Andy Davis 2011

Professor Andy Davis

PhD (Zoology) University of Adelaide, MSc (Hons -1st class) University of Auckland, BSc (Zoology major) University of Auckland

Lab Phone:         +61 2 4221 4370
Lab:                         B35.G01B and C
Office Phone:     +61 2 4221 3432
Office:                    B35.G01D

Have you seen these fish? Report a sighting - Local fish listed as Vulnerable or Conservation Dependant by the EPBC Act.

Common ascidians of the Sydney Region


Research Interests

Representative Publications

Davis A.R., Coleman D., Broad A., M. Byrne M., S.A. Dworjanyn & R. Przeslawski (2013) Complex responses of intertidal molluscan embryos to a warming and acidifying ocean in the presence of UV radiation. PLoSONE 8(2) e55939

Broad A., Knott N., Turon X. & A.R. Davis (2010) Effects of a shark repulsion device on rocky reef fishes: no shocking outcomes. Note In: Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 408: 295-298.

Davis A.R. & D.W. Ward (2009) The establishment and persistence of species rich patches in a species poor landscape: role of a structure-forming subtidal barnacle.  Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 380: 187-198.

Ferguson A.M. & A.R. Davis (2008) Heart of glass: spicule armament and physical defence in temperate reef sponges. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 372: 77-86.

Wright, J.T. & A.R. Davis (2006) Demographic feedback between clonal growth and fragmentation in an invasive seaweed Ecology 87:1744-1754.

Przeslawski, R., Davis A.R. & K. Benkendorff (2005) Synergistic effects associated with climate change and the development of rocky shore molluscs. Global Change Biology 11: 1-8.

Searchable Publications List

Current Students


  • Marie-Clare Demers, Project title: Ecological processes in Posidonia australis, an endangered seagrass marine community (co-supervised by Dr Nathan Knott, Marine Parks Authority).
  • Matt Rees, Project title: Developing seascape models for pelagic and demersal fish assemblages.
  • Will Mulvaney, Project title:  The integration of macroalgae into Abalone culture (co-supervised by Dr Pia Winberg, UOW).
  • Lauren Cole, Project title: Connecting reefs: Drift algae and rafting invertebrates.
  • Laura Lopez, Project title: Interactions between introduced and native freshwater fishes in the face of a changing climate (co-supervised by Dr Marion Wong, UOW).
  • Lachlan Fetterplace, Project title: The ecology and movements of temperate soft-sediment associated fishes (co-supervised by Dr Nathan Knott, Marine Parks Authority).
  • Jessica Holan, Project title: Impacts of metals on high-latitude marine invertebrates in the face of a changing climate (co-supervised by Dr Cath King, Australian Antarctic Division).
  • Daniel Coleman, Project title: Community development and assembly in a changing ocean (co-supervised by Dr Todd Minchinton, UOW)


  • Jessica Rugge, Project title: Seeking abiotic surrogates for reef invertebrate assemblages using an Automated Underwater Vehicle (AUV).
  • Clare McKenzie, Project title: The utility of microalgae in biofuels (co-supervised by Dr Pia Winberg, UOW)


  • Rhiannon Kiggins, Project title: Spatial and temporal variation in seagrass-associated fishes (co-supervised by Dr Nathan Knott, Marine Parks Authority)
  • Caitlin O’mara, Project title: Behavioural responses of fishes to stress (co-supervised by Dr Marion Wong, UOW)
  • Sharon Myers, Project title: Size changes in marine molluscs: an historical perspective

Suggested Topics for Future Students

What are the pattern and determinants of spatial and temporal variation in recruitment of solitary ascidians.

Sterols and free-fatty acids in molluscan egg masses can be effective antimicrobial compounds; do they also play an antifeedant role?

Are sessile-invertebrate assemblages in shallow coastal lakes structured from the top down or by the availability of suitable settlement substrata?

What are the ecological impacts of Caulerpa spp. on the structure of rocky intertidal and subtidal zone assemblages?

What are the patterns of biodiversity in coastal lakes in central and southern NSW and, selecting appropriate taxa, can effective surrogates be identified?

Mycosporine-like Amino Acids (MAAs) are apparently effective sunscreens; do they also possess antimicrobial or antifeedant activity?

Does exposure of adult invertebrates to conditions anticipated under climate change affect the provisioning and performance of their offspring?

What is the relative importance of physical vs. chemical defences in deterring predators for sessile invertebrates? To what extent are these defences inducible?

See also the Honours Topics page

Lab Highlights

Andy Davis, Convenor Australian Marine Science Association (AMSA) Conference, New Waves in Marine Science.

Daniel Coleman, AMSA oral awards; Victorian Marine Science Consortium Award,
Editor’s Choice Award Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research
Awarded Best Performance in the Bachelor of Marine Science Honours

Liz West, three papers accepted from her honours project on Caulerpa taxifolia

Maiko Lutz, winner Jim Campbell Award for best School of Biological Sciences Honours thesis

Andy Davis, Distinguished Visiting Scholar, University of Canberra

Rachel Przeslawski, winner New Scientist and British Council writing competition – “Sunburnt Seaslugs”, published in NewScientist

Matt Kindred, winner Alan Sefton award for best Environmental Science Honours thesis

Amanda Watson, winner Jim Campbell Award for best School of Biological Sciences Honours thesis
Gabbia davisi
(Bithyniidae:Mollusca) ‘discovered’ in southwest Queensland

Kirsten Benkendorff, winner Young Australian of the Year (Science & Technology Category)

Abbreviated CV

Academic Degrees

  • PhD (Zoology) University of Adelaide, Australia, 1987
  • MSc (Hons -1st class) University of Auckland, New Zealand, 1982
  • B.Sc (Zoology major) University of Auckland, New Zealand, 1980

Academic and Research Appointments

  • 2014 - present Professor in Biology, University of Wollongong
  • 2000 Associate Professor in Biology, University of Wollongong
  • 2006-Distinguished Visiting Scholar, University of Canberra
  • 1993-2000 Senior Lecturer in Biology, University of Wollongong
  • 1996 Visiting Research Fellow - Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
  • 1989-1993 Lecturer in Biology, University of Wollongong
  • 1987-1989 Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 1987 Lecturer in Statistics & Computing, South Australian College of Advanced Education
Last reviewed: 4 March, 2016