1995: PhD, University of Groningen, Netherlands. Thesis "Tracking Trails by Cracking Codes: Molecular Biogeography and Evolution of Benthic Cold-Water Seaweeds".
The diversity and roles of viruses that are associated with reef corals and their eukaryotic (e.g., Symbiodinium) and prokaryotic (Bacteria and Archaea) symbionts.
Understanding of molecular processes involved in the establishment and maintenance of the coral-Symbiodinium symbiosis.
- Member and adjunct Professorial Research Fellow of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrated Coral Reef Studies at JCU (2006-2021)
- Great Barrier Reef Foundation working group Solutions and Adaptations (2009-2011)
- Member of the ReFuGe2020 consortium (2012-present)
- Senior editor for the journal Molecular Ecology (2010-present)
- Chair of Research & Industry committee School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne (2016 onwards)
Wood-Charlson EM, Weynberg KD, Suttle C, Roux S, van Oppen MJH (2015) Metagenomic characterisation of viral communities in corals: Mining biological signal from methodological noise. Environmental Microbiology 17(10):3440-3449
van Oppen MJH, Oliver JK, Putnam HM, Gates RD (2015) Building coral reef resilience through assisted evolution. PNAS 112:2307-2313
Abrego D, van Oppen MJH, Willis BL (2009) Onset of algal endosymbiont specificity varies among closely related species of Acropora corals during early ontogeny. Molecular Ecology 18:3532-3543
Howells EJ, Beltran VH, Larsen NW, Bay LK, Willis BL, van Oppen MJH. Coral thermal tolerance shaped by local adaptation of photosymbionts. Nature Climate Change 2:116-120
Mieog JC, Olsen JL, Berkelmans RWC, Bleuler-Martinez SA, Willis BL, van Oppen MJH (2009) The roles and interactions of symbiont, host and environment in defining coral fitness. PLoS ONE 4(7):e6364
Puill-Stephan E, Willis BL, van Herwerden L, van Oppen MJH (2009) Chimerism in Wild Adult Populations of the Broadcast Spawning Coral Acropora millepora on the Great Barrier Reef. PLoS ONE 4:e7751
van Oppen MJH, Leong J, Gates RD (2009) Coral-virus interactions: A double-edged sword? Symbiosis 47:1-8
Berkelmans R, van Oppen MJH (2006) The role of zooxanthellae in the thermal tolerance of corals: a 'nugget of hope' for coral reefs in an era of climate change. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, Biological Sciences 273:2305-2312
van Oppen MJH, Lutz AH, De'ath AG, Peplow L, Kininmonth SJ (2008) Genetic Traces of Recent Long-Distance Dispersal in a Predominantly Self-Recruiting Coral. PLoS ONE 3(10):e3401
Little AF, van Oppen MJH, Willis BL (2004) Flexibility in algal endosymbiosis shapes growth of reef corals. Science 304: 1492-1494
Underwood JN, Smith LD, van Oppen MJH, Gilmour JP (2007) Multiple scales of genetic connectivity in a brooding coral on isolated reefs following catastrophic bleaching. Molecular Ecology 16:771-784.
van Oppen MJH, Gates RD (2006) Conservation genetics and the resilience of reef-building corals. Molecular Ecology 15:3863-3883