Dr Jodie Rummer – Super Science Research Fellow

Climate change and fish physiology

ARC Super Science Fellow, James Cook University (2011-2014)

Post-doctoral Fellow, City University of Hong Kong, 2010-2011

Ph.D., University of British Columbia, 2010

Contact Details

Dr. Jodie Rummer
Phone: 61 7 4781 5300
Email: jodie.rummer@jcu.edu.au

Twitter: @physiologyfish

Google Scholar Profile

Ecological, Evolutionary, and Conservation Physiology in Fish

  • The physiology of, and performance indicators of stress
  • Acclimation strategies and environmental adaptations related to O2, CO2 exchange, acid-base balance, and ionoregulation
  • Evolution of life history tactics, distribution patterns, and biogeography

With over 400 million years of evolution, the fishes represent one of the most successful adaptive radiation events in vertebrate history. Their capacity to adapt to global climate change during this century, however, and the impact this will have on marine ecosystems worldwide, is poorly understood. The link between an organism and its environment can be interpreted by understanding the integrated physiological responses elicited when an organism is exposed to multiple, simultaneous stressors, such as environmental stressors associated with climate change.  My research to date has focused on the interactions between O2 and CO2 transport, acid-base balance and ion regulation in fish, integrating responses spanning molecular, cellular and whole-organism levels.  This has been the foundation on which I have explored environmental adaptations (mechanistic and evolutionary) including: 1) acute, chronic, and inherent changes in O2 uptake and delivery capacity associated with stress, activity, and environmental conditions, 2) the cellular stress response and how it influences O2 transport and ion balance, 3) temperature and O2-mediated distribution patterns, and 4) the effects of diet and environmental conditions on swimming performance, all of which are important for understanding the diversity of biological systems.

My primary research focus here at the ARC CoECRS at JCU is to investigate the interacting effects of the two key environmental factors associated with climate change (temperature and CO2) on coral reef fishes of the Great Barrier Reef. Using a combination of fieldwork, laboratory breeding experiments, and physiological performance indicators, I aim to determine whether environmental acclimation and adaptation rates of coral reef fishes might keep pace with predicted changes in the ocean climate.

Graduate Students:

Current Ph.D. students

Geoffrey Collins

Hypoxia tolerance in Barramundi fish
, with Dr. Guy Carton and Dr. Timothy Clark (AIMS)

CV and Research Interests

Giverny Rodgers

Impacts of temperature on adaptability of a coral reef fish population close to its thermal limit, with Prof. Mark McCormick and Prof. Philip Munday

CV and Research Interests

Current M.Sc. students

Adam Habary (Univ. Copenhagen, DENMARK)

Temperature preferences of coral reef fishes, with Prof. John Steffensen & Dr. Jacob Johansen

CV and Research Interests

Tiffany Nay 

Microhabitat water quality fluctuations and utilization by fishes

CV and Research Interests


Katy Corkill

CV and Research Interests


Dennis Heinrich (Honours, 2013 — First Class)

Ocean acidification and elasmobranchs

Alyssa Bowden (M.Sc., 2013 — High Distinction)

Gill remodeling and climate change

Currently a Ph.D. student at University of Tasmania (with Prof. Peter Frappell & Dr. Andrea Morash)

Sybille Hess (M.Sc., 2014 — High Distinction)

Gill damage in larval clownfish exposed to environmental sedimentation

Potential graduate student projects:

The role of the fish gill during exposure to climate change relevant temperatures and CO2 levels

Blood physiology and metabolic performance in reef fishes

If you are interested in working with me, email me some details about your research background and interests.

Select Publications

Book Chapters:

Brauner, C.J. and Rummer, J.L.  2011.  Gas Transport and Exchange: Interaction Between O2 and CO2 Exchange. In: Farrell A.P., (ed.), Encyclopedia of Fish Physiology: From Genome to Environment, volume 2, pp. 916–920. San Diego: Academic Press.

Rummer, J.L. Interacting factors affecting release mortality in red snapper with an emphasis on catastrophic decompression and swim bladder form and function.  2007.  pp.123-144 in W.F. Patterson, III, J.H. Cowan, Jr., G.R. Fitzhugh, & D.L. Nieland, eds.  Red Snapper Ecology & Fisheries in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, American Fisheries Society Symp. 60, Bethesda, Maryland.

Journal Articles:

Munday, P.L., Cheal, A., Dixson, D.L., Rummer, J.L., Fabricius, K. 2014. Behavioural impairment in reef fishes caused by ocean acidification at CO2 seeps.  Nature Climate Change (published online 13 April 2014) doi:10.1038/nclimate2195

Rummer, J.L., McKenzie, D.J., Innocenti, A., Supuran, C.T., Brauner, C.J. 2013 Root effect haemoglobin may have evolved to enhance general oxygen delivery.  Science 340, 1327-1329.

McLeod, I.M., Rummer, J.L., Clark, T.D., Jones, G.P., Wenger, A.S., McCormick, M.I., Munday, P.L. Climate change and the performance of larval coral reef fishes: the interaction between temperature and food availability. Conservation Physiology (in press).

Rummer, J.L., Stecyk, J.A.W., Couturier, C.S., Watson, S-A., Nilsson, G.E., Munday, P.L. Elevated CO2 enhances aerobic scope of a coral reef fish. Conservation Physiology (in press).

Collins, G., Clark, T.D., Rummer, J.L., Carton, A.G. Hypoxia tolerance is conserved across genetically distinct sub-populations of an iconic, tropical Australian teleost (Lates calcarifer). Conservation Physiology (in press).

Couturier, C.S., Stecyk, J.A.W., Rummer, J.L., Munday, P.L., Nilsson, G.E. Species-specific effects of near-future CO2 on the respiratory performance of two tropical prey fish and their predator. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology -A (in press).

Roche, D.G., Binning, S.A., Bosiger, Y., Johansen, J.L., and Rummer, J.L. Finding the best estimates for metabolic rates in a coral reef fish.  Journal of Experimental Biology, 216, 2003-2010.

Dabruzzi, T.F., Fangue, N.A., Rummer, J.L., Bennett, W.A. Juvenile Ribbontail Stingray, Taeniura lymma (Forsskål, 1775) (Chondrichthyes, Dasyatidae), demonstrate a unique suite of physiological adaptations to survive hyperthermic nursery conditions.  Hydrobiologia 701, 37-49.

Rummer, J.L. and Brauner, C.J. 2011. Plasma-accessible carbonic anhydrase at the tissue of a teleost fish may greatly enhance oxygen delivery: in vitro evidence in rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss. Journal of Experimental Biology 214, 2319-2328.*

*Featured in the Journal of Experimental Biology’s Inside JEB: “Carbonic anhydrase short-circuit could release Root hameoglobin oxygen” by Kathryn Knight (Volume 214, pp. i-ii)

*Featured in the Journal of Experimental Biology’s Highlights of 2011.

Wang, J., Rummer, J.L., Niu, C.J., Xie, Z., Huang, C. Qian, Y., and Liu, Y. 2011. Compensatory growth in juvenile Chinese three-keeled pond turtles, Chinemys reevesii. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society 42(1): 82-89.

Rummer, J.L., Roshan-Moniri, M., Balfry, S.K., and Brauner, C.J. 2010. Use it or lose it? Sablefish, Anoplopoma fimbria, a species representing a fifth teleostean group where the bNHE associated with the red blood cell adrenergic stress response has been secondarily lost.  Journal of Experimental Biology 213, 1503-1512.

Clark, T.D., Rummer, J.L., Sepulveda, C.A., Farrell, A.P., and Brauner, C.J. 2009. Reduced and reversed temperature dependence of blood oxygenation in an ectothermic scombrid fish: implications for the evolution of regional heterothermy? Journal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systems, and Environmental Physiology 180(1):73-82.

Rummer, J. L., Fangue, N. A. Jordan, H. L. Tiffany, B. N. Blansit, K. J. Galleher, S. Kirkpatrick, A. Kizlauskus, A. Pomory, C. M. and Bennett, W. A. 2009. Physiological tolerance to hyperthermia and hypoxia and effects on species richness and distribution of rockpool fishes of Loggerhead Key, Dry Tortugas National Park.  Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 371(2):155-162.

Niu, C.J., Rummer, J.L., Brauner, C. J. and Schulte, P.M. 2008. Heat shock protein (Hsp 70) induced by mild heat shock inhibits sharp plasma osmolarity increase upon seawater transfer in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).  Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology C 138:437-444.

Lai, J.C.C., Kakuta, I. Mok, H.O.L. Rummer, J. L., Randall, D.J.  2006.  Effects of moderate and severe hypoxia on erythropoietin levels in rainbow trout kidney and spleen.  Journal of Experimental Biology 209: 2734-2738.

Caldwell, S., Rummer, J.L., Brauner, C.J.  2006. Blood sampling techniques and storage duration: Effects on the presence and magnitude of the red blood cell b-adrenergic response in rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykissComparative Biochemistry and Physiology A 144(2): 188-195.

Rummer, J. L. and Bennett, W.A.  2005.  Physiological effects of swim bladder overexpansion and catastrophic decompression on red snapper, Lutjanus campechanus. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 134(6): 1457-1470.

Fangue, N. A., Flaherty, K. E. Rummer, J. L., Cole, G. Hansen, K. S. Hinote, R. Noel, B. L. Wallman, H. and Bennett, W. A.  2001. Temperature and hypoxia tolerance of selected fishes from a hyperthermal rockpool in the Dry Tortugas, with notes on diversity and behavior. Caribbean Journal of Science 37(1-2): 81-87.


Editorial Commentaries:

Rummer, J.L. 2010. Communication skills for the biosciences: A graduate guide. The Quarterly Review of Biology 85, 488-489.

Rummer, J.L. 2010. Is it cheaper to “grow up” fast? Journal of Experimental Biology 213: iv.

Rummer, J.L. 2010.  How wooly mammoth blood cheated the cold Journal of Experimental Biology 213: v.

Rummer, J.L. 2010. Ionregulation drives gill development Journal of Experimental Biology 213:iv.

Rummer, J.L. 2010. Brrrown adipose tissue: special fat for cold critters Journal of Experimental Biology 213: vi.

Rummer, J.L. 2009. Komodo dragon’s “pearly whites” pack a 1-2-3 deadly punch Journal of Experimental Biology 212:iv.

Rummer, J.L. 2009.  The real taste of victory.  Journal of Experimental Biology 212:iv.

Rummer, J.L. 2009.  Global warming could cancel ‘journey of a thousand miles.’ Journal of Experimental Biology 212:v.

Rummer, J.L. 2009. A little stress for a fetus goes a long way. Journal of Experimental Biology 212(4):v.


On-going Projects and Collaborations: 

The influence of temperature on the metabolic physiology of equatorial populations of coral reef fishes (Papua New Guinea)

Physiological performance and cognitive impairment in coral reef fishes living in shallow water volcanic CO2 seeps

Effects of climate change on reproduction, larval development, and population growth of coral trout (Plectropomus leopardus)

The synergistic effects of temperature and elevated CO2 on mitochondrial physiology and metabolism in coral reef fish species

The influence of climate change relevant temperatures on metabolic responses between predator and prey fish species within coral reef ecosystems

Ocean acidification, predator-prey dynamics, and metabolic responses in a tropical reef ecosystem

Physiological performance of coral reef fish and climate change-relevant CO2 levels

Stress and the secondary vascular system in fishes

Enhanced oxygen delivery mechanisms in fishes

Fine-tuning of buoyancy control in the rockfishes (Sebastes spp.)

Metabolic responses at the level of O2 transport in coral reef fishes reared over multiple generations at different temperatures

Cardiac physiology of reef fishes


Prof. Philip Munday (James Cook University, ARC CoECRS)

Dr. Christine Couturier (University of Oslo, Norway),

Dr. Jonathan Stecyk (University of Oslo, Norway and University of Alaska at Anchorage)

Dr. Danielle Dixson (Georgia Institute of Technology)

Dr. Jonathan Wilson (Ecofisiologia, CIMAR Porto)

Prof. Gillian Renshaw (Griffiths University)

Prof. Martin Tresguerres (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego)

Dr. Katharina Fabricius (Australian Institute of Marine Sciences)

Dr. Alistair Cheal (Australian Institute of Marine Sciences)

Dr. Matthew Mitchell (James Cook University)

Dr. Naomi Gardiner (James Cook University)

Prof. Göran Nilsson (University of Oslo, Norway)

Prof. Morgan Pratchett (James Cook University, ARC CoECRS)

Dr. Vanessa Messmer (James Cook University, ARC CoECRS)

Dr. Timothy Clark (Australia Institute of Marine Science, AIMS)

Dr. Jacob Johansen (James Cook University)

Dr. Shaun Killen (University of Glasgow)

Dr. Andrea Morash (Cambridge University, CSIRO, and University of Tasmania)

Ms. Fatima Iftikar (University of Auckland)

Prof. Anthony Hickey (University of Auckland)

Dr. Dan Baker (University of Auckland)

Ms. Gabrielle Miller (James Cook University)

Ms. Yoland Bosiger (James Cook University)

Prof. Mark McCormick (James Cook University, ARC CoECRS)

Dr. Sue-Ann Watson (James Cook University, ARC CoECRS)

Prof. Shuhong Wang (University of Jimei, China)

Prof. John Steffensen (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)

Prof. David Randall (City University Hong Kong, University of British Columbia)

Prof. Colin Brauner (University of British Columbia),

Prof. David McKenzie (Université Montpellier II),

Prof. Claudiu Supuran (Università degli Studi di Firenze)

Dr. Alessio Innocenti (Università degli Studi di Firenze)

Prof. Michael Berenbrink (University of Liverpool, UK)

Dr. John Hyde (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USA)

Ms. Sandra Binning (The Australian National University)

Mr. Dominique Roche (The Australian National University)

Prof. Maud Ferarri (University of Saskatchewan)

Comments are closed.