Shaun is the principal research scientist for marine systems where his chief responsibilities are to conduct or co-ordinate research that contributes to managing Western Australia’s marine resources. Shaun’s previous research examined the impact that habitat disturbance and fishing on reef communities, focusing on the effect of coral bleaching on reef fish. His work has examined the role that structural complexity of reefs plays in maintaining diversity, habitat associations and specialization of fish and the impact of different disturbances on reef communities. He is currently examining the importance seaweed beds as nursery habitat for tropical fish. Shaun has also worked on food webs, in particular the importance of detritus relative to algae in fish diets and the implications that different feeding modes have for reef recovery. He has worked on the reef communities on the Great Barrier Reef, Caribbean, Seychelles and Fiji.
PhD, Dept. Marine Biology James Cook University (JCU). Project title: Trophic limitations in small reef fish: an evaluation of herbivory in the Blenniidae.
Bachelor of Science. Honours. Dept. Marine Biology, JCU. Project title: Cryptic dietary components in territorial damselfish.
Bachelor of Science. JCU. Majors in Marine Biology & Zoology
Bachelor of Pharmacy. University of Sydney
Post-doctoral Research Fellow, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University.
Post-doctoral Research Associate. Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Marine Ecology Faculty, School for Field Studies. Sth Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands, Caribbean.
Membership of Professional Associations
Holmes TH, Wilson S, Evans R, Ayling T, Westera M, Halford A et al. (2017). Considering multiple factors in assessing the effectiveness of a large-scale marine protected area for conserving targeted fish communities (ABSTRACT). In Abstract Book: 13th International Coral Reef Symposium, 19-24 June, 2016, Honolulu, Hawai'i p. 148
Januchowski-Hartley F, Graham N, Wilson S, Jennings S, Perry C (2017). Divergent reef carbonate budget trajectories following a major climatic disturbance event (POSTER ABSTRACT). In Abstract Book: 13th International Coral Reef Symposium, 19-24 June, 2016, Honolulu, Hawai'i p. 158
Jupiter SD, Goetze JS, Carvalho P, Claudet J, Hamilton RJ, Januchowski-Hartley FA, et al. [Wilson SK] (2017). How to have your fish and eat them too: managing periodically harvested closures for long-term sustainability (ABSTRACT). In Abstract Book: 13th International Coral Reef Symposium, 19-24 June, 2016, Honolulu, Hawai'i p. 165
MacNeil MA, Graham NA, Cinner JE, Wilson SK, McClanahan TR (2017). Function-based management of multispecies reef fisheries (ABSTRACT). In Abstract Book: 13th International Coral Reef Symposium, 19-24 June, 2016, Honolulu, Hawai'i p. 209
Page CA, Field SN, Pollock F, Lamb JB, Shedrawi G, Wilson SK (2017). Assessing coral health and disease from digital photographs and in situ surveys. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 189, pp. 1–12
Wilson SK, Depczynski M, Fulton CJ, Holmes TH, Radford BT, Tinkler P (2017). Influence of nursery habitat on the abundance of a coral reef fish (ABSTRACT). In Abstract Book: 13th International Coral Reef Symposium, 19-24 June, 2016, Honolulu, Hawai'i p. 373
Bennett K, Wilson S, Shedrawi G, McLean D, Langlois T (2016). Can diver operated stereo-video surveys for fish be used to collect meaningful data on benthic coral reef communities?. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods 14, pp. 874–885
Cinner JE, Huchery C, MacNeil MA, Graham NAJ, McClanahan TR, Maina J et al. [Wilson SK] (2016). Bright spots among the world's coral reefs. Nature 535, pp. 416–419
Hyndes GA, Heck KL, Vergés A, Harvey ES, Kendrick GA, Lavery PS et al. [Whiting S, Wilson S] (2016). Accelerating tropicalization and the transformation of temperate seagrass meadows. Bioscience 66, pp. 938–948
Kendrick A, Wilson S, Friedman K, Waples K, Whiting S, Holmes T et al. [Rule M, Halford A] (2016). Strategic marine ecological research priorities for CALM Act marine parks and reserves 2016-2021. Conservation Science Western Australia 10, pp. 1–15
Lim IE, Wilson SK, Holmes TH, Noble MM, Fulton CJ (2016). Specialization within a shifting habitat mosaic underpins the seasonal abundance of a tropical fish. Ecosphere 7, pp. 1–13
Nash KL, Bijoux J, Robinson J, Wilson SK, Graham NAJ (2016). Harnessing fishery-independent indicators to aid management of data-poor fisheries: weighing habitat and fishing effects. Ecosphere 7, pp. 1–18
Sweatman H, Babcock R, Evans S, Gilmour J, Heyward A, Richards Z et al. [Wilson S] (2016). The state and trends of quality of habitats and communities - coral reefs (<25m): report for Australia State of the Environment 2016 Marine Environment. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville. 5 p.
Thillainath EC, McIlwain JL, Wilson SK, Depczynski M (2016). Estimating the role of three mesopredatory fishes in coral reef food webs at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. Coral Reefs 35, pp. 261–269
Wilson S, Graham N (2016). Environmental factors that promote coral recovery following warm water bleaching. Available at https://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/about-us/science-and-research/publications-resources/111-science-division-information-sheets. 89/2016, 2 p.
Wilson S, Holmes T (2016). Department of Parks and Wildlife. Australian Society for Fish Biology Newsletter 46(2), pp. 66–67
Wilson S, Holmes T, Shedrawi G, Bennett K, Collins D, Langlois T et al. (2016). Assessing benthic assemblages from fish survey videos. Available at https://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/about-us/science-and-research/publications-resources/111-science-division-information-sheets. 90/2016, 2 p.
Wilson SK, Depczynski M, Fulton CJ, Holmes TH, Radford BT, Tinkler P (2016). Influence of nursery microhabitats on the future abundance of a coral reef fish. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B 283, pp. 1–7
Wyneken J, Salmon M, Hamann M, Tucker A, Whiting S (2016). Successful and unsuccessful adhesives for use on neonate flatback turtles (Natator depressus): what works and doesn’t work on the teflon turtles. PowerPoint presentation at the 36th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation, 29 February-4 March 2016, Lima, Peru.
Coker DJ, Hoey AS, Wilson SK, Depczynski M, Graham NAJ, Hobbs J-PA et al. [Holmes TH] (2015). Habitat selectivity and reliance on live corals for Indo-Pacific hawkfishes (family Cirrhitidae). PLoS One 10, pp. 1–17
Cvitanovic C, Hobday AJ, van Kerkhoff L, Wilson SK, Dobbs K, Marshall NA (2015). Improving knowledge exchange among scientists and decision-makers to facilitate the adaptive governance of marine resources: a review of knowledge and research needs. Ocean and Coastal Management 112, pp. 25–35
Goetze JS, Jupiter SD, Langlois TJ, Wilson SK, Harvey ES, Bond T et al. (2015). Diver operated video most accurately detects the impacts of fishing within periodically harvested marine closures. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 462, pp. 74–82
Graham NAJ, Jennings S, MacNeil MA, Mouillot D, Wilson SK (2015). Predicting climate-driven regime shifts versus rebound potential in coral reefs. Nature 518, pp. 94–97
MacNeil MA, Graham NAJ, Cinner JE, Wilson SK, Williams ID, Maina J et al. (2015). Recovery potential of the world's coral reef fishes. Nature 520, pp. 341–344
Nash KL, Graham NAJ, Wilson SK (2015). An assessment of the viability of fisheries independent data for determining stock status and deriving management advice for Seychelles inshore coral reef fisheries. ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Townsville. 102 p.
Perry CT, Murphy GN, Graham NAY, Wilson SK, Januchowski-Hartley FA, East HK (2015). Remote coral reefs can sustain high growth potential and match future sea-level trends. Nature: Scientific Reports 5, pp. 1–8
Simpson CJ, Beger M, Coleman JG, Friedman KJ, Hill AK, Kendrick AJ et al. [Waples KA, Whiting SD, Wilson SK] (2015). Prioritisation of conservation research and monitoring for Western Australian protected areas and threatened species. Conservation Science Western Australia 9, pp. 227–237
Turner JA, Polunin NVC, Field SN, Wilson SK (2015). Measuring coral size-frequency distribution using stereo video technology, a comparison with in situ measurements. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 187, pp. 1–10
Ashworth EC, Depczynski M, Holmes TH, Wilson SK (2014). Quantitative diet analysis of four mesopredators from a coral reef. Journal of Fish Biology 84, pp. 1031–1045
Coker DJ, Wilson SK, Pratchett MS (2014). Importance of live coral habitat for reef fishes. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 24, pp. 89–126
Cvitanovic C, Fulton CJ, Wilson SK, van Kerkhoff L, Cripps IL, Muthiga N (2014). Utility of primary scientific literature to environmental managers: an international case study on coral-dominated marine protected areas. Ocean and Coastal Management 102, pp. 72–78
Cvitanovic C, Marshall NA, Wilson SK, Dobbs K, Hobday AJ (2014). Perceptions of Australian marine protected area managers regarding the role, importance, and achievability of adaptation for managing the risks of climate change. Ecology and Society 19, pp. 1–10
Evans RD, Wilson SK, Field SN, Moore JAY (2014). Importance of macroalgal fields as coral reef fish nursery habitat in north-west Australia. Marine Biology 161, pp. 599–607
Fulton C, Depczynski M, Radford B, Wilson S, Holmes T (2014). Seasonal cycles in Ningaloo seaweed meadows. Available at https://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/about-us/science-and-research/publications-resources/111-science-division-information-sheets. 73/2014, 2 p.
Harris A, Wilson S, Graham N, Sheppard C (2014). Scleractinian coral communities of the inner Seychelles 10 years after the 1998 mortality event. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 24, pp. 667–679
Pratchett MS, Hoey AS, Wilson SK (2014). Reef degradation and the loss of critical ecosystem goods and services provided by coral reef fishes. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 7, pp. 37–43
Vergés A, Steinberg PD, Hay ME, Poore AGB, Campbell AH, Ballesteros E et al. [Wilson SK] (2014). The tropicalisation of temperate marine ecosystems: climate-mediated changes in herbivory and community phase shifts. Proceedings of the Royal Society. B 281, pp. 1–10
Wilson SK, Fisher R, Pratchett MS (2014). Differential use of shelter holes by sympatric species of blennies (Blennidae). Marine Biology 160, pp. 2405–2411
Wilson SK, Fulton CJ, Depczynski M, Holmes TH, Noble MM, Radford B et al. (2014). Seasonal changes in habitat structure underpin shifts in macroalgae-associated tropical fish communities. Marine Biology 161, pp. 2597–2607
Cariglia N, Wilson SK, Graham NAJ, Fisher R, Robinson J, Aumeeruddy R et al. (2013). Sea cucumbers in the Seychelles: effects of marine protected areas on high-value species. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 23, pp. 418–428
Cvitanovic C, Wilson SK, Fulton CJ, Almany GR, Anderson P, Babcock RC et al. [Friedman KJ, Holmes TH, Kendrick AJ, Simpson C, Waples K] (2013). Critical research needs for managing coral reef marine protected areas: perspectives of academics and managers. Journal of Environmental Management 114, pp. 84–91
Depczynski M, Gilmour JP, Ridgway T, Barnes H, Heyward AJ, Holmes TH et al. [Moore JAY, Wilson SK] (2013). Bleaching, coral mortality and subsequent survivorship on a West Australian fringing reef. Coral Reefs 32, pp. 233–238
Graham NAJ, Pratchett MS, McClanahan TR, Wilson SK (2013). The status of coral reef fish assemblages in the Chagos Archipelago, with implications for protected area management and climate change. In Coral Reefs of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Springer, Dordrecht. pp. 253–270
Holmes TH, Wilson SK, Travers MJ, Langlois TJ, Evans RD, Moore G et al. [Douglas RA, Shedrawi G] (2013). A comparison of visual- and stereo-video based fish community assessment methods in tropical and temperate marine waters of Western Australia. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods 11, pp. 337–350
Nash KL, Graham NAJ, Wilson SK, Bellwood DR (2013). Cross-scale habitat structure drives fish body size distributions on coral reefs. Ecosystems 16, pp. 478–490
Speed CW, Babcock RC, Bancroft KP, Beckley LE, Bellchambers LM, Depczynski M et al. [Field SN, Friedman KJ, Moore JAY, Nutt CD, Shedrawi G, Simpson CJ, Wilson SK] (2013). Dynamic stability of coral reefs on the west Australian coast. PLoS One 8(7), pp. 1–12
Underwood JN, Wilson SK, Ludgerus L, Evans RD (2013). Integrating connectivity science and spatial conservation management of coral reefs in north-west Australia. Journal for Nature Conservation 21, pp. 163–172
Wilson SK, Graham NAJ, Pratchett MS (2013). Susceptibility of butterflyfish to habitat disturbance: do 'chaets' ever prosper?. In The Biology of Butterflyfishes CRC Press, Boca Raton. p.
Brewer TD, Cinner JE, Fisher R, Green A, Wilson SK (2012). Market access, population density, and socioeconomic development explain diversity and functional group biomass of coral reef fish assemblages. Global Environmental Change 22, pp. 399–406
Cole AJ, Lawton RJ, Wilson SK, Pratchett MS (2012). Consumption of tabular acroporid corals by reef fishes: a comparison with plant-herbivore interactions. Functional Ecology 26, pp. 307–316
Holmes TH, Wilson SK, Vanderklift M, Babcock R, Fraser M (2012). The role of Thalassoma lunare as a predator of juvenile fish on a sub-tropical coral reef. Coral Reefs 31, pp. 1113–1123
Huisman J, Wilson S (2012). The constant gardener. Landscope 28(2), pp. 32–38
Josephitis E, Wilson SK, Moore JAY, Field S (2012). Comparison of three digital image analysis techniques for assessment of coral cover and bleaching. Conservation Science Western Australia 8, pp. 251–257
Moore J, Bellchambers L, Depczynski M, Evans R, Evans S, Field S et al. [Friedman K, Holmes T, Middlebrook R, Shedrawi G, Taylor H, Wilson S] (2012). 2010-11 mass coral bleaching across 12º of latitude in WA. Poster presented at the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium, 9-13 July, Cairns, Queensland, Australia.
Moore JAY, Barnes H, Evans R, Field S, Friedman K, Holmes T et al. [Middlebrook R, Shedrawi G, Wilson S] (2012). Extreme ocean warming drives coral bleaching across WA. Available at https://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/about-us/science-and-research/publications-resources/111-science-division-information-sheets. 49/2012, 2 p.
Wilson S, Holmes T, Depczynski M (2012). Habitat associations of juvenile coral reef fish. Available at https://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/about-us/science-and-research/publications-resources/111-science-division-information-sheets. 47/2012, 2 p.
Wilson S, Onton K, Page C, Neale S, Armstrong S (2012). Coral disease at Ningaloo Marine Park. Available at https://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/about-us/science-and-research/publications-resources/111-science-division-information-sheets. 60/2012, 2 p.
Wilson SK, Babcock RC, Fisher R, Holmes TH, Moore JAY, Thomson DP (2012). Relative and combined effects of habitat and fishing on reef fish communities across a limited fishing gradient at Ningaloo. Marine Environmental Research 81, pp. 1–11
Wilson SK, Graham NAJ, Fisher R, Robinson J, Nash K, Chong-Seng K et al. (2012). Effect of macroalgal expansion and marine protected areas on coral recovery following a climatic disturbance. Conservation Biology 26, pp. 995–1004
Cole AJ, Lawton RJ, Pratchett MS, Wilson SK (2011). Chronic coral consumption by butterflyfishes. Coral Reefs 30, pp. 85–93
Daw TM, Cinner JE, McClanahan TR, Graham NAJ, Wilson SK (2011). Design factors and socioeconomic variables associated with ecological responses to fishery closures in the Western Indian Ocean. Coastal Management 39, pp. 412–424
Depczynski M, Heyward A, Case M, Colquhoun J, O’Leary R, Radford B et al. [Wilson S, Holmes T] (2011). Methods of monitoring the health of benthic communities at Ningaloo: coral & fish recruitment: final report. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville. 109 p.
Farmer BM, Wilson S (2011). Diet of finfish targeted by fishers in north west Australia and the implications for trophic cascades. Environmental Biology of Fishes 91, pp. 78–85
Graham NAJ, Chabanet P, Evans RD, Jennings S, Letourneur Y, MacNeil MA et al. [Wilson SK] (2011). Extinction vulnerability of coral reef fishes. Ecology Letters 14, pp. 341–348
McClanahan TR, Graham NAJ, MacNeil MA, Muthiga NA, Cinner JE, Bruggemann JH et al. [Wilson SK] (2011). Critical thresholds and tangible targets for ecosystem-based management of coral reef fisheries. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 108, pp. 17230–17233
Mora C, Aburto-Oropeza O, Ayala Bocos A, Ayotte PM, Bank S, Bauman AG et al. [Wilson SK] (2011). Global human footprint on the linkage between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in reef fishes. PLoS Biology 9, pp. 1–9
Onton K, Page CA, Wilson SK, Neale S, Armstrong S (2011). Distribution and drivers of coral disease at Ningaloo reef, Indian Ocean. Marine Ecology Progress Series 433, pp. 75–84
Pratchett MS, Hoey AS, Wilson SK, Messmer V, Graham NAJ (2011). Changes in biodiversity and functioning of reef fish assemblages following coral bleaching and coral loss. Diversity 3, pp. 424–452
Pratchett MS, Munday PL, Graham NAJ, Kronen M, Pinca S, Friedman K et al. [Wilson SK] (2011). Vulnerability of coastal fisheries in the tropical Pacific to climate change. In Vulnerability of Tropical Pacific Fisheries and Aquaculture to Climate Change Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea. pp. 493–576
Wilson S, Holmes T (2011). Reef fish and corals: unlocking the secrets. Landscope 26(3), pp. 18–22
Kendrick A, Wilson S, Simpson C, Friedman K (2010). Strategic marine research priorities for the Department of Environment and Conservation. Department of Environment and Conservation, Kensington, WA. 12 p.
Onton K, Page C, Wilson S, Neale S, Armstrong S (2010). Distribution & drivers of coral disease at Ningaloo Reef. Poster presented at the 85th annual Australian Coral Reef Society meeting, Coffs Harbour. In Australian Coral Reef Society meeting, Coffs Harbour
Wilson SK, Adjeroud M, Bellwood DR, Berumen ML Booth D, Bozec Y-M et al. (2010). Crucial knowledge gaps in current understanding of climate change impacts on coral reef fishes. Journal of Experimental Biology 213, pp. 894–900
Wilson SK, Depczynski M, Fisher R, Holmes TH, O'Leary RA, Tinkler P (2010). Habitat associations of juvenile fish at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia: the importance of coral and algae. PLoS One 5, pp. 1–8
Wilson SK, Fisher R, Pratchett MS, Graham NAJ, Dulvy NK, Turner RA et al. (2010). Habitat degradation and fishing effects on the size structure of coral reef fish communities. Ecological Applications 20, pp. 442–451
McClanahan TR, Graham NAJ, Wilson S, Letourner Y, Fisher R (2009). Effects of fisheries closure size, age and history of compliance on coral reef fish communities in the western Indian Ocean. Marine Ecology Progress Series 396, pp. 99–109
Wilson S (2009). Climate change and coral reef habitat: implications for fish (ABSTRACT). In A Changing Climate, Western Australia in Focus: Presenters' Abstract Papers: Symposium, 27 March 2009, the University Club of Western Australia, Crawley, Perth, Western Australia, Australia. pp. 27–28
Graham NAJ, McClanahan TR, MacNeil MA, Wilson SK, Polunin NVC, Jennings SB et al. (2008). Climate warning, marine protected areas and the ocean-scale integrity of coral reef ecosystems. PLoS One 3(8), pp. 1–9
Pratchett MS, Munday PL, Wilson SK, Graham NAJ, Cinner JE, Bellwood DR et al. (2008). Effects of climate-induced coral bleaching on coral-reef fishes: ecological and economic consequences. Oceanography and Marine Biology 46, pp. 251–296
Pratchett MS, Wilson SK, Graham NAJ, Munday PL, Jones GP, Polunin NVC (2008). Coral bleaching and consequences for motile reef organisms: past, present and uncertain future effects. In Coral Bleaching Springer, Berlin. pp. 139–158
Wilson DT, Vaughan D, Wilson SK, Simon CN, Lockhart K (2008). Efficacy of a starch-iodide swan technique to detect illegal use of bleach in a spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) fishery. Fisheries Research 90, pp. 86–91
Wilson SK, Burgess SC, Cheal AJ, Emslie M, Fisher R, MIller I et al. (2008). Habitat utilization by coral reef fish: implications for specialists vs generalists in a changing environment. Journal of Animal Ecology 77, pp. 220–228
Graham NAJ, Wilson SK, Jennings S, Polunin NVC, Robinson J, Bijoux JP et al. (2007). Lag effects in the impacts of mass coral bleaching on coral reef fish, fisheries and ecosystems. Conservation Biology 21, pp. 1291–1300
Ledlie MH, Graham NAJ, Bythell JC, Wilson SK, Jennings S, Polunin NVC et al. (2007). Phase shifts and the role of herbivory in the resilience of coral reefs. Coral Reefs 26, pp. 641–653
McClanahan TR, Ateweberhan M, Graham NAJ, Wilson SK, Ruiz Sebastián C, Guillaume MMM et al. (2007). Western Indian Ocean coral communities: bleaching responses and susceptibility to extinction. Marine Ecology Progress Series 337, pp. 1–13
McClanahan TR, Ateweberhan M, Ruiz Sebastián C, Graham NAJ, Wilson SK, Bruggemann JH et al. (2007). Predictability of coral bleaching from synoptic satellite and in situ temperature observations. Coral Reefs 26, pp. 695–701
Pratchett MS, Munday PL, Wilson SK, Graham NAJ, Cinner JE, Bellwood DR et al. (2007). Effects of climate-induced coral bleaching on coral reef fishes: a review of ecological and economic consequences (ABSTRACT). In Australian Coral Reef Society, 83rd Annual Conference, Fremantle, Western Australia, 9-11th October, 2007: East Meets West: Science and Management of Australia's Coral Reefs p. 73
Turner RA, Cakacaka A, Graham NAJ, Polunin NVC, Pratchett MS, Stead SM et al [Wilson SK] (2007). Declining reliance on marine resources in remote south Pacific societies: ecological versus socio-economic drivers. Coral Reefs 26, pp. 997–1008
Graham NAJ, Wilson SK, Jennings S, Polunin NVC, Bijoux JP, Robinson J (2006). Dynamic fragility of oceanic coral reef ecosystems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 103, pp. 8425–8429
Pratchett MS, Wilson SK, Baird AH (2006). Declines in the abundance of Chaetodon butterflyfishes following extensive coral depletion. Journal of Fish Biology 69, pp. 1269–1280
Fisher R, Leis JM, Clark DL, Wilson SK (2005). Critical swimming speeds of late-stage coral reef fish larvae: variation within species, among species and between locations. Marine Biology 147, pp. 1201–1212
Fisher R, Wilson SK (2004). Maximum sustainable swimming speeds of late-stage larvae of nine species of reef fishes. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 312, pp. 171–186
Pratchett MS, Wilson SK, Berumen ML, McCormick MI (2004). Sublethal effects of coral bleaching on an obligate coral feeding butterflyfish. Coral Reefs 23, pp. 352–356
Munday PL, Wilson SK (1997). Comparative efficacy of clove oil and other chemicals in anaesthetization of Pomacentrus amboinensis, a coral reef fish. Journal of Fish Biology 51, pp. 931–938