Role
Principal Research Scientist with current research focus on developing novel push-pull pest control technologies to manage and mitigate impacts by the Crown-of-thorns Starfish through an understanding of genomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics
Background
Research scientist (ecophysiology/endocrinology at the Max-Planck-Institute in Germany (1979-1986). Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, UK (1987-1992)with research on seasonal and diurnal (circadian) physiological processes including molting, migration, fat cycles and reproduction in birds. Recruited to AIMS (Australia)1992 for research into seasonal and reproductive processes for crustacean aquaculture species. Developed hatchery technologies specifically for Palinurid lobsters with primary research focus on system design, microbial management technologies and development of formulated larval feeds (2004-2012). 2010-2012 identified technology requirements for the development of a state-of-the-art research marine aquarium complex (SeaSim). Since 2012 initiated Genome Sequencing Consortium on Crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) including whole genome, transcriptomics and metabolomics. Developing innovative control technologies against COTS by identifying vulnerabilities.
Education
  • 1979: PhD in Marine Science, University of Wales, UK.
  • 1975: BSc (Hons), in Marine Biology, University of Wales, UK
  • 1972: BSc, Biology, Florida Institute of Technology, FL, USA
Current Research Activities
The crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) is a major predator of live coral and accounts for over 40% of GBR coral cover loss over the last three decades. Control measures against COTS has changed little in 50 years with manual lethal injection being the primary method. Organised a COTS Genome Consortium of national and international experts to fill critical knowledge gaps of the life history of COTS through the application of whole organisms genomics, transcriptomics and metabomics. The objective is to identify appropriate technologies which can take advantage of COTS vulnerabilities to preferentially develop a species specific control.
Expert Committees and Boards
National Research and Providers Network
Publications
Over 100 science and technical papers in international journals. The following are a selection of recent publications.

Hall MR, Kocot KM, Baughman KW, Fernandez-Valverde SL, Gauthier MEA, Hatleberg WL, Krishnan A, McDougall C, Motti CA, Shoguchi E, Wang T, Zhao M, Bose U, Shinzato C, Hisata K, Fujie M, Kanda M, Cummins SF, Satoh N, Degnan SM and Degnan BM (2017) The Crown-of-thorns starfish genome as a tool for biocontrol of a coral reef pest. Nature 544:231-234

Motti CA, Bose U, Roberts RE, McDougall C, Smith MK, Hall MR Cummins SF (2018) Chemical Ecology of Chemsensation in Asteroidea: Insights Towards Management Strategies of Pest Species. J Chem Ecol DOI 10.1007/s10886-018-0926-4

Roberts RE, Motti CA, Baughman KW, Satoh N, Hall MR, Cummins SF (2017) Identification of putative olfactory G-protein coupled receptors in Crown-of-Thorns starfish, Acanthaster planci. BMC Genomics 18:400–415

Petie R, Garm A and Hall MR (2016) Crown-of-thorns starfish have true image forming vision. Frontiers of Zoology 13:41

Bose U, Suwansa-ard S, Maikaeo L, Motti CA, Hall MR, Cummins SF (2017) Neuropeptides encoded within a neural transcriptome of the giant triton snail Charonia tritonis, a Crown-of-Thorns Starfish predator. Peptides 98:3–14

Baughman KW, McDougall C, Cummins SF, Hall MR, Degnan BM, Satoh N and Shoguchi E (2014) Genomic organization of Hox and ParaHox clusters in the Echinoderm, Acanthaster planci. Genesis 52:952-958.

Hall MR, Kenway M, Salmon M, Francis D, Goulden E, Høj L (2013) Palinurid lobster larval rearing for closed-life cycle hatchery production. Pp. 289-328. In: Allan G, Burnell G (Eds) Advances in aquaculture hatchery technology. Woodhead Publishing Ltd, Oxford, UK

Francis D, Salmon M, Kenway M, Hall MR (2013) Palinurid lobster nutrition: Nutritional considerations for successful larval rearing. Aquaculture Nutrition 5:1-24

Goulden E, Høj L, Hall MR (2013) Microbial management for bacterial pathogen control in invertebrate aquaculture hatcheries. Pp 246-285. In: Allan G, Burnell G (Eds) Advances in aquaculture hatchery technology. Woodhead Publishing Ltd, Oxford, UK

Smith G, Salmon ML, Kenway MJ, Hall MR (2009) Description of the larval morphology of captive reared Panulirus ornatus spiny lobsters, benchmarked against wild-caught specimens. Aquaculture 295:76-88

Wade NM, Tollenaere A, Hall MR, Degnan BM (2009) Evolution of a Novel Carotenoid-Binding Protein Responsible for Crustacean Shell Color. Molecular Biology and Evolution 26:1851-1864

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