Associate Professor Alistair Poore
BSc (Mon.), PhD UNSW
Field of Research: 
Ecology and evolution of marine organisms, algae
Contact details:
+61 2 9385 2154

Room 554
Biological Sciences Building (D26)
UNSW, Kensington 2052

Research & Current Projects

My research is focussed on the ecology and evolution of marine invertebrates, macroalgae and seagrasses, the effects of disturbance on coastal ecosystems, and the adaptation of marine organisms to environmental stresses.

Further details at: http://www.eerc.com.au/alistair-poore


Research Students


Keryn Bain (PhD candidate) Diet mixing in marine herbivores.

Jennifer Clark (PhD candidate - UTS) Thermal tolerance of intertidal algae (supervised by Dr Martina Doblin)

Suzanna Evans (PhD candidate) Genetic and environmental effects on seagrass-herbivore interactions (co-supervised by Dr Adriana Vergés)

Ceiwen Pease (PhD candidate) The tolerance of marine herbivores to contamination in their diets (co-supervised by Professor Emma Johnston)

Hannah Sheppard Brennand (PhD canditate - SCU) Large scale patterns in predation and defences in sea urchins (co-supervised by Dr Symon Dworjanyn)

Sarah Graham (MSc candidate) Thermal tolerance in marine invertebrates (cosupervised by Dr Symon Dworjanyn)

Talia Stelling-Wood (MPhil candidate)

Brendan Lanham (Honours candidate) Effects of the range expanding green alga, Caulerpa filiformis, on the faunal composition of Sargassum linearifolium (co-supervised by Dr Paul Gribben)

Gary Truong (Honours candidate) Feeding preferences in tropical vs temperate sea urchins (co-supervised by Dr Adriana Vergés)



Dr Emma Birdsey (PhD) Animal associations and the impact of introduced species on marine ecosystems (co-supervised by Professor Emma Johnston)

Dr Kyra Hay (PhD, University of Queensland) Macroalgal-herbivore interactions: the roles of algal tolerance, patterns of herbivory and nutrient availability (co-supervised by Professor Catherine Lovelock)

Dr Keyne Monro (PhD) Evolutionary consequences of growth-form plasticity in a red seaweed.

Dr Dave Roberts (PhD) Responses of epifauna to pulsed and chronic contamination of temperate algal beds (co-supervised by Professor Emma Johnston)

Mailie Gall (MPhil) Predator-prey interactions along a pollution gradient (co-supervised by Professor Emma Johnston).

Chris Hellyer (MPhil) - Managing swimming enclosure nets for the benefit of seahorse populations in Sydney Harbour.

Honours students: Ruby Garthwin, Keryn Bain, Karina Huinao, Jennifer Clark, Suzanna Evans, Sarah Graham, Matthew Teston, Ceiwen Pease, Paul Chachelle, Steven Portelli, Kim Gallagher, Jessica Spies, Erin Moon, Lisa Perrett, Bronwyn Cumbo, Rosie Downey, David Roberts, Lisa Carson, James Smith, Alex Campbell, Nicole Hill, Keyne Monro.



BIOS2031 Biology of Invertebrates (Course Convenor)

BEES2041 Data Analysis for Life and Earth Sciences (Course convenor)

BIOS3091 Marine and Aquatic Ecology (Lecturer)



Bain, K, A Vergés and AGB Poore. in press. Using near infra red reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) to quantify tissue composition in the seagrass Posidonia australis. Aquatic Botany

Poore, AGB, A Graba-Landry, M Favret, M Byrne, H Sheppard Brennand and SA Dworjanyn. in press. Direct and indirect effects of ocean acidification and warming on a plant-herbivore interaction. Oecologia

Clark, JS, AGB Poore, PJ Ralph and MA Doblin. in press. Potential for adaptation in response to thermal stress in an intertidal macroalga. Journal of Phycology

Moles, AT, B Peco, IR Wallis, WJ Foley, AGB Poore et al. 2013. Correlations between physical and chemical defences in plants: Trade-offs, syndromes, or just many different ways to skin a herbivorous cat? New Phytologist 198: 252-263.

Poore, AGB and KM Gallagher. 2013. Strong consequences of diet choice in a talitrid amphipod consuming seagrass and algal wrack. Hydrobiologia 701: 117-127.

Foo, SA, SA Dworjanyn, AGB Poore and M Byrne. 2012. Adaptive capacity of the habitat modifying sea urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii to ocean warming and ocean acidification: performance of early embryos. PLoS ONE 7: e42497.

Poore, AGB, AH Campbell, RA Coleman, GJ Edgar, V Jormalainen, PL Reynolds, EE Sotka, JJ Stachowicz, RB Taylor, MA Vanderklift and JE Duffy. 2012. Global patterns in the impact of marine herbivores on benthic primary producers. Ecology Letters 15: 912-922.

Gall, ML, AGB Poore & EL Johnston. 2012. A biomonitor as a measure of an ecologically-significant fraction of metals in an industrialized harbour. Journal of Environmental Monitoring 14: 830–838.

Birdsey, EM, EL Johnston and AGB Poore. 2012. Diversity and cover of a sessile animal assemblage does not predict its associated mobile fauna. Marine Biology 159: 551–560.

Cook, K, MA Vanderklift, AGB Poore, 2011. Strong effects of herbivorous amphipods on epiphyte biomass in a temperate seagrass meadow. Marine Ecology Progress Series 442: 263–269.

Hay, KB, Poore, AGB and CE Lovelock. 2011. Tolerance to herbivory in a brown seaweed and the effects of nutrient availability. Journal of Ecology 99: 1540–1550.

Hellyer, CB, D Harasti and AGB Poore. 2011. Manipulating artificial habitats to benefit seahorses in Sydney Harbour. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 21: 582–589.

Moles, AT, SP Bonser, AGB Poore, IR Wallis and WJ Foley. 2011. Assessing the evidence for latitudinal gradients in plant defence and herbivory. Functional Ecology 25: 380–388.

Hay, KB, K Millers, AGB Poore and CE Lovelock. 2010. The use of near infrared reflectance spectrometry for characterisation of brown algal tissue traits. Journal of Phycology 46: 937-946.

Pease, CJ, EL Johnston, and AGB Poore. 2010. Genetic variability in tolerance to copper contamination in a herbivorous marine invertebrate. Aquatic Toxicology 99: 10–16.

Simpson, SJ, D Raubenheimer, MA Charleston, FJ Clissold and the ARC-NZ Vegetation Function Network Herbivory Working Group*. 2010. Modelling nutritional interactions: from individuals to communities, Trends in Ecology and Evolution 25: 53-60. * includes: ID Couzin, KD Clements, RA Coleman, A Dussutour, WJ Foley, JS Forbey, E Glaze, IJ Gordon, J Hanan, D Hochuli, MR Kearney, C McArthur, AJ Pile, AGB Poore, GA Sword and IR Wallis.

Monro, K and AGB Poore. 2009. The evolvability of growth form in a clonal seaweed. Evolution 63: 3147–3157.

Sotka, EE, JS Forbey, M Horn, AGB Poore, D Raubenheimer and K Whalen. 2009. The emerging role of pharmacology in understanding the ecology and evolution of marine and freshwater consumers. Integrative and Comparative Biology 49: 291-313.

Monro, K and AGB Poore. 2009. Performance benefits of growth-form plasticity in a clonal red seaweed. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 97: 80–89.

Monro, K and AGB Poore. 2009. The potential for evolutionary responses to cell-lineage selection on growth form and its plasticity in a red seaweed. The American Naturalist 173: 151-163.

Poore, AGB, AH Campbell and PD Steinberg. 2009. Natural densities of mesograzers fail to limit growth of macroalgae or their epiphytes in a temperate algal bed. Journal of Ecology 97: 164–175.

Roberts, DA, EL Johnston, and AGB Poore. 2008. Biomonitors and the assessment of ecological impacts: Distribution of herbivorous epifauna in contaminated algal beds. Environmental Pollution 156: 489-503.

Roberts, DA, EL Johnston, and AGB Poore. 2008. Contamination of marine biogenic habitats and effects upon associated epifauna. Marine Pollution Bulletin 56: 1057-1065.

Roberts, DA, EL Johnston, S Müller and AGB Poore. 2008. Field and laboratory simulations of storm water pulses: behavioural avoidance by marine epifauna. Environmental Pollution 152: 153-162.

Poore, AGB, NA Hill and EE Sotka, 2008. Phylogenetic and geographic variation in host breadth and composition by herbivorous amphipods in the family Ampithoidae. Evolution 62:21-38.

Monro, K, AGB Poore and R Brooks. 2007. Multivariate selection shapes environment-dependent variation in the clonal morphology of a red seaweed. Evolutionary Ecology 21: 765-782.

Roberts, DA, AGB Poore and EL Johnston 2007. MBACI sampling of an episodic disturbance: stormwater effects on algal epifauna. Marine Environment Research 64: 514-523.

Roberts, DA, AGB Poore and EL Johnston 2007. Sydney Harbour's seaweeds: a deadly diet for sea creatures. Australasian Science, August 2007: 36-38.

Perrett, LA, EL Johnston and AGB Poore. 2006. Impact by association: direct and indirect effects of copper exposure on mobile invertebrate fauna. Marine Ecology Progress Series 326: 195-205.

Poore AGB and NA Hill. 2006. Sources of variation in herbivore preference: among individual and past diet effects on amphipod host choice. Marine Biology 149: 1403-1410.

Roberts, DA, AGB Poore and EL Johnston. 2006. Ecological consequences of copper contamination in macroalgae: effects on epifauna and associated herbivores. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 25: 2470-2479.

Roberts, DA and AGB Poore. 2006. Habitat configuration affects colonisation of epifauna in a marine algal bed. Biological Conservation 127: 18-26.

Poore, AGB and NA Hill. 2005. Spatial associations among palatable and unpalatable macroalgae: a test of associational resistance with a herbivorous amphipod. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 326: 207-216.

Wright, JT, SA Dworjanyn, CN Rogers, PD Steinberg, JE Williamson and AGB Poore. 2005. Density-dependent effects of sea urchin grazing: selective removal of species and alternative community states. Marine Ecology Progress Series 298: 143-156.

Poore, AGB. 2005. Scales of dispersal in a herbivorous marine amphipod. Austral Ecology 30: 219-228.

Monro, K. and AGB Poore. 2005. Light quantity and quality induce shade-avoiding plasticity in a marine macroalga. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 18: 426-435.

Wright, JT, R. de Nys, AGB Poore, and PD. Steinberg. 2004. Chemical defense in a marine alga: heritability and the potential for selection by herbivores. Ecology 85: 2946-2959.

Pineda-Krch, M and AGB Poore. 2004. Spatial interactions within modular organisms: genetic heterogeneity and organism fitness. Theoretical Population Biology 66: 25-36.

Poore, AGB. 2004. Spatial associations among algae affect host use in a herbivorous marine amphipod. Oecologia 140: 104-112.

 Monro K and AGB Poore. 2004. Selection in modular organisms: is intraclonal variation in macroalgae evolutionarily important? The American Naturalist 163: 564-578.

Brooks, R, AGB Poore and S Bonser. 2004. Exploring the broader social context of a conceptually rich science course: a collaborative learning program. UNSW Compendium of Good Practice in Learning and Teaching 1: 41-50.

Hill, NA, C Blount, AGB Poore, D Worthington and PD Steinberg. 2003 Grazing effects of the sea urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii in two contrasting rocky reef habitats: effects of urchin density and its implications for the fishery. Marine and Freshwater Research 54: 691-700.

Poore, AGB and PD Steinberg. 2001. Host plant adaptation in a herbivorous marine amphipod: genetic potential not realized in field populations. Evolution 55: 68-80.

Poore, AGB and T Fagerström. 2001. A general model for selection among modules in a haplo-diploid life history. Oikos 92: 256-264.

Poore, AGB, MJ Watson, R de Nys, JK Lowry and PD Steinberg. 2000. Patterns of host use among algal and sponge associated amphipods. Marine Ecology Progress Series 208: 183-196.

Poore, AGB and T Fagerström. 2000. Intraclonal genetic variation in macroalgae: causes and consequences. Selection 1-3: 123-133.

Poore, AGB and PD Steinberg. 1999. Preference-performance relationships and effects of host plant choice in an herbivorous marine amphipod. Ecological Monographs 69: 443-464.

Poore, AGB and JK Lowry. 1997. New ampithoid amphipods from Port Jackson, New South Wales, Australia (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Ampithoidae). Invertebrate Taxonomy 11: 897-941.

Jenkins, GP, MJ Wheatley and AGB Poore. 1996. Spatial variation in recruitment, growth, and feeding of post-settlement King George Whiting, Sillaginodes punctata, associated with seagrass beds of Port Phillip Bay, Australia. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 53: 350-359.

Poore, AGB. 1994. Selective herbivory by amphipods inhabiting the brown alga Zonaria angustata. Marine Ecology Progress Series 107: 113-122.