Christopher A. Brunner
Australian Institute of Marine Science
Understanding of the links between coral reef ecosystems, the goods and services they provide to people, and the wellbeing of human societies.
Examining the multi-scale dynamics of reefs, from population dynamics to macroevolution
Advancing the fundamental understanding of the key processes underpinning reef resilience.
From 2005 to 2022, the main node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies was headquartered at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland (Australia)
Australian Institute of Marine Science
Christopher completed his double MSc degree in Marine Biology in 2015, after studying one year at the University of Bremen (Germany) and another year at the Ocean University of China (Qingdao, China). He is especially interested in adaptation processes of different benthic communities. Therefore, he investigated within the framework of his Master thesis the physiological adaptation of mesophotic Leptoseris spp. and Pachyseris speciosa colonies across an 80m depth gradient at the Coral Reef Ecosystem Laboratory of the University of Queensland. Besides this, he has worked above and below the water surface in arctic, antarctic, temperate and tropical regions. There, he studied the adaptability of cold-water and tropical corals, as well as other benthic organisms, towards impacts of climate change. As extremely hydrophilic person and passionate underwater photographer, he not only enjoys working underwater, but also likes to spends his free time underneath the water surface.
In one of his most recent projects, he examined how coral larvae of multiple broadcast spawning and brooding coral species are attracted by waterborne crustaceous coralline algae (CCA) cues. As new AIMS@JCU PhD student, Christopher wants to add-on to his previous work by identifying how coral larvae perform under future climate scenarios in the presence of sedimentation. Under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Negri (AIMS), Dr. Sven Uthicke (AIMS) and Dr. Mia Hoogenboom (JCU), he will furthermore examine cumulative effects of near future climate scenarios (increasing temperature and ocean acidification) and water quality stressors (sedimentation, light reduction, nitrification and pesticides) on important calcifying reef taxa (e.g. corals, coralline algae and foraminifera). Finally, he will calculate concentration-response curves and climate-adjusted thresholds of these stressors. These data will be combined with datasets of AIMS and NOAA, so that spatial risk and exposure maps can be create, which will demonstrate how future climate scenarios and pollution affect calcifying organisms. The outcome could then provide decision makers with vital information in order to sustainably manage the tropical reef ecosystems.
New DNA techniques are being used to understand how coral reacted to the end of the last ice age in order to better predict how they will cope with current changes to the climate. James Cook Univer
A new study on the effects of climate change in five tropical countries has found fisheries are in more trouble than agriculture, and poor people are in the most danger. Distinguished Profess
James Cook University researchers have found brightly coloured fish are becoming increasingly rare as coral declines, with the phenomenon likely to get worse in the future. Christopher Hemingson, a
Researchers working with stakeholders in the Great Barrier Reef region have come up with ideas on how groups responsible for looking after the reef can operate more effectively when the next bleaching
Abstract: As marine species adapt to climate change, their heat tolerance will likely be under strong selection. Individual variation in heat tolerance and its heritability underpin the potential fo
Abstract: The Reef Ecology Lab in KAUST’s Red Sea Research Center explores many aspects of movement ecology of marine organisms, ranging from adult migrations to intergenerational larval dispersal
Abstract: Macroalgal meadows are a prominent, yet often maligned component of the tropical seascape. Our work at Ningaloo reef in WA demonstrate that canopy forming macroalgae provide habitat for ad
Abstract: Sharks are generally perceived as strong and fearsome animals. With fossils dating back at least 420 million years, sharks are not only majestic top predators but they also outlived dinosa
Abstract: Connectivity plays a vital role in many ecosystems through its effects on fundamental ecological and evolutionary processes. Its consequences for populations and metapopulations have been
Abstract: Evolution of many eukaryotic organisms is affected by interactions with microbes. Microbial symbioses can ultimately reflect host’s diet, habitat range, and even body shape. However, how
Abstract: The past few years have seen unprecedented coral bleaching and mortality on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) but the consequences of this on biodiversity are not yet known. This talk will expl