Dr Kristen Brown

Research Interests

  • Coral reef ecology
  • Species interactions
  • Coral reef community metabolism
  • Climate change on coral reef ecosystems


Kristen completed her PhD in coral reef ecology in the Coral Reef Ecosystems Laboratory at the University of Queensland in June 2018. During her PhD, she completed a series of studies and experiments that have improved our understanding of how seasonal, local (e.g., eutrophication), and global changes (e.g., ocean warming) influence benthic community structure with a focus on coral and macroalgal communities and their competitive interactions.
As a postdoctoral research fellow, Kristen has principally focused on exploring the relationships between oceanographic processes and coral reef ecosystem dynamics under present day and future conditions. This work has focused on using large scale flow-through mesocosms containing representative reef ecosystems (e.g., hard corals, macroalgae, fish, sediments) to explore the interactive effects of long-term exposure (18 months) to ocean warming and acidification. Using the Great Barrier Reef as a natural laboratory, she is also investigating the potential trade-offs (or compromises) made by so called “coral winners” following recent thermal stress events.
For more, please visit my personal website: kristentbrown.weebly.com


kristen.brown at uq.edu.au
Coral Reef Ecosystems Laboratory | ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
School of Biological Sciences | University of Queensland
Level 7 Gehrmann Laboratories (Bldg. 60)
St. Lucia, QLD 4078 Australia

Mr Joshua Biggs

Joshua is a graduate of the University of Tasmania where he studied Marine Science, focusing on interactions between aquaculture facilities and local environments. Subsequent to his time in Tasmania, he spent several years in the commercial aquaculture industry as a Nursery Technician.

Joshua is employed as a Research Assistant with the CRE Lab’s Mesocosm project, which is examining potential impacts of climate change on coral reef ecosystems. Joshua rotates between the Heron Island Research Station, where he maintains the project’s mini-artificial reef systems, and the Brisbane campus, where analysis of collected samples takes place.

Catherine Kim, PhD Student

 Contact   About   Publications   Photos   Video    Blog


Catherine Kim
XL Catlin Oceans Scholar
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
University of Queensland Australia
Level 7 Gehrmann Labs (60)
St. Lucia, QLD 4072
+617 3365 3548
c dot kim at uq.edu.au



Catherine hails from Virginia and completed her BSc in Science of Earth Systems concentrating in Oceanography at Cornell University.  Following graduation, she worked for Professor Drew Harvell coordinating her National Science Foundation Research Coordination Network Grant in the Ecology of Infectious Marine Disease.  She participated in seagrass wasting disease projects in the San Juan Islands, Washington and coral health and water quality surveys in Puakō, Hawai’i.  In 2013, she was also a program assistant for Cornell’s Earth and Environmental Systems Sustainability Semester based in Waimea, Hawai’i Island.

Currently, Catherine is an XL Catlin Oceans Scholar PhD student in the Coral Reef Ecosystems Lab and is fortunate to have been a part of the XL Catlin Seaview Survey global coral reef survey Indo-Pacific campaign in 2014.  Following the survey in Timor-Leste, Catherine is focusing her thesis work  in the newly independent nation combining XL Catlin and NOAA datasets.  As a former NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center intern, she is excited to initiate a research partnership between the XL Catlin Seaview Survey and NOAA in an effort to better understand the coral reefs of Timor-Leste.  She will be investigating questions on coral reef benthic composition, marine biodiversity of crabs and fishes, and coral health.  Hopefully, her work will contribute to in-country marine resource management at this critical point of development in Timor-Leste.


Groner ML, Burge CA, Kim CJS, Rees E, Van Alstyne KL, Yang S, Wyllie-Echeverria S, Harvell CD (2015). Widespread variation in eelgrass wasting disease in the Salish Sea. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms.

Yoshioka RM, Kim CJS, Tracy AM, Most R, Harvell CD (2015). Linking sewage pollution and water quality to spatial patterns of Porites lobata growth anomalies in Puakō, Hawai‘i. Marine Pollution Bulletin.

Groner ML, Burge CA, Couch CS, Kim CJS, Siegmund GF, Singhal S, Smoot SC, Harvell CD, Wyllie-Echeverria S, Jarrell A & JK Gaydos (2014). Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 108: 165-175. Host demography influences the prevalence and severity of seagrass wasting disease. doi: 10.3354/dao02709

Burge CA, Kim CJS, Lyles JM, & CD Harvell (2013). Special Issue Oceans and Humans Health: The Ecology of Marine Opportunists. Microb Ecol 65(4): 869-79. doi:10.1007/s00248-013-0190-7



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Mr Giovanni Bernal Carrillo

Double Autobox deployment and PAM deployment at the Minireefs at Harrys Bommie, Heron Island.

Double Autobox deployment and PAM deployment at the Minireefs at Harrys Bommie, Heron Island.

Double Autobox deployment. Lilianna P.

Double Autobox deployment. Lilianna P.

Giovanni B. Working on the Autobox controller.

Giovanni B. Working on the Autobox controller.

Giovanni Bernal after cleaning the live-stream Camera.

Giovanni Bernal after cleaning the live-stream Camera.

Autobox Deployment by Lilianna P. and Giovanni B.

Autobox Deployment by Lilianna P. and Giovanni B.

Mr Siham Afatta Taruc

siham_tarucSiham begin his interest in marine science after reading a leaflet mentioning mangrove forest degradation in Indonesia, which brought him to his undergraduate study in 2001 in Diponegoro University, Indonesia. Since then he has been involved both in academic and non-academic activities related to marine conservation in Indonesia, mainly in collaborative researches and public-private partnerships.

Siham’s research is focused on the interdependence between the resilience of human systems and marine ecosystems. He is interested in applying methods that allow combining assessments of stakeholders’ perception and ecosystem condition to better guide decision-making.

In 2008, he was involved in a joint-research in Central Java, between The University of Queensland and Diponegoro University. His work provided scientific reference to Karimunjawa islands reserve managers regarding the adaptive capacity of local communities to different future scenarios of herbivorous fishing pressure affecting coral reef habitat decline.

Currently, he is undertaking his PhD study investigating the resilience and sustainability of coastal livelihoods in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. His research uses systems thinking approach and community-based system dynamics modeling to understand the social and ecological system components driving the wicked problem of the use of marine resources in Indonesia’s marine conservation priority areas.


BSc. (Hons.) in Marine Science – Diponegoro University
MPhil. in Marine Social-ecology – The University of Queensland