Mariah Lumley (Honours 2015)

Ageing and growth rates of high-latitude corals

Following the marine heat wave in 2011, there was a massive increase in abundance of small coral colonies (especially the species Plesiastrea versipora) along the Western Australian coast. Ocean temperature and competitive release from seaweed mortality during the heat wave might have triggered higher recruitment, survival or growth. In my Honours project I examined these processes more closely, determining their effects on coral growth and demography. By using x-ray analysis and photographic measurements of corals in the field I was able to obtain an insight into how temperature and seaweed competition interact with coral growth and recruitment dynamics. To read my thesis abstract click here.

Supervisors: Thomas Wernberg, Thibaut de Bettignies, Chenae Tuckett, Damian Thomson (CSIRO)


– 2013: B.Sc. (Marine Science), University of Western Australia, Perth


– 2015: 3rd place AMSA WA Honours student prize night.

Small corals

Small coral colonies from Port Gregory.

Coral x-ray

X-ray of Plesiastrea versipora