Professor Michael Kingsford

Head of School

Professor Mike Kingsford

Professor and Head of School of Marine and Tropical Biology (2007-Current)

Professor and Head of School of Marine Biology and Aquaculture, James Cook University (2001-2006)

Associate Professor 1999-2001

Senior Lecturer, 1993-1999

Lecturer 1987-1992, University of Sydney

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Sydney 1987.

BSc Canterbury University, MSc (Hons), PhD University of Auckland.

Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST)

Member of the: American Society for Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Australian Coral Reef Society, Australian Society of Fish Biology, Australian Marine Science Society, Ecological Society of America, International Advisory Committee for the Great Barrier Reef Foundation; International Coral Reef Society.

Research interests

  1. Physical and behavioural processes influencing the distribution patterns of planktonic organisms (Biological Oceanography).
  2. Pelagic ecology
  3. The affects of pollutants on marine and freshwater environments, especially with regard to fis  
  4. The utility of micro-constituents in bone to elucidate environmental conditions experienced by marine animals.
  5. Developmental patterns of planktonic fish and jellyfishes.
  6. Population and community ecology of reef and pelagic fish in temperate and tropical systems.
  7. Factors influencing patterns of abundance of organisms associated with temperate reefs.
  8. Biogeography of fishes in the South Pacific.
  9. Analytical aspects of sampling design.
  10. I have a general interest in marine problems, especially those related to fisheries and harvest refugia, and how they can be resolved with multidisciplinary approaches

The focus of my research is on fishes of all stages of life history; their population dynamics, where they live and the organisms they interact with in pelagic and reef environments.

My major areas of research over the last 5 years can be divided into the following programs: biological oceanography (with special reference to presettlement fishes); ecology of jellyfishes; population dynamics of reef fishes; interactions between reef fish and organisms associated with reefs; the use  of  microchemistry  to elucidate the environmental conditions experienced by fishes (especially those related to pollution) and the connectivity of populations of fishes.

Recent and current projects

  • Connectivity of coral reef fishes
  • The influence of climate change on the population dynamics of a temperate reef fish'
  • Ecology of cubozoan jellyfishes&
  • Elemental chemistry for biomonitoring and the movements of fish.

Recent and currently supervised PhD topics

  • Population structure of cubozoan jellyfish.
  • Isotopes, early life history and potential self-recruitment of coral reef fishes.
  • Reseeding for the enhancement of abalone stocks in NSW
  • Retention areas and influence they have on coral reef assemblages.
  • The utility of jellyfish as biomonitors.

Future PhD directions

  • Elemental fingerprints for stock identification and for determining levels of connectivity among populations
  • Ecology and sensory biology of presettlement reef fish
  • The influence of oceanography on the survival of presettlement reef fishes
  • Ecology of pelagic fishes/li>

Selected publications

Kingsford, M. J. , F. J. A. Smith, M . J. Flood (2011) Growth and pelagic larval duration (PLD) of presettlement and newly settled neon damselfish, Pomacentrus coelestis, at multiple spatial scales Coral Reefs 30(1): 203-214

Kingsford, M.J., (2009). Contrasting patterns of reef utilisation and recruitment of coral trout (Plectropomus leopardus) and snapper (Lutjanus carponotatus) at One Tree Island, southern Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs (2009) 28:251–264.

Brierly, A.S., Kingsford, M.J. (2009). Impacts of climate change on marine organisms and ecosystems. Current Biology 19:602-614.

Pitt, Kylie A. Michael J. Kingsford, David Rissik, Klaus Koop (2007) The influence of pulses of nutrients on planktonic assemblages in the presence and absence of large predatory jellyfish. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 35: 1-13 (selected as Special Feature Article for December 2007)

Gerlach, G., J. Atema, Kingsford, M.J. Black, K. P., Miller-Sims, V. (2007). Smelling home can prevent dispersal of reef fish larvae. Proceeding of the National Academy of Science, US 104: 858-863.

Patterson HM, Kingsford MJ, McCulloch MT (2005) Resolution of the early life history of a reef fish using otolith chemistry. Coral Reefs 24: 222-229

Kingsford, M.J. Hughes, J.M. (2005) Patterns of growth, mortality and demographics of a tropical damselfish Acanthochromis polyacanthus across the central Great Barrier Reef continental shelf. Fish. Bull. 103: 561-573

Kingsford, M.J. (2001) Diel patterns of arrival of reef fish to a coral reef: One Tree Island, Great Barrier Reef. Mar. Biol. 138: 853-868

Kingsford, M.J., Gillanders, B.M. (2001) Variation in concentrations of trace elements in the otoliths and eye lenses of a temperate reef fish, Parma microlepis: comparisons by depth, spatial scale and age. Mar. Biol. 137: 403-416

Pitt, K.A., Kingsford, M.J. (2000). Geographic separation of stocks of the edible jellyfish, Catostylus mosaicus (Rhizostomeae) in New South Wales, Australia. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 196: 143-155

Kingsford, M.J., Pitt, K.A, Gillanders, B.M. (2000) Management of jellyfish fisheries, with special reference to the O. Rhizostomeae. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Ann. Rev.38: 85-156

More information

For further information or to contact Michael, please phone or email our General Enquiries team.