractinian corals? A review, experiment and conceptual framework. PLoS ONE 8:54399

De'ath G, Fabricius KE, Sweatman H, Puotinen M (2012) The 27 year decline of coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef and its causes. PNAS 109: 17995-17999

Fabricius KE and 9 co-authors (2011) Losers and winners in coral reefs acclimatized to elevated carbon dioxide concentrations. Nature Climate Change 1: 165-169

De'ath G, Fabricius KE (2010) Water quality as regional driver of coral biodiversity and macroalgal cover on the Great Barrier Reef. Ecol Appl 20: 840-850

Fabricius KE, Okaji K, De'ath G (2010) Three lines of evidence to link outbreaks of the crown-of thorns seastar Acanthaster planci to the release of larval food limitation. Coral Reefs 29: 593-605

De'ath G, Lough JM, Fabricius KE (2009) Declining coral calcification on the Great Barrier Reef. Science 323: 116-119

Fabricius KE and De'ath G (2008) Photosynthetic symbionts and energy supply determine octocoral biodiversity in coral reefs. Ecology 89: 3163-3173

Fabricius KE, De'ath G, Poutinen ML, Done T, Cooper TF, Burgess SC (2008) Disturbance gradients on inshore and offshore coral reefs caused by a severe tropical cyclone. Limnol Oceanogr 53: 690-704

Fabricius KE (2005) Effects of terrestrial runoff on the ecology of corals and coral reefs: review and synthesis. Mar Poll Bull 50: 125-146

Fabricius KE, Alderslade P (2001) Soft Corals and Sea Fans: A comprehensive guide to the tropical shallow water genera of the central-west Pacific, the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. AIMS, Townsville. 264 pp.

Fabricius KE, Benayahu Y, Genin A (1995) Herbivory in asymbiotic soft corals. Science 268: 90-92

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