Dr William Figueira

A11 - Old Geology Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 2039
Fax +61 2 9351 6713

Website Room 107, A11 - Edgeworth David Geology

Biographical details

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Marine Ecology), 2003 - Duke University, USA
  • Bachelors or Science (Biology), 1993 - University of California, San Diego, USA

Research interests

My general interests lie in the area of fish population ecology and my research has focused on the behavior and demographics of individual fish populations as well as the large scale connectivity between these populations. The small scale studies are typically conducted on SCUBA or snorkel and employ tools such as tagging, mapping and standard underwater census and behavioural observation techniques. These studies have been conducted in a variety of locations including the Florida Keys (USA), Lee Stocking Island (Bahamas), and One Tree Island (Australia).

My interest in the larger scale dynamics of reef fish involves understanding the mechanisms and consequences of metapopulation, and specifically source-sink, dynamics in these systems. While the spatial structure of these systems (distinct areas of occupied habitat) and the connectivity within them (larval exchange between areas) lend themselves nicely to descriptions invoking metapopulation theory, our current understanding of system dynamics is quite low. My work on this topic has run the spectrum from the highly theoretical exercise of creating conceptual and analytical models to allow for the application of metapopulation theory to marine systems in general to the much more applied topic of using metapopulation theory for citing marine reserves and creating effective, biologically interacting reserve networks. I use individually-based, stage-structured spatially realistic computer simulation models to study the impact of variations in habitat quality and network connectivity on system dynamics and specifically source-sink structure.

Current projects

Research: Tropical temperate connectivity of marine fish populations and the potential for range shifts due to global climate change

Collaborators:
- David Booth, UTS

Tropical temperate connectivity of marine fish populations and the potential for range shifts due to

This project studies the spatial and temporal patterns of transport and settlement of tropical vagrant fish species into subtropical regions and evaluates the potential for large scale range shifts of these species as the oceans off of SE Australia continue to warm. We are combining life history information obtained from otolith and lipid analysis with properties of transport obtained from Lagrangian biophysical dispersal modeling to better understand connectivity with upstream reefs and alterations to these patterns that may result from large-scale climate change such as ENSO and global warming. Such climate change has the potential to dramatically alter distributional patterns near the edge of the species range and in so doing can have very interesting metapopulation-level ramifications.

Research: Post-settlement demographics of reef fishes
Post-settlement demographics of reef fishes

Newly settled reef fish typically experience a very high rate of mortality due to predation and competition. Recent work has demonstrated that the condition of newly settled fish, as expressed by their lipid concentration, can affect their susceptibility to predation in both lab and field experiments. In this research theme I use a variety of lab and field studies at locations on the Great Barrier Reef (including One Tree Island) to look at mechanism by which fish conditional state, behaviour and performance interact with environment (biological and physical) to determine post-settlement success.

Research: Connectivity and metapopulation modeling of coastal reef habitats

Collaborators:
- NSW Dept. of Environment and Climate Change; Moninya Roughan,
- UNSW; Claire Paris, RSMAS

Connectivity and metapopulation modeling of coastal reef habitats

This research theme builds upon my previous work modeling source-sink population structure by applying these tools to a variety of systems. Currently I am working on modeling the source-sink structure of the Florida Keys reef system in the United States and looking at connectivity patters along the SE coast of Australia. This work is built around the same biophysical dispersal modeling mentioned above and in the case of source-sink structure, combines this with benthic habitat information.

PhD and master's project opportunities

Selected grants

2013

  • Diver-held stereo imaging and benthic habitat mapping; Figueira W, Ferrari R, Byrne M, Coleman R; Faculty of Science/Research Equipment and Infrastructure Scheme.

2012

  • Temperate trophic cascades: impacts of seal foraging on benthic community dynamics; Figueira W, Gillanders B; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage Projects (LP).

2011

  • Closing the loop: understanding the relationships between creational fishing surveys, fishing regulations and fisheries management objectives; Figueira W, Hunt R, Steffe A; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage Projects (LP).
  • LNK: 2011/Round2/ARC LP110200825, Closing the loop: understanding the relationships between recreati; Hirshorn J, Figueira W; Department of Primary Industries NSW/Project Support.

2010

  • Machine assisted, multi-scale spatial and temporal observation and modelling of marine benthic habitats - FELLOWSHIP (TBC); Williams S, Byrne M, Barrett N, Figueira W, Johnson-Roberson M; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Super Science Fellowships.

2009

  • Modelling connectivity of benthic habitats along the coast of NSW; Figueira W, Pritchard T; Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW)/Research Support.
  • Analysis of Fisheries Data from Lord Howe Island; Kerr I, Figueira W; Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW)/Research Support.

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Feary, D., Pratchett, M., Emslie, M., Fowler, A., Figueira, W., Luiz, O., Nakamura, Y., Booth, D. (2014). Latitudinal shifts in coral reef fishes: why some species do and others do not shift. Fish and Fisheries, 2013, 1-23. [More Information]
  • Bugnot, A., Coleman, R., Figueira, W., Marzinelli, E. (2014). Patterns of the Non-Indigenous Isopod Cirolana harfordi in Sydney Harbour. PLoS One, 9(1), 1-7. [More Information]
  • Curley, B., Jordan, A., Figueira, W., Valenzuela Davie, V. (2013). A review of the biology and ecology of key fishes targeted by coastal fisheries in south-east Australia: identifying critical knowledge gaps required to improve spatial management. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 23, 435-458. [More Information]
  • Galaiduk, R., Figueira, W., Kingsford, M., Curley, B. (2013). Factors driving the biogeographic distribution of two temperate Australian damselfishes and ramifications for range shifts. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 484, 189-202. [More Information]
  • Smith, A., Munro, U., Figueira, W. (2013). Modelling urban populations of the Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis molucca) to inform management. Population Ecology, 55, 567-574. [More Information]
  • Figueira, W., Coleman, F. (2010). Comparing landings of United States recreational fishery sectors. Bulletin of Marine Science, 86(3), 499-514.
  • Figueira, W., Booth, D. (2010). Increasing ocean temperatures allow tropical fishes to survive overwinter in temperate waters. Global Change Biology, 16(2), 506-516.
  • Figueira, W. (2009). Connectivity or demography: Defining sources and sinks in coral reef fish metapopulations. Ecological Modelling, 220(8), 1126-1137.
  • Figueira, W., Biro, P., Booth, D., Valenzuela Davie, V. (2009). Performance of tropical fish recruiting to temperate habitats: role of ambient temperature and implications of climate change. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 384, 231-239.
  • Granek, E., Madin, E., Brown, M., Figueira, W., Cameron, D., Hogan, Z., Kristianson, G., De Villiers, P., Williams, J., Post, J., et al (2008). Engaging recreational fishers in management and conservation: Global case studies. Conservation Biology, 22(5), 1125-1134.
  • Figueira, W., Booth, D., Gregson, M. (2008). Selective mortality of a coral reef damselfish: role of predator–competitor synergisms. Oecologia, 156(1), 215-226. [More Information]
  • Figueira, W., Lyman, S., Crowder, L., Rilov, G. (2008). Small-scale demographic variability of the biocolor damselfish, Stegastes partitus, in the Florida Keys USA. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 81, 297-311. [More Information]
  • Rilov, G., Figueira, W., Lyman, S., Crowder, L. (2007). Complex habitats may not always benefit prey: linking visual field with reef fish behavior and distribution. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 329(-), 225-238.
  • Figueira, W., Lyman, S. (2007). Context-dependent risk tolerance of the bicolour damselfish: courtship in the presence of fish and egg predators. Animal Behaviour, 74(2), 329-336. [More Information]
  • Booth, D., Figueira, W., Gregson, M., Brown, L., Beretta, G. (2007). Occurrence of tropical fishes in temperate southeastern Australia: Role of the East Australian Current. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 72, 102-114. [More Information]
  • Hose, G., Murray, B., Park, M., Kelaher, B., Figueira, W. (2006). A meta-analysis comparing the toxicity of sediments in the laboratory and in situ. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 25(4), 1148-1152.
  • Figueira, W., Crowder, L. (2006). Defining patch contribution in source-sink metapopulations: the importance of including dispersal and its relevance to marine systems. Population Ecology, 48(3), 215-224. [More Information]
  • Murray, B., Kelaher, B., Hose, G., Figueira, W. (2005). A meta-analysis of the interspecific relationship between seed size and plant abundance within local communities. Oikos: a journal of ecology, 110(1), 191-194.
  • Coleman, F., Figueira, W., Ueland, J., Crowder, L. (2005). Global impact of recreational fisheries - Response. Science, 307, 1562-1563.
  • Coleman, F., Figueira, W., Ueland, J., Crowder, L. (2005). The recreational fisher's perspective - Response. Science, 307(5715), 1561-1561.
  • Coleman, F., Figueira, W., Ueland, J., Crowder, L. (2004). The Impact of United States Recreational Fisheries on Marine Fish Populations. Science, 305, 1958-1960.
  • Price, P., Thomas, G., Pardini, A., Figueira, W., Caputo, J., Williamson, M. (2002). Discovery of a High Molecular Weight Complex of Calcium, Phosphate, Fetuin, and Matrix gamma-Carboxyglutamic Acid Protein in the Serum of Etidronate-treated Rats. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 277(6), 3926-3934.

Conferences

  • Ferrari, R., Malcolm, H., Friedman, A., Williams, S., Jordan, A., Figueira, W., Byrne, M. (2013). Effect of structural complexity on fish abundance on deep reefs: a case study in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. 50th Australian Marine Sciences Association Conference, Gold Coast, Australia: Australian Marine Sciences Association Inc.

Report

  • Figueira, W., Coleman, F., Ueland, J. (2007). Comparative Harvest of United States Marine Recreational Fishing Sectors.
  • Figueira, W. (2007). Implementation strategies for a state-wide recreational fishing survey in New South Wales.
  • Coleman, F., Figueira, W., Ueland, J., Crowder, L. (2004). Marine Fisheries of the United States: tracking recreational and commercial landings since Magnuson.

2014

  • Feary, D., Pratchett, M., Emslie, M., Fowler, A., Figueira, W., Luiz, O., Nakamura, Y., Booth, D. (2014). Latitudinal shifts in coral reef fishes: why some species do and others do not shift. Fish and Fisheries, 2013, 1-23. [More Information]
  • Bugnot, A., Coleman, R., Figueira, W., Marzinelli, E. (2014). Patterns of the Non-Indigenous Isopod Cirolana harfordi in Sydney Harbour. PLoS One, 9(1), 1-7. [More Information]

2013

  • Curley, B., Jordan, A., Figueira, W., Valenzuela Davie, V. (2013). A review of the biology and ecology of key fishes targeted by coastal fisheries in south-east Australia: identifying critical knowledge gaps required to improve spatial management. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 23, 435-458. [More Information]
  • Ferrari, R., Malcolm, H., Friedman, A., Williams, S., Jordan, A., Figueira, W., Byrne, M. (2013). Effect of structural complexity on fish abundance on deep reefs: a case study in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. 50th Australian Marine Sciences Association Conference, Gold Coast, Australia: Australian Marine Sciences Association Inc.
  • Galaiduk, R., Figueira, W., Kingsford, M., Curley, B. (2013). Factors driving the biogeographic distribution of two temperate Australian damselfishes and ramifications for range shifts. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 484, 189-202. [More Information]
  • Smith, A., Munro, U., Figueira, W. (2013). Modelling urban populations of the Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis molucca) to inform management. Population Ecology, 55, 567-574. [More Information]

2010

  • Figueira, W., Coleman, F. (2010). Comparing landings of United States recreational fishery sectors. Bulletin of Marine Science, 86(3), 499-514.
  • Figueira, W., Booth, D. (2010). Increasing ocean temperatures allow tropical fishes to survive overwinter in temperate waters. Global Change Biology, 16(2), 506-516.

2009

  • Figueira, W. (2009). Connectivity or demography: Defining sources and sinks in coral reef fish metapopulations. Ecological Modelling, 220(8), 1126-1137.
  • Figueira, W., Biro, P., Booth, D., Valenzuela Davie, V. (2009). Performance of tropical fish recruiting to temperate habitats: role of ambient temperature and implications of climate change. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 384, 231-239.

2008

  • Granek, E., Madin, E., Brown, M., Figueira, W., Cameron, D., Hogan, Z., Kristianson, G., De Villiers, P., Williams, J., Post, J., et al (2008). Engaging recreational fishers in management and conservation: Global case studies. Conservation Biology, 22(5), 1125-1134.
  • Figueira, W., Booth, D., Gregson, M. (2008). Selective mortality of a coral reef damselfish: role of predator–competitor synergisms. Oecologia, 156(1), 215-226. [More Information]
  • Figueira, W., Lyman, S., Crowder, L., Rilov, G. (2008). Small-scale demographic variability of the biocolor damselfish, Stegastes partitus, in the Florida Keys USA. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 81, 297-311. [More Information]

2007

  • Figueira, W., Coleman, F., Ueland, J. (2007). Comparative Harvest of United States Marine Recreational Fishing Sectors.
  • Rilov, G., Figueira, W., Lyman, S., Crowder, L. (2007). Complex habitats may not always benefit prey: linking visual field with reef fish behavior and distribution. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 329(-), 225-238.
  • Figueira, W., Lyman, S. (2007). Context-dependent risk tolerance of the bicolour damselfish: courtship in the presence of fish and egg predators. Animal Behaviour, 74(2), 329-336. [More Information]
  • Figueira, W. (2007). Implementation strategies for a state-wide recreational fishing survey in New South Wales.
  • Booth, D., Figueira, W., Gregson, M., Brown, L., Beretta, G. (2007). Occurrence of tropical fishes in temperate southeastern Australia: Role of the East Australian Current. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 72, 102-114. [More Information]

2006

  • Hose, G., Murray, B., Park, M., Kelaher, B., Figueira, W. (2006). A meta-analysis comparing the toxicity of sediments in the laboratory and in situ. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 25(4), 1148-1152.
  • Figueira, W., Crowder, L. (2006). Defining patch contribution in source-sink metapopulations: the importance of including dispersal and its relevance to marine systems. Population Ecology, 48(3), 215-224. [More Information]

2005

  • Murray, B., Kelaher, B., Hose, G., Figueira, W. (2005). A meta-analysis of the interspecific relationship between seed size and plant abundance within local communities. Oikos: a journal of ecology, 110(1), 191-194.
  • Coleman, F., Figueira, W., Ueland, J., Crowder, L. (2005). Global impact of recreational fisheries - Response. Science, 307, 1562-1563.
  • Coleman, F., Figueira, W., Ueland, J., Crowder, L. (2005). The recreational fisher's perspective - Response. Science, 307(5715), 1561-1561.

2004

  • Coleman, F., Figueira, W., Ueland, J., Crowder, L. (2004). Marine Fisheries of the United States: tracking recreational and commercial landings since Magnuson.
  • Coleman, F., Figueira, W., Ueland, J., Crowder, L. (2004). The Impact of United States Recreational Fisheries on Marine Fish Populations. Science, 305, 1958-1960.

2002

  • Price, P., Thomas, G., Pardini, A., Figueira, W., Caputo, J., Williamson, M. (2002). Discovery of a High Molecular Weight Complex of Calcium, Phosphate, Fetuin, and Matrix gamma-Carboxyglutamic Acid Protein in the Serum of Etidronate-treated Rats. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 277(6), 3926-3934.

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