Marian YL Wong

Marian YL Wong
University of Wollongong | UOW · School of Earth Atmospheric and Life Sciences

PhD Marine Biology

About

69
Publications
8,309
Reads
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1,436
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2013 - present
University of Wollongong
Position
  • Lecturer Marine Biology
January 2013 - January 2019
University of Wollongong
Position
  • Lecturer
January 2011 - present
Boston University
Position
  • Abiotic stressors and the conservation of social species
Education
January 2011 - December 2012
Boston University
Field of study
  • Behavioral Ecology
February 2008 - December 2010
McMaster University
Field of study
  • Behavioral Ecology
February 2003 - July 2007
James Cook University
Field of study
  • Marine Biology

Publications

Publications (69)
Article
In social groups, hierarchies are the fundamental organizational unit and integral to the structure of social groups. For many social fishes, rank is determined by body size and conflict over rank is resolved via aggressive threats from dominants and growth restraint by subordinates. However, this balance may be offset by an alteration of abiotic f...
Article
Full-text available
Behaviors of coral reef fishes provide strong support for some major new ideas about the evolution of cooperation. The first question focuses on the reproductive payoff that individuals accrue from their current actions, whereas the second focuses on the payoff associated with alternative actions. This framework focused attention on two major reaso...
Data
Full-text available
A major focus in evolutionary ecology lies in explaining the evolution and maintenance of social systems. Although most theoretical formulations of social system evolution were initially inspired by studies of birds, mammals, and insects, incorporating a wider taxonomic perspective is important for testing deeply entrenched theory. Here, we review...
Article
a b s t r a c t Human activities have profoundly changed the abiotic environment, which in many cases has resulted in the deterioration of natural ecosystems. This global problem requires collaborative efforts between sci-entific disciplines and between academics and wildlife managers if we are to preserve the remaining bio-diversity. Here I discus...
Article
While habitat is often a limiting resource for group-living animals, we have yet to understand what aspects of habitat are particularly important for the maintenance of sociality. As anthropogenic disturbances rapidly degrade the quality of many habitats, site-associated animals are facing additional stressors that may alter the trade-offs of movin...
Article
The presence of repeatable behaviours that vary between individuals (animal personality) and the mechanisms that underpin these behaviours are of significant ecological and evolutionary importance. With current climatic trends predicted to facilitate biological invasions, we sought to examine how personality and behavioural syndromes may influence...
Preprint
Mutualisms are prevalent in many ecosystems, yet little is known about how symbioses are affected by multiple disturbances. Here we show delayed recovery for 13 coral-dwelling goby fishes (genus Gobiodon) compared with their host Acropora corals following 4 consecutive cyclones and heatwaves. While corals became twice as abundant 3 years post-distu...
Article
Full-text available
Animals are faced with a fundamental risk-reward trade-off when making decisions about foraging in the presence of predation, yet little is known about how social, reproductive and environmental factors mediate this trade-off. In the marine environment, anemonefishes provide a model system for investigating the determinants of risk–reward trade-off...
Article
Full-text available
Aggressive encounters between invasive and native species are considered a key threat associated with the spread of invasive species. Extrinsic factors such as habitat complexity can profoundly influence the outcome of aggressive interactions between conspecifics, and this may also be the case in invasive‐native species interactions. This study use...
Article
Freshwater crayfish are among the most endangered animal groups in the world. Appropriate management requires an understanding of sampling bias when assessing their distribution and abundance. We evaluated the effectiveness of a variety of sampling methods for detecting freshwater crayfish (genus Euastacus) in situ and potential biases towards indi...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals that live in groups experience different challenges based on their social rank and sex. Glucocorticoids have a well-established role in coordinating responses to challenges and glucocorticoid levels often vary between ranks and sexes. However, the neuroendocrine mechanisms regulating glucocorticoid dynamics in wild groups are poorly und...
Article
Full-text available
With the onset and increasing frequency of multiple disturbances, the recovery potential of critical ecosystem-building species and their mutual symbionts is threatened. Similar effects to both hosts and their symbionts following disturbances have been assumed. However, we report unequal declines between hosts and symbionts throughout multiple clim...
Preprint
While habitat is often a limiting resource for group-living animals, we have yet to understand what aspects of habitat are particularly important for the maintenance of sociality. As anthropogenic disturbances rapidly degrade the quality of many habitats, site-attached animals are facing additional stressors that may alter the trade-offs of moving...
Article
Full-text available
Research on sociality in marine fishes is a vibrant field that is providing new insights into social evolution more generally. Here, we review the past two decades of research, identifying knowledge gaps and new directions. Two coral reef fishes, with social systems similar to other cooperative breeders, have emerged as models: the clown anemonefis...
Article
Full-text available
Competition between invasive and native species can result in the exploitation of resources by the invader, reducing foraging rates of natives. However, it is increasingly recognized that multiple factors can enhance the resilience of native species competing for limiting resources with invaders. Although extensively studied in terrestrial species,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Many animal groups consist of individuals organised in dominance hierarchies, based on age, size or fighting ability. Lower ranked individuals often do not reproduce themselves but perform cooperative behaviours to help the reproductive output of dominant individuals or the group as a whole. Theoretical models suggest that individuals of higher ran...
Article
Full-text available
Animals forming social groups that include breeders and non‐breeders present evolutionary paradoxes; why do breeders tolerate non‐breeders? And why do non‐breeders tolerate their situation? Both paradoxes are often explained with kin selection. Kin selection is, however, assumed to play little or no role in social group formation of marine organism...
Preprint
With the onset and increasing frequency of multiple disturbances, the recovery potential of critical ecosystem-building species and their mutual symbionts is threatened. Similar effects to both hosts and their symbionts following disturbances have been assumed. However, we report unequal declines between hosts and symbionts throughout multiple clim...
Article
Individuals often respond to social disturbances by increasing prosociality, which can strengthen social bonds, buffer against stress, and promote overall group cohesion. Given their importance in mediating stress responses, glucocorticoids have received considerable attention as potential proximate regulators of prosocial behaviour during disturba...
Article
Grouping behaviour displayed by animals is usually attributed to predation and foraging‐related benefits. The mechanisms of predator protection and foraging efficiency are diverse and often produce conflicting drivers of grouping behaviour. One key conflict is that between group size and phenotypic oddity. Theoretically, individuals should choose t...
Article
Plasticity, the capacity of individuals to respond to changing environments by modifying traits, may be critically important for population persistence by allowing for adaptive responses on shorter timescales than genetic change. Here, we use the clown anemonefish (Amphiprion percula), whose access to resources is constrained by their anemones, to...
Article
Understanding the determinants and consequences of predation effort, success and prey responses is important since these factors affect the fitness of predators and prey. When predators are also invasive species, the impacts on prey can be particularly far‐reaching with ultimate ecosystem‐level consequences. However, predators are typically viewed...
Article
Full-text available
Under projected levels of ocean acidification, shifts in energetic demands and food availability could interact to effect the growth and development of marine organisms. Changes to individual growth rates could then flow on to influence emergent properties of social groups, particularly in species that form size-based hierarchies. To test the poten...
Article
Full-text available
Population densities of invasive species fluctuate spatially and temporally, suggesting that the intensity of their aggressive interactions with native species is similarly variable. Although inter‐specific aggression is often thought to increase with population density, it is often theorized that it should be exceeded by intra‐specific aggression...
Article
The formation of social groups has important impacts on fitness for many animal species, with differences in group compositions resulting in a range of fitness outcomes for individuals. Recent interest in mixed‐species grouping, which extends from a large body of literature invested in understanding single‐species grouping, highlights novel complex...
Article
Full-text available
Biological invasions are a major cause of biodiversity loss and, coupled with climate change, will likely have detrimental impacts for native species and the functioning of ecosystems. To mitigate such impacts, it is important to elucidate the behavioural mechanisms underpinning interactions between invasive and native species. Here we examined how...
Article
Aggressive contests amongst conspecifics are important to understand from an ecological and evolutionary perspective as contest dynamics can directly influence individual fitness. For some species, individual attributes such as relative body size closely predict the outcome, intensity and duration of contests, whereas for others, prior social exper...
Article
Full-text available
Rocky intertidal shores are diverse ecosystems that have been extensively studied, yet there is a surprising lack of knowledge on the methods best suited to quantifying species abundance, diversity and assemblages. We compared visual census, unbaited remote underwater video (mini-RUV), baited remote underwater video (mini-BRUV) and draining/collect...
Article
Full-text available
In social groups, high reproductive skew is predicted to arise when the reproductive output of a group is limited, and dominant individuals can suppress subordinate reproductive efforts. Reproductive suppression is often assumed to occur via overt aggression or the threat of eviction. It is unclear, however, whether the threat of eviction alone is...
Article
Full-text available
Social organization is a key factor influencing a species’ foraging and reproduction, which may ultimately affect their survival and ability to recover from catastrophic disturbance. Severe weather events such as cyclones can have devastating impacts to the physical structure of coral reefs and on the abundance and distribution of its faunal commun...
Data
Sociality index for each species of Gobiodon observed at Lizard Island. Sociality indices (red dot) calculated for each species. Jittered point clouds indicate the relative number of colonies that were available to calculate the index from. There is a natural split in the species’ indices around 0.5. (DOCX)
Data
Gobiodon juvenile abundance at Lizard Island. Predicted mean juvenile abundance and 95% CI for pair- and group-forming species (pink and blue respectively) across each survey time. Raw data is shown as jittered point clouds. (DOCX)
Data
Pairwise comparisons for the fixed effects terms of each of the group size, coral size, empty corals and predicted probabilities of inhabitance. Pairwise comparisons were conducted in R using the emmeans package [1]. For a given contrast A/B, ratios greater than 1.00 indicate that A is greater than B and ratios less than 1.00 indicate that B is gre...
Data
Raw Data. Data collected from Lizard Island over four survey times between February 2014 and February 2016. Includes some data from collected by MW and SK in 2013. This 2013 data was only used in the categorization of Gobiodon species, not in the statistical models. (CSV)
Data
Summary of statistical models. Results from statistical models. Abbreviations are: Akaike Information Criterion (AIC); standard error (SE); degrees of freedom (df); standard deviation (SD); root mean squared error (RMSE). (DOCX)
Data
Model coefficients for the multinomial probability of occupancy. Odds and associated confidence interval (CI) for each model coefficient. Vacant corals were the reference group. Odds = 1 indicate an equal chance that the coral would remain vacant or be inhabited by either a pair- or group-forming species. Odds > 1 indicate a greater chance of the c...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive species are known to competitively displace native species via direct behavioural interactions, or contests, which can result in limited access to valuable resources such as food or shelter for the native. Here, we aimed to determine the dynamics and outcome of agonistic contests between the critically endangered Fitzroy Falls Spiny Crayfi...
Article
Full-text available
Interspecific aggression is a critical determinant of the success and competitive superiority of many invasive over native species. While single abiotic stressors can alter aggression levels, the manner in which multiple stressors may alter the strength and outcome of interspecific interactions and hence the invasion potential of a species is still p...
Article
Full-text available
Determining the extent of repeatable differences in the behavior of animals and the factors that influence behavioral expression is important for understanding individual fitness and population processes, thereby aiding in species conservation. However, little is known about the causes of variation in the repeatability of behavioral differences amo...
Article
Full-text available
Why do we observe so many examples in nature in which individuals routinely delay or completely forgo their own reproductive opportunities in order to join and remain within a group? Cooperative breeding theory provides a rich framework with which to study the factors that may influence the costs and benefits of remaining philopatric as a non-breed...
Article
Many animals form dynamic societies in which the fission and fusion of subgroups occurs on a regular basis. Such societies are intriguing, because it is unclear whether stable dominance relationships that form within subgroups are retained upon fusion with other subgroups, and what the implications of rank instability may be at higher levels of eco...
Article
Competition for limiting resources is a fundamental and well established driver of niche partitioning, which in turn promotes species coexistence and biodiversity. Although contests are a well-known behavioral mechanism by which organisms compete over limiting resources, there has been surprisingly little application of contest theory to understand...
Chapter
Birds differ from the other groups discussed in this book not via any single feature, but by often combining four unusual traits. First, most birds fly, which enhances their ability to choose where they breed and forage, activities that they therefore can, at least potentially, do in very different areas. For example, some albatross travel more tha...
Article
Full-text available
Conflicts of interest are part and parcel of living in a social group, yet actual conflict can be rare in established groups. Within limits, individuals can maximize the benefits of group living by resolving conflict with other group members. Thus, understanding what causes conflict, what determines its outcome, and how it is resolved holds the key...
Article
Full-text available
All prey face a fundamental trade-off between avoiding predation and pursuing activities, such as foraging and mating, that enhance fitness. Therefore, the effects of predation can be both consumptive and nonconsumptive and prey need to assess and respond appropriately to predation risk which in turn varies with environmental and social contexts. W...
Article
Predicting the impacts of climate change to biological systems requires an understanding of the ability for species to acclimate to the projected environmental change through phenotypic plasticity. Determining the effects of higher temperatures on individual performance is made more complex by the potential for environmental conditions experienced...
Article
Algunos miembros de sociedades complejas deciden no procrear y ayudan a otros en esa tarea. El estudio de esta conducta en peces de arrecifes coralinos sustenta nuevas ideas sobre la evolución de la cooperación E l origen de las especies de Charles Darwin sentó las bases de la biología evolutiva y del conocimiento de la vida en la Tierra. Mientras...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic climate change is expected to result in dramatic shifts in the abiotic conditions within estuaries, including an elevation of temperature and salinity levels. Even so, few studies have addressed the impacts of multiple abiotic stressors on the behaviour and life history of key estuarine species, such as those of biological and commerc...
Article
Estuaries are critical aquatic environments that are used by many fish during their life cycle. However, estuaries often suffer from poor water quality as a result of anthropogenic activities. Fish diversity studies in estuaries are common, although few have examined whether correlations exist between water quality, metal contamination and fish ass...
Article
Using the social clown anemonefish Amphiprion ocellaris, whether individuals exhibited consistency in activity levels, boldness and sociability in a paired context, and whether these three behavioural traits were positively correlated within a single behavioural syndrome, was investigated. The results highlight that consistent individual difference...
Article
An important step towards understanding conflicts in animal societies lies in identifying socioecological predictors of individual reproductive tactics. In gonochoristic species, individuals can choose to adopt breeding or nonbreeding tactics, and if they breed, how large a share of reproduction they acquire. In hermaphroditic species, individuals...
Article
Within animal societies, the ecological and social underpinnings of mating system variation can be related to resource dispersion, sexual conflict between breeders, and the effects of non-breeders. Here, we conducted a broad-scale investigation into the evolution of mating systems in the cooperatively breeding cichlid, Neolamprologus pulcher, a spe...
Article
A rich theoretical framework exists for understanding animal conflict. When two opponents fight over a resource, the duration, intensity and outcome of the fight ought to be determined in large part by the relative difference in resource-holding power between contestants. While our understanding of one-time conflict resolution is excellent, our kno...
Article
The number of group members in an animal society can have a major influence on group members’ life history, survival, and reproductive success. Identifying the factors that limit group size is therefore fundamental for a complete understanding of social behavior. Here, I examined the relationships between resource availability, social conflict, and...
Article
The conundrum of why subordinate individuals assist dominants at the expense of their own direct reproduction has received much theoretical and empirical attention over the last 50 years. During this time, birds and mammals have taken centre stage as model vertebrate systems for exploring why helpers help. However, fish have great potential for enh...
Article
Social aggression is one of the most conspicuous features of animal societies, yet little is known about the causes of individual variation in aggression within social hierarchies. Recent theory suggests that when individuals form queues for breeding, variation in social aggression by non-breeding group members is related to their probability of in...
Article
Members of animal groups face a trade-off between the benefits of remaining with a familiar group and the potential benefits of dispersing into a new group. Here, we examined the group membership decisions of Neolamprologus pulcher, a group-living cichlid. We found that subordinate helpers showed a preference for joining familiar groups, but when c...
Article
Why non-breeding subordinates of many animal societies tolerate group-living remains a pertinent question in evolutionary biology. The ecological constraints and benefits of philopatry hypotheses have the potential to explain the maintenance of group-living by specifying the ecological conditions favouring delayed dispersal over independent breedin...
Article
Kin selection plays an important role in the evolution of social behaviour in terrestrial systems. The extent to which kin selection influences the evolution of social behaviour in marine systems is largely unexplored. Generally, it is considered that kin selection is irrelevant in marine systems, because it is assumed that the dispersing larval ph...
Article
Understanding why and how subordinates of many social animals remain consistently smaller than dominants is important for determining the mechanisms underlying the structure and stability of hierarchical societies. Here we show that competition over food and conflict over social rank are ultimately responsible for the regulation of subordinate grow...
Article
Monogamy within social groups where there exists a high potential for polygyny poses a challenge to our understanding of mating system evolution. Specifically, the traditional explanation that monogamy evolves due to wide female dispersion, affording males little opportunity to defend multiple females, cannot apply. Instead, monogamy in groups pote...
Article
Social queues, in which subordinates wait for their turn to inherit dominant breeding status, are a familiar feature of many animal societies. However, little is known about the mechanisms stabilizing social queues given the inevitable conflict over rank between group members. Here, we report the role of punishment and cooperation in promoting the...
Article
We investigated the inter-relationships between coral colony size, social group size, mating system, and patterns of sex allocation in the pygmy coral croucher, Caracanthus unipinna (Caracanthidae), an obligate coral-dwelling fish. Histological examination of the gonads from all individuals in social groups revealed that the predominant mating syst...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
To analyze effects of mass coral bleaching and consequent mortality on reef fishes, and in particular on our model species Chrysiptera cyanea (a damselfish). We focus on effects on density, recruitment, social organisation and behaviour; the latter two little studied in the context of bleaching. The project is in "response" to the recent mass coral mortality on the northern Great Barrier Reef, as we have extensive pre-bleaching data for comparison. It is so far in its incipient pilot stage and may either stay very small or expand considerably, depending on funding. No publications yet but post-bleaching data collections initiated.
Project
To assess how changes in environmental factors, such as water depth, temperature and salinity, affect the structure, functioning and stability of social hierarchies in group-living fishes
Project
We're investigating the role of coloration in competition and mate choice in coral reef fishes. We're also testing how local social structure affects sexual selection. Our work focuses on two species of damselfishes, with fieldwork conducted at Lizard Island Research Station on the GBR. In short, our work is aimed to contribute in understanding why coral reef fishes are so colourful.