Professor Alistair Poore
Field of Research: 
Ecology and evolution of marine organisms
Contact details:
+61 2 9385 2154
Room 4111, Level 4
Biological Sciences South (E26)

UNSW, Kensington 2052


Research & Current Projects

My research is focussed on the ecology and evolution of marine invertebrates, macroalgae and seagrasses, the effects of disturbance on coastal ecosystems, and the adaptation of marine organisms to environmental stresses.

Please see my laboratory web page at


Research Students

Current postgraduate students

Keryn Bain (PhD). Diet mixing in marine herbivores

Ruby Garthwin (PhD). Large scale patterns in herbivore impacts on seagrasses (co-supervised by Dr Adriana Verges).

Brendan Lanham (PhD). Effects of habitat structure on fish communities.

Janine Ledet (PhD). Adaptation of marine invertebrates to a changing ocean.

Talia Stelling-Wood (PhD). Identifying habit traits to predict marine biodiversity (co-supervised by Assoc. Prof. Paul Gribben).

Hannah Sheppard Brennand (PhD, SCU). Urchin-predator interactions (co-supervised by Assoc. Prof. Symon Dworjanyn)

Past postgraduate students

Jennifer Clark (PhD, UTS). Thermal tolerance of an intertidal macroalga (co-supervised by Assoc. Prof. Martina Doblin)

Dr Suzy Evans (PhD) – Using genetic diversity to predict the resilience and rehabilitation success of threatened seagrass meadows. (co-supervised by Dr Adriana Vergés). Now at the University of New South Wales.

Dr Ceiwen Pease (PhD) – The tolerance of marine herbivores to contamination in their diets (co-supervised by Prof. Emma Johnston). Now at the Department of the Environment, Northern Territory.

Dr Emma Birdsey (PhD) – Animal associations and the impact of introduced species on marine ecosystems (co-supervised by Prof. Emma Johnston). Now at the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research

Dr Kyra Hay (PhD, University of Queensland) – Macroalgal-herbivore interactions: the roles of algal tolerance, patterns of herbivory and nutrient availability. (cosupervised by Prof. Catherine Lovelock). Now at the University of Queensland.

Dr Keyne Monro (PhD) – Evolutionary consequences of growth-form plasticity in a red seaweed. Now at Monash University.

Dr Dave Roberts (PhD) – Responses of epifauna to pulsed and chronic contamination of temperate algal beds (co-supervised by Prof. Emma Johnston). Now at James Cook University.

Talia Stelling-Wood (MPhil). Ecology of urban beaches in Sydney Harbour.

Sarah Graham (MSc) – Thermal tolerance in marine invertebrates (co-supervised by Dr Symon Dworjanyn).

Mailie Gall (MPhil) – Predator-prey interactions along a pollution gradient (co-supervised by Prof. Emma Johnston). Now at the University of Western Sydney.

Chris Hellyer (MPhil) – Managing swimming enclosure nets for the benefit of seahorse populations in Sydney Harbour. Now at the University of Sydney.

Past Honours students: Sam Ropert, Phoebe Quessy , Brendan, Lanham, Gary Truong, Ruby Garthwin, Keryn Bain, Karina Huinao, Jennifer Clark, Suzanna Evans, Sarah Graham, Matthew Teston, Ceiwen Pease, Paul Chachelle, Steven Portelli, Kim Gallagher, Jessica Spies, Erin Moon, Lisa Perrett, Bronwyn Cumbo, Rosie Downey, David Roberts, Lisa Carson, James Smith, Alex Campbell, Nicole Hill, Keyne Monro.



BIOS2031 Biology of Invertebrates (Course Convenor)

BEES2041 Data Analysis for Life and Earth Sciences (Course convenor)

BIOS3091 Marine and Aquatic Ecology (Lecturer)



67. Sheppard Brennand H, AGB Poore and SA Dworjanyn. In press. A water-borne pursuit-deterrent signal deployed by a sea urchin. The American Naturalist

66. Sotka, EE, V Jormalainen and AGB Poore (in press) The evolution of marine herbivores in response to algal secondary metabolites. In Puglisi, Becerro and Paul (eds.) Marine chemical ecology: the ecological impacts of marine natural products. CRC Press.

65.  Sheppard Brennand H, SA Dworjanyn and AGB Poore. In press. Global patterns in the effects of predator declines on sea urchins. Ecography.

64.  Foo, SA, SA Dworjanyn, AGB Poore, J Harianto & M Byrne. 2016. Adaptive capacity of the sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma to ocean change stressors: responses from gamete performance to the juvenile. Marine Ecology Progress Series 556: 161–172.

63.  Sotka, EE, T Bell, LE Hughes, JK Lowry and AGB Poore. In press. A molecular phylogeny of marine amphipods in the herbivorous family Ampithoidae. Zoologica Scripta

62.  Hughes, LE and AGB Poore. 2016. Biancolina japonica Ishimaru 1996: first record of this burrowing amphipod from Australia and a review of host use in the genus Biancolina (Amphipoda: Peracarida: Crustacea). Marine Biodiversity Records 9:32.

61.  Poore, AGB, S Graham, M Byrne and SA Dworjanyn. 2016. Effects of ocean warming and lowered pH on algal growth and palatability to a grazing gastropod. Marine Biology163: 99.

60.  Stelling-Wood, TP, GF Clark and AGB Poore. 2016. Responses of ghost crabs to human modification of urban sandy beaches. Marine Environmental Research 116: 32-40.

59.  Bain, KF and AGB Poore. 2016. Use of near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) to quantify diet mixing in a marine generalist herbivore. Marine Biology 163: 79.

58.  Evans, SM, E Sinclair, AGB Poore, KF Bain, A Vergés. 2016. Genotypic richness predicts phenotypic variation in an endangered clonal plant. PeerJ 4:e1633.

57.  Eldridge, DJ, AGB Poore, M Ruiz-Colmenero, M Letnic and S Soliveres. 2016. Ecosystem structure, function and composition in rangelands are negatively affected by livestock, irrespective of grazing pressure or rainfall. Ecological Applications 26(4): 1273–1283.

56.  Cooke, J, R Lanfear, A Downing, MR Gillings, AGB Poore, ID Goodwin, LS Waldron, A Phillips ,Y Metti and MW Bulbert. 2015. The unusual occurrence of green algal balls of Chaetomorpha linum on a beach in Sydney, Australia. Botanica Marina 58: 401-417.

55.  Lanham,BS, PE Gribben and AGB Poore. 2015. Beyond the border: effects of an expanding algal habitat on the fauna of neighbouring habitats. Marine Environmental Research 106: 10-18.

54.  Mejaes, BA, AGB Poore and M Thiel. 2015. Crustaceans inhabiting domiciles excavated from macrophytes and stone. Pp. 118-144 In Thiel, M and L Watling (eds) The life styles and feeding biology of the Crustacea. Volume II in the natural history of the Crustacea series. Oxford University Press.

53.  Foo, SA, SA Dworjanyn, MS Khatkar, AGB Poore and M Byrne. 2014. Increased temperature, but not acidification, enhances fertilization and development in a tropical urchin:  potential for adaptation to a tropicalized eastern Australia. Evolutionary Applications 7: 1226–1237.

52.  Vergés A, PD Steinberg, ME Hay, AGB Poore, AH Campbell, E Ballesteros, KL Heck Jr, D Booth, MA Coleman, D Feary, W Figueira, T Langlois, EM Marzinelli, T Mizerek, PJ Mumby, Y Nakamura, M Roughan, E van Sebille, A Sen Gupta, DA Smale, F Tomas, T Wernberg, SK Wilson. 2014. The tropicalisation of temperate marine ecosystems: climate-mediated changes in herbivory cause community phase shifts. Proceedings of the Royal Society, B. 281(1789): 20140846.

51.  Evans, SM, EA Sinclair, AGB Poore, PD Steinberg, G Kendrick and A Vergés. 2014. Genetic diversity in threatened Posidonia australis seagrass meadows. Conservation Genetics 15: 717-728.

50.  Poore, AGB, L Gutow, J Pantoja, F Tala, D Jofré Madariaga and M Thiel. 2014. Major consequences of minor damage: impacts of small grazers on fast growing kelps. Oecologia 174: 789-801.

49.  Garthwin, RG, AGB Poore and A Vergés. 2014. Seagrass tolerance to herbivory under increased ocean temperatures. Marine Pollution Bulletin 83: 475-482.

48.  Bain, K, A Vergés and AGB Poore. 2013. Using near infra red reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) to quantify tissue composition in the seagrass Posidonia australis. Aquatic Botany 111: 66-70.

47.  Poore, AGB, A Graba-Landry, M Favret, M Byrne, H Sheppard Brennand and SA Dworjanyn. 2013. Direct and indirect effects of ocean acidification and warming on a plant-herbivore interaction. Oecologia 73: 1113-1124.

46.  Clark, JS, AGB Poore, PJ Ralph and MA Doblin. 2013. Potential for adaptation in response to thermal stress in an intertidal macroalga. Journal of Phycology 49: 630–639.

45.  Moles, AT, B Peco, IR Wallis, WJ Foley, AGB Poore, AJ Bisigato, L Cella-Pizarro, CJ Clark, PS Cohen, WK Cornwell, W Edwards, R Ejrnaes T Gonzales-Ojeda, BJ Graae, G Hay, F Lumbwe, B Magaña-Rodríguez, BD Moore, PL Peri, JR Poulsen, JC Stegen, R Veldtman, H von Zeipel, NR Andrew, SL Boulter, ET Borer, F Fernández Campón, M Coll, AG Farji-Brener, J De Gabriel, E Jurado, LA Kyhn, B Low, CPH Mulder, K Reardon-Smith, J Rodríguez-Velázquez, EW Seabloom, PA Vesk, A van Cauter, MS Waldram, Z Zheng, PG Blendinger, BJ Enquist, JM Facelli, T Knight, JD Majer, M Martinez-Ramos, P McQuillan, LD Prior, FKC Hui. 2013. Correlations between physical and chemical defences in plants: Trade-offs, syndromes, or just many different ways to skin a herbivorous cat? New Phytologist 198: 252-263.

44.  Poore, AGB and KM Gallagher. 2013. Strong consequences of diet choice in a talitrid amphipod consuming seagrass and algal wrack. Hydrobiologia 701: 117-127.

43.  Foo, SA, SA Dworjanyn, AGB Poore and M Byrne. 2012. Adaptive capacity of the habitat modifying sea urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii to ocean warming and ocean acidification: performance of early embryos. PLoS ONE 7: e42497.

42.  Poore, AGB, AH Campbell, RA Coleman, GJ Edgar, V Jormalainen, PL Reynolds, EE Sotka, JJ Stachowicz, RB Taylor, MA Vanderklift and JE Duffy. 2012. Global patterns in the impact of marine herbivores on benthic primary producers. Ecology Letters 15: 912-922.

41.  Gall, ML, AGB Poore & EL Johnston. 2012. A biomonitor as a measure of an ecologically-significant fraction of metals in an industrialized harbour. Journal of Environmental Monitoring 14: 830–838.

40.  Birdsey, EM, EL Johnston and AGB Poore. 2012. Diversity and cover of a sessile animal assemblage does not predict its associated mobile fauna. Marine Biology 159: 551–560.

39.  Cook, K, MA Vanderklift, AGB Poore, 2011. Strong effects of herbivorous amphipods on epiphyte biomass in a temperate seagrass meadow. Marine Ecology Progress Series 442: 263–269.

38.  Hay, KB, Poore, AGB and CE Lovelock. 2011. Effects of nutrient availability on tolerance to herbivory in a brown seaweed. Journal of Ecology 99: 1540–1550.

37.  Hellyer, CB, D Harasti and AGB Poore. 2011. Manipulating artificial habitats to benefit seahorses in Sydney Harbour. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 21: 582–589.

36.  Moles, AT, SP Bonser, AGB Poore, IR Wallis and WJ Foley. 2011. Assessing the evidence for latitudinal gradients in plant defence and herbivory. Functional Ecology 25: 380–388.

35.  Hay, KB, KA Millers, AGB Poore and CE Lovelock. 2010. The use of near infrared reflectance spectrometry for characterisation of brown algal tissue traits. Journal of Phycology 46: 937-946.

34.  Pease, CJ, EL Johnston, and AGB Poore. 2010. Genetic variability in tolerance to copper contamination in a herbivorous marine invertebrate. Aquatic Toxicology 99: 10–16.

33.  Simpson, SJ, D Raubenheimer, MA Charleston, FJ Clissold and the ARC-NZ Vegetation Function Network Herbivory Working Group*. 2010. Modelling nutritional interactions: from individuals to communities, Trends in Ecology and Evolution 25: 53-60. * includes: ID Couzin, KD Clements, RA Coleman, A Dussutour, WJ Foley, JS Forbey, E Glaze, IJ Gordon, J Hanan, D Hochuli, MR Kearney, C McArthur, AJ Pile, AGB Poore, GA Sword and IR Wallis.

32.  Monro, K and AGB Poore. 2009. The evolvability of growth form in a clonal seaweed. Evolution 63: 3147–3157.

31.  Sotka, EE, JS Forbey, M Horn, AGB Poore, D Raubenheimer and K Whalen. 2009. The emerging role of pharmacology in understanding the ecology and evolution of marine and freshwater consumers. Integrative and Comparative Biology 49: 291-313.

30.  Monro, K and AGB Poore. 2009. Performance benefits of growth-form plasticity in a clonal red seaweed. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 97: 80–89.

29.  Monro, K and AGB Poore. 2009. The potential for evolutionary responses to cell-lineage selection on growth form and its plasticity in a red seaweed. The American Naturalist 173: 151-163.

28.  Poore, AGB, AH Campbell and PD Steinberg. 2009. Natural densities of mesograzers fail to limit growth of macroalgae or their epiphytes in a temperate algal bed. Journal of Ecology 97: 164–175.

27.  Roberts, DA, EL Johnston, and AGB Poore. 2008. Biomonitors and the assessment of ecological impacts: Distribution of herbivorous epifauna in contaminated algal beds. Environmental Pollution 156: 489-503.

26.  Roberts, DA, EL Johnston, and AGB Poore. 2008. Contamination of marine biogenic habitats and effects upon associated epifauna. Marine Pollution Bulletin 56: 1057-1065.

25.  Roberts, DA, EL Johnston, S Müller and AGB Poore. 2008. Field and laboratory simulations of storm water pulses: behavioural avoidance by marine epifauna. Environmental Pollution 152: 153-162.

24.  Poore, AGB, NA Hill and EE Sotka, 2008. Phylogenetic and geographic variation in host breadth and composition by herbivorous amphipods in the family Ampithoidae. Evolution 62:21-38.

23.  Monro, K, AGB Poore and R Brooks. 2007. Multivariate selection shapes environment-dependent variation in the clonal morphology of a red seaweed.Evolutionary Ecology 21: 765-782.

22.  Roberts, DA, AGB Poore and EL Johnston 2007. MBACI sampling of an episodic disturbance: stormwater effects on algal epifauna. Marine Environment Research 64: 514-523.

21.  Perrett, LA, EL Johnston and AGB Poore. 2006. Impact by association: direct and indirect effects of copper exposure on mobile invertebrate fauna.Marine Ecology Progress Series 326: 195-205.

20.  Poore AGB and NA Hill. 2006. Sources of variation in herbivore preference: among individual and past diet effects on amphipod host choice. Marine Biology 149: 1403-1410.

19.  Roberts, DA, AGB Poore and EL Johnston. 2006. Ecological consequences of copper contamination in macroalgae: effects on epifauna and associated herbivores. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 25: 2470-2479.

18.  Roberts, DA and AGB Poore. 2006. Habitat configuration affects colonisation of epifauna in a marine algal bed. Biological Conservation 127: 18-26.

17.  Poore, AGB and NA Hill. 2005. Spatial associations among palatable and unpalatable macroalgae: a test of associational resistance with a herbivorous amphipod.Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 326: 207-216.

16.  Wright, JT, SA Dworjanyn, CN Rogers, PD Steinberg, JE Williamson and AGB Poore. 2005. Density-dependent effects of sea urchin grazing: selective removal of species and alternative community states.Marine Ecology Progress Series 298: 143-156.

15.  Poore, AGB. 2005. Scales of dispersal in a herbivorous marine amphipod. Austral Ecology 30: 219-228.

14.  Monro, K. and AGB Poore. 2005. Light quantity and quality induce shade-avoiding plasticity in a marine macroalga. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 18: 426-435.

13.  Wright, JT, R. de Nys, AGB Poore, and PD. Steinberg. 2004. Chemical defense in a marine alga: heritability and the potential for selection by herbivores. Ecology 85: 2946-2959.

12.  Pineda-Krch, M and AGB Poore. 2004. Spatial interactions within modular organisms: genetic heterogeneity and organism fitness.Theoretical Population Biology 66: 25-36.

11.  Poore, AGB. 2004. Spatial associations among algae affect host use in a herbivorous marine amphipod. Oecologia 140: 104-112.

10.  Monro K and AGB Poore. 2004. Selection in modular organisms: is intraclonal variation in macroalgae evolutionarily important?The American Naturalist 163: 564-578.

9.  Hill, NA, C Blount, AGB Poore, D Worthington and PD Steinberg. 2003 Grazing effects of the sea urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii in two contrasting rocky reef habitats: effects of urchin density and its implications for the fishery. Marine and Freshwater Research 54: 691-700.

8.  Poore, AGB and PD Steinberg. 2001. Host plant adaptation in a herbivorous marine amphipod: genetic potential not realized in field populations. Evolution 55: 68-80.

7.  Poore, AGB and T Fagerström. 2001. A general model for selection among modules in a haplo-diploid life history. Oikos 92: 256-264.

6.  Poore, AGB, MJ Watson, R de Nys, JK Lowry and PD Steinberg. 2000. Patterns of host use among algal and sponge associated amphipods. Marine Ecology Progress Series 208: 183-196.

5.  Poore, AGB and T Fagerström. 2000. Intraclonal genetic variation in macroalgae: causes and consequences. Selection 1-3: 123-133.

4.  Poore, AGB and PD Steinberg. 1999. Preference-performance relationships and effects of host plant choice in an herbivorous marine amphipod. Ecological Monographs 69: 443-464.

3.  Poore, AGB and JK Lowry. 1997. New ampithoid amphipods from Port Jackson, New South Wales, Australia (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Ampithoidae). Invertebrate Taxonomy 11: 897-941.

2.  Jenkins, GP, MJ Wheatley and AGB Poore. 1996. Spatial variation in recruitment, growth, and feeding of post-settlement King George Whiting, Sillaginodes punctata, associated with seagrass beds of Port Phillip Bay, Australia. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 53: 350-359.

1.  Poore, AGB. 1994. Selective herbivory by amphipods inhabiting the brown alga Zonaria angustata. Marine Ecology Progress Series 107: 113-122.