Ross A Coleman

Ross A Coleman
The University of Sydney · Coastal & Marine Ecosystems Group

BSc (Hons), PhD, FLS PFHEA FMBA

About

144
Publications
34,525
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
3,903
Citations
Introduction
Professor Ross A Coleman currently works at the Centre for Research on Ecological Impacts of Coastal Cities (EICC) and is Director of Graduate Research in the DVC-Education Portfolio (equivalent to PVC Research Training) at the University of Sydney. Ross does research in Marine Biology, Ecology and Biostatistics. His current main focus is 'Limpet Spatial Ecology.'
Additional affiliations
January 2016 - present
The University of Sydney
Position
  • Managing Director
April 2009 - April 2016
The University of Sydney
Position
  • Managing Director
January 2008 - December 2010
Sydney Institute of Marine Science
Position
  • Managing Director

Publications

Publications (144)
Article
Many important ecosystem functions are underpinned by belowground biodiversity and processes. Marine sediments, one of the most abundant habitats on earth, are essential to the mineralisation of organic matter. However, they are increasingly polluted by urban activities leading to the loss of biodiversity and the functions they provide. While tradi...
Article
Habitat interactions play key roles in regulating biodiversity and ecosystem functions. This is particularly important in aquatic ecosystems, where the flow of water facilitates exchanges of energy and matter. Oyster reefs, a highly degraded habitat globally and a key focus for restoration efforts, can reduce water movement and facilitate the depos...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological communities are increasingly exposed to multiple interacting stressors. For example, warming directly affects the physiology of organisms, eutrophication stimulates the base of the food web, and harvesting larger organisms for human consumption dampens top‐down control. These stressors often combine in the natural environment with unpred...
Article
Full-text available
The sprawl of marine construction is one of the most extreme human modifications to global seascapes. Nevertheless, its global extent remains largely unquantified compared to that on land. We synthesized disparate information from a diversity of sources to provide a global assessment of the extent of existing and projected marine construction and i...
Article
• Habitat degradation and destruction arising from rapidly increasing urbanization represents one of the most significant threats to biodiversity. Human populations are continuing to increase around coastal regions, and as marine habitats are displaced by artificial structures it is important to understand how marine species may be impacted by thes...
Article
Full-text available
Concurrent anthropogenic global climate change and ocean acidification are expected to have a negative impact on calcifying marine organisms. While knowledge of biological responses of organisms to oceanic stress has emerged from single‐species experiments, these do not capture ecologically relevant scenarios where the potential for multi‐organism...
Preprint
Full-text available
Before the COVID-19 crisis, existing high levels of financial concerns amongst PhD students increased their vulnerability to disruptive events. Impacts from the pandemic have increased their financial stress to the point that may result in many being forced to exit research studies. An exodus of doctoral students now would impact our future researc...
Preprint
Full-text available
Before the COVID-19 crisis, existing high levels of financial concerns amongst PhD students increased their vulnerability to disruptive events. Impacts from the pandemic have increased their financial stress to the point that may result in many being forced to exit research studies. An exodus of doctoral students now would impact our future researc...
Article
The endangered seahorse Hippocampus whitei has declined in abundance as a result of natural habitat loss, and inhabits copper-braided protective swimming nets in Sydney Harbour, Australia. This study tested whether the use of copper-free seahorse-friendly net material has any effect on populations of H. whitei. The effects of net material on seahor...
Article
The provision of temporary, specially designed artificial habitat may help support populations of the Endangered Whites’ seahorse Hippocampus whitei in the face of rapid coastal urbanisation and declining natural habitats. Three designs of artificial habitat (Seahorse Hotels) were installed in Port Stephens, New South Wales, Australia, where natura...
Article
Full-text available
Biogenic structures that persist post‐mortem are ubiquitous, but rarely considered as key ecological features. Post‐mortem structures in many ecological systems exert community‐level effects and thus the dynamics of their degradation (i.e. taphonomy) become important in affecting community functions and ecosystem services, and these often‐overlooke...
Chapter
Full-text available
Interactions in the Marine Benthos - edited by Stephen J. Hawkins August 2019
Article
Full-text available
Human population growth and accelerating coastal development have been the drivers for unprecedented construction of artificial structures along shorelines globally. Construction has been recently amplified by societal responses to reduce flood and erosion risks from rising sea levels and more extreme storms resulting from climate change. Such stru...
Chapter
Full-text available
Human population growth and accelerating coastal development have been the drivers for unprecedented construction of artificial structures along shorelines globally. Construction has been recently amplified by societal responses to reduce flood and erosion risks from rising sea levels and more extreme storms resulting from climate change. Such stru...
Article
To explore whether the endangered White's seahorse Hippocampus whitei would choose to inhabit artificial over natural habitats, ten adult H. whitei individuals were put through a series of binary choice trials in aquaria, during which they were offered different paired combinations of natural (different types of macroalga and seagrass) and artifici...
Article
Marine harbours are the focus of a diverse range of activities and subject to multiple anthropogenically induced pressures. Support for environmental management options aimed at improving degraded harbours depends on understanding the factors which influence people's perceptions of harbour environments. We used an online survey, across 12 harbours,...
Article
The field of eco-engineering has burgeoned in recent years in response to the proliferation of artificial structures. Adding water-retaining features to seawalls has been successful in increasing biodiversity relative to the surrounding structure. Artificial rock pools may not, however, completely mimic natural rock pools. Here, we compared natural...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic structures are increasingly common in natural environments and present novel habitats for resident organisms. Marine breakwalls are similar to natural reefs in that they also provide habitat for diverse assemblages of mobile animals. However, it is unclear if fish assemblages on these artificial structures differ from those on neighbo...
Article
Full-text available
Urbanisation and population growth continue to impact already pressured harbour environments, resulting in a proliferation of artificial structures in the marine environment. In response, there is a growing interest in ecological engineering these structures for the benefit of both nature and humankind. Since the decision to build or adapt coastal...
Article
Full-text available
Community ecology has traditionally assumed that the distribution of species is mainly influenced by environmental processes. There is, however, growing evidence that environmental (habitat characteristics and biotic interactions) and spatial processes (factors that affect a local assemblage regardless of environmental conditions - typically relate...
Article
Full-text available
Infrastructure is increasingly being built in marine habitats, with extensive ecological consequences for benthic and fish assemblages alike. The practice of ecological engineering attempts to mitigate the negative impacts of infrastructure through the design of artificial structures that benefit both humans and nature. Although research has primar...
Article
Although small starfish may exert significant grazing effects on hard substrata, quantification of these effects has been difficult because of methodological limitations. Previously, caging small starfish for field experiments has failed because animals can escape through cage meshes and confounding effects may arise as the starfish can feed on org...
Article
Whether sex determination of marine organisms can be altered by ocean acidification and warming during this century remains a significant, unanswered question. Here, we show that exposure of the protandric hermaphrodite oyster,Saccostrea glomeratato ocean acidification, but not warming, alters sex determination resulting in changes in sex ratios. A...
Article
Copper based paints are used to prevent fouling on the hulls of ships. The widely documented effect of copper on hull assemblages may be primarily due to direct effects on the invertebrates themselves or indirect effects from copper absorbed into the microbial biofilm before settlement has commenced. We used artificial units of habitat exposed to v...
Chapter
Herbivory is an important ecological process controlling community structure and function in almost all ecosystems. The effects of herbivores on algal assemblages depend primarily on consumer and algal traits, but the strength of this interaction is contingent on physical and biological processes. Marine herbivory is particularly intense, where gra...
Article
Full-text available
The construction of artificial structures in the marine environment is increasing globally. Eco-engineering aims to mitigate the negative ecological impacts of built infrastructure through designing structures to be multifunctional, benefiting both humans and nature. To date, the focus of eco-engineering has largely been on benefits for benthic inv...
Article
It is well known that grazing gastropods, notably limpets, have a structuring effect on rocky shore ecology. The findings to establish this knowledge came from exclusion experiments, often using fences necessitating complex procedural controls. Barriers of anti-fouling copper paint (AP) have been shown to be an effective way to control densities of...
Article
Coastal and estuarine environments are characterised by acute changes in temperature and salinity. Organisms living within these environments are adapted to withstand such changes, yet near-future ocean acidification (OA) may challenge their physiological capacity to respond. We tested the impact of CO2-induced OA on the acute thermal and salinity...
Article
The expansion of built infrastructure in the marine environment threatens natural ecological communities at local and regional scales. An increasing interest in incorporating heterogeneity that is reflective of natural rocky shores into artificial structures through ecological engineering seeks to mitigate negative impacts. The addition of complex...
Article
Full-text available
Increasingly, urbanised coastlines are being armoured by shoreline protection structures, such as seawalls. Seawalls typically lack the complex microhabitats and protective spaces of natural shorelines and consequently organisms that settle on them may be particularly susceptible to predation. We tested whether the addition of complex microhabitats...
Article
Full-text available
The availability of suitable microhabitats has emerged as a key requirement for maximising species diversity gains from ecological engineering of coastal habitats. This includes intertidal boulder field habitat, which is threatened by increasing urbanisation. We examined faunal use of microhabitats offered by natural intertidal boulders on two cont...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is predicted to lead to more extreme weather events, including changes to storm frequency, intensity and location. Yet the ecological responses to storms are incompletely understood for sandy shorelines, the globe's longest land-ocean interface. Here we document how storms of different magnitude impacted the invertebrate assemblages...
Article
Understanding how species respond to the environment in terms of population attributes (e.g. abundance, growth, mortality, fecundity, and productivity) is essential to protect ecologically and economically important species. Nevertheless, responses of macrobenthic populations to environmental features are overlooked due to the need of consecutive s...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding site fidelity is important in animal ecology, but evidence is lacking that this behaviour is due to an animal choosing a specific location. To discern site selection behaviour it is necessary to consider the spatial distribution of habitats that animals can occupy within a landscape. Tracking animals and defining clear habitat boundar...
Article
Full-text available
The growing number of artificial structures in estuarine, coastal and marine environments is causing “ocean sprawl”. Artificial structures do not only modify marine and coastal ecosystems at the sites of their placement, but may also produce larger-scale impacts through their alteration of ecological connectivity - the movement of organisms, materi...
Article
Parental effects passed from adults to their offspring have been identified as a source of rapid acclimation that may allow marine populations to persist as our surface oceans continue to decrease in pH. Little is known, however, whether parental effects are beneficial for offspring in the presence of multiple stressors. We exposed adults of the oy...
Article
Full-text available
Extensive development and construction in marine and coastal systems is driving a phenomenon known as “ocean sprawl”. Ocean sprawl removes or transforms marine habitats through the addition of artificial structures and some of the most significant impacts are occurring in sedimentary environments. Marine sediments have substantial social, ecologica...
Data
Supplement to: Parker, LM et al. (2017): Adult exposure to ocean acidification is maladaptive for larvae of the Sydney rock oyster Saccostrea glomerata in the presence of multiple stressors. Biology Letters, 13(2), 20160798, doi:10.1098/rsbl.2016.0798
Article
On most intertidal rocky shores, marine filamentous cyanobacteria Oscillatoriales are important components of natural biofilms. Some studies have already suggested the nutritional importance of benthic cyanobacteria for intertidal grazers; however, due to the complex nature and technical difficulties of observing and manipulating biofilm in situ, q...
Article
Full-text available
Although the ecology of molluscan grazers on intertidal rocky shores is very well documented, there are other abundant grazers, such as herbivorous starfish, that can modify the structure of benthic assemblages yet whose behaviour is poorly understood. The feeding habits of asteroids suggest that they are opportunistic feeders foraging on a broad r...
Article
Full-text available
While the consequences of bioinvasions are becoming clearer, our understanding of the environmental and ecological factors driving them is limited due to the complexity of the invasion process. Invasion success can be considered to be influenced by characteristics of the receiving assemblage (habitat, food, community interactions) and disturbances....
Article
Full-text available
Habitat structure influences the diversity and distribution of organisms, potentially affecting their response to disturbances by either affecting their ‘susceptibility’ or through the provision of resources that can mitigate impacts of disturbances. Chemical disturbances due to contamination are associated with decreases in diversity and functioni...
Article
Full-text available
A key challenge for ecologists is to quantify, explain and predict the ecology and behaviour of animals from knowledge of their basic physiology. Compared to our knowledge of many other types of distribution and behaviour, and how these are linked to individual function, we have a poor level of understanding of the causal basis for orientation beha...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat structure influences the diversity and distribution of organisms, potentially affecting their response to disturbances by either affecting their ?susceptibility? or through the provision of resources that can mitigate impacts of disturbances. Chemical disturbances due to contamination are associated with decreases in diversity and functioni...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat structure influences the diversity and distribution of organisms, potentially affecting their response to disturbances by either affecting their ?susceptibility? or through the provision of resources that can mitigate impacts of disturbances. Chemical disturbances due to contamination are associated with decreases in diversity and functioni...
Article
Full-text available
Loss of marine habitats due to urbanisation has been met with growing research efforts to mitigate ecological impacts through eco-engineering. Research in this area has focused on scientific and engineering outcomes, not considering that seawalls are a socially-driven insertion into the environment. Further, management concerns when employing eco-e...
Article
Full-text available
One of the most important determinants of fitness is the location of an animal within its habitat, and it is assumed that habitat patches are differentiated by the resource value to an organism. For many invertebrates, we have no idea which resource axes may be important, and moreover, we do not necessarily understand the value of microhabitat. For...
Article
Full-text available
A fundamental problem in ecology is to link spatial arrangements of key biota and the scale at which organisms interact with each other to structure communities and influence ecosystem functioning. Limpets are widely acknowledged to play an important role in the ecology of intertidal rocky shores and exert the strongest grazing effect of any marine...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In many mobile animals, it is assumed that the habitat patches are differentiated by the resource value to an organism. For many invertebrates, we have no idea which resource axes may be important and, moreover, we do not necessarily understand the value of microhabitat. For non-homing limpets on rocky shores, such as Cellana tramoserica, the distr...
Article
It is widely accepted that global warming will adversely affect ecological communities. As ecosystems are simultaneously exposed to other anthropogenic influences, it is important to address the effects of climate change in the context of many stressors. Nutrient enrichment might offset some of the energy demands that warming can exert on organisms...
Article
Full-text available
Our knowledge of why animals orientate in specific directions is less than for any other type of distribution; this is especially true for intertidal organisms. Understanding the behaviour of intertidal organisms on vertical/near-vertical surfaces is important as the relative abundance of these surfaces will increase with elevated sea levels. Orien...
Article
Full-text available
The invasive isopod Cirolana harfordi occurs in great densities in oyster-beds in Sydney Harbour and is the second most abundant taxon in terms of biomass. A previous observational study did not find any relationships between densities of C. harfordi and variability in local assemblage structure; this result could, however, be confounded by the eno...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge of the population dynamics and productivity of exploited species is essential to achieve the sustainable development of fisheries, and to ensure sustainable, long-term use of these resources. The venerid clam Anomalocardia brasiliana is harvested as a fishery resource from the French West Indies to Brazil. Yet, the exploitation of this sp...
Article
Full-text available
Quantification of factors that modulate small-scale, individual patterns of location and behaviour is fundamental for ecology, as the behaviour of animals within habitats affects many components of fitness. At the smallest scale, animals show variations in orientation, which can interact with small-scale habitat variability and is probably modified...
Article
Full-text available
Until recently, marine scientists have relied heavily on satellite sea surface temperatures and terrestrial weather stations as indicators of the way in which the thermal environment, and hence the body temperatures of organisms, vary over spatial and temporal scales. We designed biomimetic temperature loggers for three species of rocky intertidal...