Research Associate, Climate Change & Ocean Acidification Team..
I graduated in 2008 from James Cook University with a PhD focused on identifying coral bioindicators suitable for detecting changes in environmental conditions on coastal coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Physiological responses such as photobiology, coral growth, coral pigmentation, and population level measures including bioeroders in massive corals, were investigated along environmental gradients of changing water column nutrients and irradiance in order to select coral bioindicators for monitoring programs on the GBR.
  • 2008: PhD, James Cook University
  • 1993: BSc (Hons), James Cook University
Current Research Activities
My current research interests include understanding the consequences of climate change on coral reefs. The primary research focus is on investigating the trajectories of historical coral growth rates derived from paleo-records in skeletal material obtained from long-lived, massive corals on coral reefs in Western Australia. I am also interested in genetic and physiological process description of corals under threat from global climate change impacts and the development of eco-physiological spatial models of mesophotic coral communities as environmental management tools.
Over 20 science and technical papers in international journals. The following are a selection of recent publications.

Cooper TF, O'Leary R, Lough JM (2012) Growth of Western Australian corals in the Anthropocene. Science 335:593-596

Cooper TF, Berkelmans R, Ulstrup KE, Weeks Sj, Radford B, Jones AM, Doyle JR, Canto M, O'Leary R, van Oppen MJH (2011) Environmental Factors Controlling the Distribution of Symbiodinium Harboured by the Coral Acropora millepora on the Great Barrier Reef. PLoS ONE 6: e25536

van Oppen MJH, Bongaerts P, Underwood JN, Peplow LM, Cooper TF (2011) The role of deep reefs in shallow reef recovery: an assessment of vertical connectivity in a brooding coral from west and east Australia. Molecular Ecology 20: 1647-1660

Lough JM and Cooper TF (2011) New insights from coral growth band studies in an era of rapid environmental change. Earth-Science Reviews 108:170-184

Cooper TF, Ulstrup KE, Dandan SS, Heyward AJ, Kuhl M, Muirhead AN, Ziersen B, van Oppen MJH (2011) Niche specialization of reef-building corals in the mesophotic zone: metabolic trade-offs between divergent Symbiodinium types. Proc. Royal Society of London B Biological Sciences 278: 1840-1850

Cooper TF, Gilmour JP, Fabricius KE (2009) Bioindicators of changes in water quality on coral reefs: review and recommendations for monitoring programmes. Coral Reefs 28: 589-606

Cooper TF, Ulstrup KE (2009) Mesoscale variation in the photophysiology of the reef building coral Pocillopora damicornis along an environmental gradient. ECSS 83: 186-196

Cooper TF, De'ath AG, Fabricius KE, Lough JM (2008) Declining coral calcification in massive Porites in two nearshore regions of the northern Great Barrier Reef. Global Change Biology 14: 529-538

Cooper TF, Ridd P, Ulstrup KE, Humphrey CA, Slivkoff MM,Fabricius KE (2008) Temporal dynamics in coral bioindicators for water quality on coastal coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef. Marine and Freshwater Research 59: 703-716

Humphrey CA, Weber M, Lott C, Cooper TF, Fabricius KE (2008) Effects of suspended sediments, dissolved inorganic nutrients and salinity on fertilisation and embryo development in the coral Acropora millepora (Ehrenberg, 1834). Coral Reefs 27: 837-850

Wolanski EJ, Fabricius KE, Cooper TF, Humphrey CA (2008) Wet season fine sediment dynamics on the inner shelf of the Great Barrier Reef. ECSS 77: 755-762

Cooper TF, Uthicke S, Humphrey CA, Fabricius KE (2007) Gradients in water column nutrients, sediments, irradiance and coral reef development in the Whitsunday region, central GBR. ECSS 74: 458-470

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