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Coral Reef Studies

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Malcolm McCulloch

Malcolm McCulloch


Oceans Institute (M470)
The University of Western Australia
35 Stirling Highway

BAppSc MAppSc Curtin • PhD Caltech.

+61 (0)8 6488 1921

Professor Malcolm McCulloch is an ARC Laureate Fellow undertaking research on the theme ‘Coral Reef Futures: a new paradigm for quantifying the resilience of marine calcifiers to ocean acidification and global change’. He is a Deputy Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and leader of the UWA node and a Chief Investigator in Program 3: Responding to a changing world. In mid-2009 he was appointed to UWA as a Western Australian Premier’s Fellow. Professor McCulloch received his PhD from the Californian Institute of Technology (Caltech) and previously held an appointment at the Australian National University. He is an ISI Highly Cited Researcher and has published over 270 scientific papers in leading international journals including 26 in Science and Nature.

Link to researcher’s profile

Google Scholar Citations

Publications for the past 5 years (with citations as at 18-1-18)

McCulloch, M.T., D’Olivo, J.P., Falter, J., Georgiou, L., Holcomb, M., Montagna, P., Trotter, J.A (2018). Boron Isotopic Systematics in Scleractinian Corals and the Role of pH Up-regulation. In: Marschall H., Foster G. (eds) Boron Isotopes. Advances in Isotope Geochemistry, 145-162.

Marchitto, T. M., Bryan, S. P., Doss, W., McCulloch, M. T (2018) Montagna, P. A Simple biomineralization model to explain Li, Mg, and Sr incorporation into aragonitic foraminifera and corals. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 481, 20-29.

Greenwood, P. F., Mohammed, L., Grice, K., McCulloch, M.T., Schwark, L (2018). The application of compound-specific sulfur isotopes to the oil–source rock correlation of Kurdistan petroleum. Organic Geochemistry, 117, 22-30.

Hughes, T. P., Anderson, K. D., Connolly, S. R., Heron, S. F., Kerry, J. T., Lough, J. M., Baird, A. H., Baum, J. K., Berumen, M. L., Bridge, T. C., Claar, D. C., Eakin, C. M., Gilmour, J. P., Graham, N. A. J., Harrison, H., Hobbs, J.-P. A., Hoey, A. S., Hoogenboom, M., Lowe, R. J., McCulloch, M. T., Pandolfi, J. M., Pratchett, M., Schoepf, V., Torda, G. & Wilson, S. K (2018). Spatial and temporal patterns of mass bleaching of corals in the Anthropocene. Science 359, 80-83.

Hughes, T.P., Kerry, J.T., Álvarez-Noriega, M., Álvarez-Romero, J.G., Anderson, K.D., Baird, A.H., Babcock, R.C., Beger, M., Bellwood, D.R., Berkelmans, R., Bridge, T.C., Butler, I.R., Byrne, M., Cantin, N.E., Comeau, S., Connolly, S.R., Cumming, G.S., Dalton, S.J., Diaz-Pulido, D., Eakin, C.M., Figueira, W.F., Gilmour, R.P., Harrison, H.B., Heron, S.F., Hoey, A.S., Hobbs, J-P.A., Hoogenboom, M.O., Kennedy,E.V., Kuo, C-Y, Lough, J.M., Lowe, R.J., Liu, G., McCulloch, M.T., Malcolm, H.A., McWilliam, M.J., Pandolfi, J.M., Pears, R.J., Pratchettm M.S., Schoepf, V., Simpson, T., Skirving, W.J., Sommer, B., Torda, G., Wachenfeld, G.R., Willis, B.L., Wilson, S.K (2017). Global warming and recurrent mass bleaching of corals. Nature 543 (7645), 373-377. [Citations: 146].

Le Houedec, S., McCulloch, M.T., Trotter, J., Rankenburg, K (2017). Conodont apatite δ 88/86 Sr and δ 44/40 Ca compositions and implications for the evolution of Palaeozoic to early Mesozoic seawater. Chemical Geology 453, 55-65. [Citations: 1].

Cornwall, C., Comeau, S., McCulloch, M (2017). Coralline algae elevate pH at the site of calcification under ocean acidification. Global Change Biology, 1–12. doi:10.1111/gcb.13673. [Citations: 3].

Clarke, H., D’Olivo, J.P., Falter, J. Zinke, J.,Lowe, R., McCulloch, M.T (2017). Differential response of corals to regional mass-warming events as evident from skeletal Sr/Ca and Mg/Ca ratios, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 18, doi:10.1002/2016GC006788. [Citations: 1].

McCulloch, M.T., D’Olivo, J.P., Falter, J., Holcomb, M., Trotter, J (2017). Coral calcification in a changing World and the interactive dynamics of pH and DIC upregulation. Nature Communications  8: 15686, doi:10.1038/ncomms15686. [Citations: 8].

D’Olivo, J.P., McCulloch, M.T (2017). Response of coral calcification and calcifying fluid composition to thermally induced bleaching stress. Sci Rep. 7: 2207. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-02306-x. [Citations: 2].

Grotheer, H., Greenwood, P.F., McCulloch, M.T., Böttcher, M.E., Grice, K (2017).  δ34S character of organosulfur compounds in kerogen and bitumen fractions of sedimentary rocks, Organic Geochemistry 110: 60-64. [Citations: 1].

Ayling, B., Eggins, S., McCulloch, M.T., Chappell, J., Grun, R., Mortimer, G (2017). Uranium uptake history, open-system behaviour and uranium-series ages of fossil Tridacna gigas from Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 213, 475-501.

Comeau, S., Cornwall, C. E., McCulloch, M. T (2017). Decoupling between the response of coral calcifying fluid pH and calcification to ocean acidification. Scientific Reports 7, 7573. [Citations: 1].

Ross, C. L., Falter, J. L., McCulloch, M. T (2017). Active modulation of the calcifying fluid carbonate chemistry (δ11B, B/Ca) and seasonally invariant coral calcification at sub-tropical limits. Scientific Reports 7, 13830.

Le Nohaïc, M., Ross, C. L., Cornwall, C. E., Comeau, S., Lowe, R., McCulloch, M. T., Schoepf, V (2017). Marine heatwave causes unprecedented regional mass bleaching of thermally resistant corals in northwestern Australia. Scientific Reports 7, 14999.

DeCarlo, T. M., D’Olivo, J. P., Foster, T., Holcomb, M., Becker, T., McCulloch, M. T (2017). Coral calcifying fluid aragonite saturation states derived from Raman spectroscopy, Biogeosciences 14, 5253-5269.

Schoepf V., Jury C.P., Toonen R.J., McCulloch M.T (2017). Coral calcification mechanisms facilitate adaptive responses to ocean acidification. Proc. R. Soc. B 284: 20172117.

Chen, X., Deng, W., Zhu, H., Zhang, Z., Wei, G., McCulloch, M.T (2016). Assessment of coral δ44/40Ca as a paleoclimate proxy in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. Chemical Geology 435, 71-78. [Citations: 2].

Foster, T., Falter, J.L., McCulloch, M.T., Clode, P.L (2016). Ocean acidification causes structural deformities in juvenile coral skeletons. Sci. Adv. 2, e1501130. [Citations: 12].

Holcomb, M., DeCarlo, T.M., Gaetani, H.A., McCulloch, M.T. Factors affecting B/Ca ratios in synthetic aragonite. Chemical Geology 437, 67–76. [Citations: 12].

Raddatz, J., Liebetrau, V., Trotter, J., Rüggeberg, A., Flögel, S., Dullo, W.C., Eisenhauer, A., Voigt, S., McCulloch, M.T (2016). Environmental constraints on Holocene cold-water coral reef growth off Norway: Insights from a multiproxy approach. Paleoceanography 31, 1350–1367, doi:10.1002/2016PA002974. [Citations: 1].

Holcomb M., DeCarlo T.M., Schoepf V., Dissard D., Tanaka K., McCulloch, M.T. (2015). Cleaning and pre-treatment procedures for biogenic and synthetic calcium carbonate powders for determination of elemental and boron isotopic compositions. Chemical Geology 398, 11-21. [Citations: 14].

Ross, C., McCulloch, M.T., Schoepf, V., Falter, J (2015). Perennial growth of hermatypic corals at Rottnest Island, Western Australia (32◦S). PeerJ 3:e781, doi:10.7717/peerj.781. [Citations: 11].

D’Olivo, J.P., McCulloch, M.T., Eggins, S.M., Trotter, J (2015). Coral records of reef-water pH across the central Great Barrier Reef, Australia: assessing the influence of river runoff on inshore reefs, Biogeosciences, 12, 1223-1236, doi:10.5194/bg-12-1223-2015. [Citations: 17].

Foster, T., Gilmour, J.P., Chua, C.M., Falter, J.L., McCulloch, M.T (2015). Effect of ocean warming and acidification on the early life stages of sub-tropical Acropora spicifera. Coral Reefs, doi:10.1007/s00338-015-1342-7. [Citations: 9].

Georgiou, L., Falter, J.L., Trotter, J., Kline, D.I., Holcomb, M., Dove, S.G., Hoegh-Guldberg, O., McCulloch, M.T (2015). pH homeostasis during coral calcification in a Free Ocean CO2 Enrichment (FOCE) experiment, Heron Island reef flat, Great Barrier Reef. PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas. 1505586112. [Citations: 23].

Ayling, C., Chappell, J., Gagan, M., McCulloch, M.T (2015). ENSO variability during MIS 11 (424-374 ka) from Tridacna gigas at Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea. Earth & Planetary Science Letters 431, 236-246, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2015.09.037. [Citations: 3].

Dandan, S.S., Falter, J. L., Lowe, R. J., McCulloch, M.T (2015). Resilience of coral calcification to extreme temperature variations in the Kimberley region, Northwest Australia. Coral Reefs, doi:10.1007/s00338-015-1335-6. [Citations: 9].

Zinke J., Hoell, A., Lough, J.M., Feng, M., Kuret, A.J., Clarke, H., Ricca, C., Rankenburg, K., McCulloch, M.T (2015). Coral record of southeast Indian Ocean marine heat waves with intensified Western Pacific temperature gradient. Nat. Commun. 6:8562, doi: 10.1038/ncomms9562. [Citations: 11].

Short, J., Foster, T., Falter, J.L., Kendrick, G.A., McCulloch, M.T (2015). Crustose coralline algal growth, calcification and mortality following a marine heatwave in Western Australia. Continental Shelf Research 106, 38–44. [Citations: 7].

Meissner, K., Abram, N., Armand, L., Chase, Z., De Deckker, P., Ellwood, M., Exon, N., Gagan, M., Goodwin, I., Howard, W., Lough, J., McCulloch, M.T., McGregor, H., Moy, A., O’Leary, M., Phipps, S., Skilbeck, G., Webster, J., Welsh, K. and Zinke, J (2015). Dealing with Climate Change: Palaeoclimate Research in Australia, Quaternary Australasia 32 (1), 19. (*Report).

Zinke, J., McGregor, H., Abram, N., Lough, J., Gagan, M., O’Leary, M., McCulloch. M.T., Webster, J., Woodroffe, C (2015). Dealing with climate change through understanding past tropical ocean-atmosphere climate interactions and their impacts on marine ecosystems. Quaternary Australasia 32 (1), 25. (*Report). [Citations: 2].

Tanaka, K., Holcomb, M., Takahashi, A., Kurihara, H., Asami, R., Shinjo. R., Sowa, K., Rankenburg, K., Watanabe, T., McCulloch, M.T (2015). Response of Acropora digitifera to ocean acidification: constraints from δ11B, Sr, Mg, and Ba compositions of aragonitic skeletons cultured under variable seawater pH. Coral Reefs 34, 1139–1149, doi:10.1007/s00338-015-1319-6. [Citations: 13].

Schoepf, V., Stat, M., Falter, J.L., McCulloch, M.T (2015). Limits to the thermal tolerance of corals adapted to a highly fluctuating, naturally extreme temperature environment. Sci. Rep. 5:17639, doi:10.1038/srep17639. [Citations: 25].

Greenwood, P., Amrani, A., Sessions, A., Raven, M.R., Holman, A., Dror, G., Grice, K., McCulloch, M.T., Adkins, J.F (2015). Development and Initial Biogeochemical Applications of Compound-Specific Sulfur Isotope Analysis. Principles and Practice of Analytical Techniques in Geosciences, ed K. Grice. Royal Society of Chemistry, 10, 285-312. [Citations: 4].

Zinke, J., Rountrey, A., Feng, M., Xie, S.P., Dissard, D., Rankenburg, K., Lough, J.M., McCulloch, M.T (2014).  Corals record long-term Leeuwin current variability including Ningaloo Nino/Nina since 1795. Nat. Commun. 5:3607, doi: 10.1038/ncomms4607. [Citations: 50].

Montagna, P., McCulloch, M.T., Douville, E., Correa, M.L., Trotter, J., Rodolfo-Metalpa, R., Dissard, D., Ferrier-Pages, C., Frant, N., Freiwald, A., Goldstein, S., Mazzoli, C., Reynaud, S., Ruggeberg, A., Russo, S., Taviani, M (2014). Li/Mg systematics in scleractinian corals: Calibration of the thermometer. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 132, 288-310. [Citations: 37].

Short, J., Kendric, G., Falter, J., McCulloch, M.T (2014). Interactions between filamentous turf algae and coralline algae are modified under ocean acidification. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 456, 70-77. [Citations: 17].

Holcomb, M., Venn, A., Tambutte, E., Tambutte, S., Allemand, D., Trotter, J., McCulloch, M.T (2014). Coral calcifying fluid pH dictates response to ocean acidification. Sci. Rep. 4, 5207, doi:10.1038/srep05207. [Citations: 54].

Falter, J., Zhang, Z., Lowe, R., McGregor, F., Kessing, J., McCulloch, M.T (2014). Assessing the drivers of spatial variation in thermal forcing across a nearshore reef system and implications for coral bleaching. Limnol. Oceanogr., 59(4), 1241–1255. [Citations: 10].

Foster, T., Short, J., Falter, J., Ross, C., McCulloch, M.T (2014).  Reduced calcification in Western Australian corals during anomalously high summer water temperatures. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 461, 133-143. [Citations: 17].

Hendriks, I., Duarte, C., Olsen, Y., Steckbauer, A., Ramajo, L., Moore, T., Trotter, J., McCulloch, M.T (2014). Biological mechanisms supporting adaptation to ocean acidification in coastal ecosystems. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2014.07.019. [Citations: 45].

Deng, W., Gangjian, W., McCulloch, M.T., Xie, L., Liu, Y., Zheng, T (2014). Evaluation of annual resolution coral geochemical records as climate proxies in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. Coral Reefs, doi:10.1007/s00338-014-1203-9. [Citations: 6].

McCulloch, M.T., Holcomb, M., Rankenburg, K., Trotter, J (2014). Rapid, High-Precision Measurements of Boron Isotopic Compositions in Marine Carbonates. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom 28, 2704–2712. [Citations: 24].

Holcomb, M., Rankenburg, K., McCulloch, M.T (2014). High-precision MC-ICP-MS measurements of δ 11B: Matrix Effects in Direct Injection and Spray Chamber Sample Introduction Systems. RSC Detection Science Series No. 4 – Principles & Practice of Analytical Techniques in Geosciences. [Citations: 3].

Schoepf V., McCulloch M.T., Warner M.E., Levas S.J., Matsui Y., Aschaffenburg, M., Grottoli, A (2014). Short-Term Coral Bleaching Is Not Recorded by Skeletal Boron Isotopes. PLoS ONE 9(11): e112011, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0112011. [Citations: 9].

Olivio, J.P., McCulloch, M.T., Eggins, S.M., Trotter, J (2014). Coral records of reef-water pH across the central Great Barrier Reef, Australia: asessing the influence of river runott on inshore reefs. Biogeosciences Discuss. 11, 11443-11479. [Citations: 2].

Gutjahr, M., Bordier, L., Douville, E., Farmer, J., Foster, G.L., Hathorne, E., Hönisch, B., Lemarchand, D., Louvat, P., McCulloch, M.T., Noireaux, J, Pallavicini, N., Rodushkin, I., Roux, P., Stewart, J., Thil, F., You, C-F (2014). Boron Isotope Intercomparison Project (BIIP): Development of a new carbonate standard for stable isotopic analyses. EGU2014-5028-1, EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts.

Gutjahr, M., Bordier, L., Douville, E., Farmer, J., Foster, G.L., Hathorne, E., Hönisch, B., Lemarchand, D., Louvat, P., McCulloch, M.T., Noireaux, J, Pallavicini, N., Rodushkin, I., Roux, P., Stewart, J., Thil, F., You, C-F (2014). Boron Isotope Intercomparison Project (BIIP): Development of a new carbonate standard for stable isotopic analyses. Geophysical Research Abstracts, 16, EGU2014-5028-1, EGU General Assembly. [Citations: 6].

Holcomb, M., DeCarlo, T.M., Venn, A., Tambutte, E., Gaetani, G.A., Tambutte, S., Allemand, D., McCulloch, M.T (2014). Differential Effects of Ocean Acidification on Coral Calcification: Insights from Geochemistry. AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts 1, 5.

Grove, C. A., Zinke, J., Peeters, F., Park, W., Scheufen, T., Kasper, S., Randriamanantsoa, B., McCulloch, M.T., Brummer, G-J (2013).  Madagascar corals reveal a multidecadal signature of rainfall and river runoff since 1708. Clim. Past, 9, 641–656. [Citations: 20]

Falter, J.L., Lowe, R.J., Zhang, Z., McCulloch, M.T (2013). Physical and Biological Controls on the Carbonate Chemistry of Coral Reef Waters: Effects of Metabolism, Wave Forcing, Sea Level, and Geomorphology. PLoS ONE 8(1): e53303. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053303. [Citations: 55].

Duarte, C., Hendriks, I., Moore, T., Olsen, Y., Steckbauer, A., Ramajo, L., Carstensen, J., Trotter, J., McCulloch, M.T (2013). Is Ocean Acidification an Open-Ocean Syndrome? Understanding Anthropogenic Impacts on Seawater pH. Estuaries and Coasts, 36, 221-236. [Citations: 264].

Tisnérat-Laborde, N., Montagna, P., McCulloch, M.T., Siani, G., Silenzi, S., Frank, N (2013). A High-Resolution Coral-Based Δ14C Record of Surface Water Processes in the Western Mediterranean Sea. Radiocarbon 55, 1617-1630. [Citations: 6].

D’Olivo, J.P., McCulloch, M.T., Judd, K (2013). Long-term records of coral calcification across the central Great Barrier Reef: assessing the impacts of river runoff and climate change. Coral Reefs, doi:10.1007/s00338-013-1071-8. [Citations: 28].

Walther B.D., Kingsford M.J., McCulloch M.T (2013). Environmental records from Great Barrier Reef corals: Inshore versus offshore drivers. PLoS ONE 8, 10:e77091. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0077091. [Citations: 11].

Zhang, Z., Falter, J., Lowe, R., Ivey, G., McCulloch, M.T (2013). Atmospheric forcing intensifies the effects of regional ocean warming on reef-scale temperature anomalies during a coral bleaching event. J. Geophys. Res., Oceans, doi:10.1002/jgrc.20338. [Citations: 17].


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