Professor Thomas Schlacher

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Professor Thomas Schlacher


Teaching areas

  • Marine Ecology
  • Animal Ecology
  • Coastal Conservation
  • Environmental Management

Research areas

  • ecology of ocean beaches
  • scavengers & carrion-based food webs
  • the relationship between connectivity and resilience in modular ecosystems
  • restoration of oyster reefs to enhance fish and fisheries
  • drivers of fish diversity and assemblages in estuarine seascapes
  • community assembly in variable habitats
  • deep-sea biology (submarine canyons, seamounts)
  • dynamics of carbon processing at ecological interfaces
  • trophic linkages and food web
  • metrics in environmental research
  • connectivity and cross-system coupling
  • stable isotopes in ecological research

Program coordinator


Research Themes

Thomas's scientific interests and work spans three broad thematic areas:

1. Ecological Interfaces

Interfaces are ubiquitous in the biosphere, forming hotspots of material processing, exchanges, biodiversity, and habitat heterogeneity. These interfaces couple ecosystems through the exchange of nutrients, material and organisms. I primarily work on two types of interfaces that represent the single longest interface on the planet – sandy beaches (as boundaries between the oceans and the land), and on interfaces that are sites of important interactions between society and coastal systems: estuaries. My published work and research projects examine both the structural properties of these interfaces and the processes which make them uniquely fascinating locations for ecologists. Important functional aspects which my lab investigates are large hydrodynamic features that link estuaries with the ocean (‘plumes’), the processing of animal carcasses at the land-ocean boundary (‘scavenger ecology’), and the role of carbon exchanges in spatially-coupled food webs (‘trophic linkages’).

2. Deep-Sea Ecology

The deep sea is the single largest biome of the planet, and perhaps the one last true frontier in ocean science. I have a long-standing interest and research stream in deep-sea ecology and conservation, focusing on seamounts (undersea mountains), continental margins, and submarine canyons. Each of these habitats is characterised by under-reported habitat heterogeneity and complexity of the seascape, and harbours highly diverse animal communities. My work has challenged conventional paradigms about elevated endemism and productivity of isolated topographic features, provided spatial data as biological input for conservation planning in the deep sea, and highlights the vulnerability of deep-sea systems to fishing and mining; the mining of the deep seabed has potentially massive environmental implications in coming years, and this aspect of my research (together with broader conservation questions) is gaining further momentum.

3. Anthropogenic Threats and Biological Conservation

I strive to be ethically responsible by articulating my research work into society and the broader environment to achieve benefits beyond academia. To this end, a sizeable part of my research concerns questions about the environmental effects of human activities, and the strategies that are most effective in conserving vulnerable and irreplaceable features of the natural environment. There are several themes in this line of research: i.) the development of accurate pollution indicators in estuaries and marine waters (e.g. fish health, isotopes); ii) scientifically robust assessments of the consequences that urbanisation and recreation have for coastal dunes and beaches; iii) improvements to metrics used to gauge environmental conditions and monitor the effectiveness of management interventions; iv) evaluating impacts of bottom-trawling on seafloor communities; v) developing strategies to lower conflicts between humans and wildlife; and iv) the identification of areas of special biological significance on the High Seas. These projects involve international partners (ISA – International Seabed Authority, CBD – Convention on Biological Diversity) and a sizeable network of international collaborators.


Key publications of Thomas Schlacher are also available from Google scholar and Researchgate.

Selected Publications (peer-reviewed, past 10 years)
  1. Olds AD, Frohloff BA, Gilby BL, Connolly RM, Yabsley NA, Maxwell PS, and Schlacher TA (in press) Urbanisation supplements ecosystem functioning in disturbed estuaries. Proceedings of the Royal Society B in press.
  2. Olds AD, Nagelkerken I, Huijbers CM, Gilby BL, and Schlacher TA (in press). Connectivity in coastal S. Pittman, editor. Connectivity in the sea. Wiley & Sons; accpeted 19 Aug 2016, New Jersey.
  3. Althaus F, Williams A, Alderslade P, and Schlacher TA (2017) Conservation of marine biodiversity on a very large deep continental margin: how representative is a very large offshore reserve network for deep-water octocorals? Diversity and Distributions 23:90-103.
  4. Kelly I, Leon JX, Gilby BL, Olds AD, and Schlacher TA (2017) Marine turtles are not fussy nesters: A novel test of small-scale nest site selection using structure from motion beach terrain information. PeerJ 2017.
  5. Clark MR, Althaus F, Schlacher TA, Williams A, Bowden DA, and Rowden AA (2016) The impacts of deep-sea fisheries on benthic communities: a review. ICES Journal of Marine Science 73 (Supplement 1):i51–i69.
  6. Clark MR, Schlacher TA, Menezes G, and Molodsova T (2016). Survey and sampling design. Chapter 3. Pages 36-57 in M. R. Clark, M. Consalvey, and A. A. Rowden, editors. Biological sampling in the Deep Sea Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, U.K.
  7. Cordes E, Jones D, Schlacher T, Amon D, Bernardino A, Brooke S, Carney R, DeLeo D, Dunlop K, Escobar-Briones E, Gates A, Génio L, Gobin J, Henry L-A, Herrera S, Hoyt S, Joye S, Kark S, Mestre N, Metaxas A, Pfeifer S, Sink K, Sweetman A, and Witte U (2016) Environmental impacts of the deep-water oil and gas industry: a review to guide management strategies. Frontiers in Environmental Science 4:doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2016.00058
  8. Engelhard SL, Huijbers CM, Stewart-Koster B, Olds AD, Schlacher TA, and Connolly RM (2016) Prioritising seascape connectivity in conservation using network analysis. Journal of Applied Ecology DOI 10.1111/1365-2664.12824:n/a-n/a.
  9. Gilby BL, Olds AD, Connolly RM, Stevens T, Henderson CJ, Maxwell PS, Tibbetts IR, Schoeman DS, Rissik D, and Schlacher TA (2016) Optimising land-sea management for inshore coral reefs. PLoS ONE 11.
  10. Huijbers CM, Schlacher TA, McVeigh RR, Schoeman DS, Olds AD, Brown MB, Ekanayake KB, Weston MA, Connolly RM, and Ferrari M (2016) Functional replacement across species pools of vertebrate scavengers separated at a continental scale maintains an ecosystem function. Functional Ecology 30:998-1005.
  11. Maslo B, Leu K, Faillace C, Weston MA, Pover T, and Schlacher TA (2016) Selecting umbrella species for conservation: A test of habitat models and niche overlap for beach-nesting birds. Biological Conservation 203:233-242.
  12. Maslo B, Schlacher TA, Weston MA, Huijbers CM, Anderson C, Gilby BL, Olds AD, Connolly RM, and Schoeman DS (2016) Regional drivers of clutch loss reveal important trade-offs for beach-nesting birds. PeerJ 4:e2370v1
  13. O’Hara TD, Schlacher TA, Rowden AA, and Tittensor DP (2016). Data analysis considerations. Chapter 17. Pages 386-404 in M. R. Clark, M. Consalvey, and A. A. Rowden, editors. Biological sampling in the Deep Sea. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, U.K.
  14. Olds AD, Connolly RM, Pitt KA, Pittman SJ, Maxwell PS, Huijbers CM, Moore BR, Albert S, Rissik D, Babcock RC, and Schlacher TA (2016) Quantifying the conservation value of seascape connectivity: A global synthesis. Global Ecology and Biogeography 25:3-15.
  15. Schlacher TA, Carracher LK, Porch N, Connolly RM, Olds AD, Gilby BL, Ekanayake KB, Maslo B, and Weston MA (2016) The early shorebird will catch fewer invertebrates on trampled sandy beaches. PLoS ONE 11(8): e0161905:doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0161905.
  16. Schlacher TA, Lucrezi S, Connolly RM, Peterson CH, Gilby BL, Maslo B, Olds AD, Walker SJ, Leon JX, Huijbers CM, Weston MA, Turra A, Hyndes GA, Holt RA, and Schoeman DS (2016) Human threats to sandy beaches: A meta-analysis of ghost crabs illustrates global anthropogenic impacts. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 169:56-73.
  17. Schlacher TA, Lucrezi S, Peterson CH, Connolly RM, Olds AD, Althaus F, Hyndes GA, Maslo B, Gilby BL, Leon JX, Weston MA, Lastra M, Williams A, and Schoeman DS (2016) Estimating animal populations and body sizes from burrows: Marine ecologists have their heads buried in the sand. Journal of Sea Research 112:55-64.
  18. Vargas-Fonseca E, Olds AD, Gilby BL, Connolly RM, Schoeman DS, Huijbers CM, Hyndes GA, Schlacher TA, and VanDerWal J (2016) Combined effects of urbanization and connectivity on iconic coastal fishes. Diversity and Distributions 22:1328-1341.
  19. Yabsley NA, Olds AD, Connolly RM, Martin TSH, Gilby BL, Maxwell PS, Huijbers CM, Schoeman DS, and Schlacher TA (2016) Resource type influences the effects of reserves and connectivity on ecological functions. Journal of Animal Ecology 85:437-444.
  20. Brown MB, Schlacher TA, Schoeman DS, Weston MA, Huijbers CM, Olds AD, and Connolly RM (2015) Invasive carnivores alter ecological function and enhance complementarity in scavenger assemblages on ocean beaches. Ecology 96:2715–2725.
  21. Huijbers CM, Connolly RM, Pitt KA, Schoeman DS, Schlacher TA, Burfeind DD, Steele C, Olds AD, Maxwell PS, Babcock RC, and Rissik D (2015) Conservation Benefits of Marine Reserves are Undiminished Near Coastal Rivers and Cities. Conservation Letters 8:312-319.
  22. Huijbers CM, Schlacher TA, Schoeman DS, Olds AD, Weston MA, and Connolly RM (2015) Limited functional redundancy in vertebrate scavenger guilds fails to compensate for the loss of raptors from urbanized sandy beaches. Diversity & Distributions 21:55-63.
  23. McClain CR, and Schlacher TA (2015) On some hypotheses of diversity of animal life at great depths on the sea floor. Marine Ecology 36:849-872.
  24. Schlacher TA, Weston MA, Lynn D, Schoeman DS, Huijbers CM, Olds AD, Masters S, and Connolly RM (2015) Conservation gone to the dogs: when canids rule the beach in small coastal reserves. Biodiversity and Conservation 24:493-509.
  25. Schlacher TA, Weston MA, Schoeman DS, Olds AD, Huijbers CM, and Connolly RM (2015) Golden opportunities: A horizon scan to expand sandy beach ecology. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 157:1-6.
  26. Schoeman DS, Schlacher TA, Jones AR, Murray A, Huijbers CM, Olds AD, and Connolly RM (2015) Edging along a warming coast: A range extension for a common sandy beach crab. PLoS ONE 10(11):e0141976.
  27. Vivian EVC, and Schlacher TA (2015) Intrinsic and utilitarian valuing on K'gari-Fraser Island: A philosophical exploration of the modern disjunction between ecological and cultural valuing. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management 22:149-162.
  28. Wardell-Johnson G, Schoeman D, Schlacher T, Wardell-Johnson A, Weston MA, Shimizu Y, and Conroy G (2015) Re-framing values for a World Heritage future: What type of icon will K'gari-Fraser Island become? Australasian Journal of Environmental Management 22:124-148.
  29. Williams A, Althaus F, and Schlacher TA (2015) Towed camera imagery and benthic sled catches provide different views of seamount benthic diversity. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods 13:62-73.
  30. Clark MR, Rowden AA, Schlacher TA, Guinotte J, Dunstan PK, Williams A, O'Hara TD, Watling L, Niklitschek E, and Tsuchida S (2014) Identifying Ecologically or Biologically Significant Areas (EBSA): A systematic method and its application to seamounts in the South Pacific Ocean. Ocean & Coastal Management 91:65-79.
  31. Huijbers CM, Connolly RM, Pitt KA, Schoeman DS, Schlacher TA, Burfeind DD, Steele C, Olds AD, Maxwell PS, Babcock RC, and Rissik D (2014) Conservation benefits of marine reserves are undiminished near coastal rivers and cities. Conservation Letters doi: 10.1111/conl.12128.
  32. Lucrezi S, and Schlacher TA (2014) The ecology of ghost crabs - a review. Oceanography and Marine Biology - An Annual Review 52:201–256.
  33. Nel R, Campbell EE, Harris L, Hauser L, Schoeman DS, McLachlan A, du Preez DR, Bezuidenhout K, and Schlacher TA (2014) The status of sandy beach science: Past trends, progress, and possible futures. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 150:1-10.
  34. Schlacher TA, Baco AR, Rowden AA, O'Hara TD, Clark MR, Kelley C, and Dower JF (2014) Seamount benthos in a cobalt-rich crust region of the central Pacific: Conservation challenges for future seabed mining. Diversity and Distributions 20:491-502.
  35. Schlacher TA, and Connolly RM (2014) Effects of acid treatment on carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios in ecological samples: a review and synthesis. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 5:541-550.
  36. Schlacher TA, Jones AR, Dugan JE, Weston MA, Harris LL, Schoeman DS, Hubbard D, Scapini F, Nel R, Lastra M, McLachlan A, and Peterson CH (2014). Open-coast sandy beaches and coastal dunes. Chapter 5. Pages 37-94 in J. L. Lockwood and B. Maslo, editors. Coastal Conservation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  37. Schlacher TA, Meager JJ, and Nielsen T (2014) Habitat selection in birds feeding on ocean shores: landscape effects are important in the choice of foraging sites by oystercatchers. Marine Ecology 35:67-76.
  38. Schlacher TA, Schoeman DS, Jones AR, Dugan JE, Hubbard DM, Defeo O, Peterson CH, Weston MA, Maslo B, Olds AD, Scapini F, Nel R, Harris LR, Lucrezi S, Lastra M, Huijbers CM, and Connolly RM (2014) Metrics to assess ecological condition, change, and impacts in sandy beach ecosystems. Journal of Environmental Management 144:322-335.
  39. Schoeman DS, Schlacher TA, and Defeo O (2014) Climate-change impacts on sandy-beach biota: crossing a line in the sand. Global Change Biology 20:2383-2392.
  40. Walker SJ, and Schlacher TA (2014) Limited habitat and conservation value of a young artificial reef. Biodiversity and Conservation 23:433-447.
  41. Weston MA, Schlacher TA, and Lynn D (2014) Pro-environmental beach driving is uncommon and ineffective in reducing disturbance to beach-dwelling birds. Environmental Management 53:999–1004.
  42. Connolly RM, Gorman D, Hindell JS, Kildea TN, and Schlacher TA (2013) High congruence of isotope sewage signals in multiple marine taxa. Marine Pollution Bulletin 71:152-158.
  43. Connolly RM, and Schlacher TA (2013) Sample acidification significantly alters stable isotope ratios of sulfur in aquatic plants and animals. FEATURE ARTICLE. Marine Ecology Progress Series 493:1-8.
  44. Huijbers CM, Schlacher TA, Schoeman DS, Weston MA, and Connolly RM (2013) Urbanisation alters processing of marine carrion on sandy beaches. Landscape and Urban Planning 119:1– 8.
  45. Meager JJ, and Schlacher TA (2013) New metric of microhabitat complexity predicts species richness on a rocky shore. Marine Ecology 34:484-491.
  46. Schlacher TA, and Hartwig J (2013) Bottom-up control in the benthos of ocean-exposed sandy beaches? Austral Ecology 38:177-189.
  47. Schlacher TA, Nielsen T, and Weston MA (2013) Human recreation alters behaviour profiles of non-breeding birds on open-coast sandy shores. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 118:31-42.
  48. Schlacher TA, Strydom S, and Connolly RM (2013) Multiple scavengers respond rapidly to pulsed carrion resources at the land-ocean interface. Acta Oecologica 48:7-12.
  49. Schlacher TA, Strydom S, Connolly RM, and Schoeman D (2013) Donor-control of scavenging food webs at the land-ocean interface. PLoS ONE 8:e68221.
  50. Schlacher TA, and Thompson L (2013) Spatial structure on ocean-exposed sandy beaches: faunal zonation metrics and their variability. Marine Ecology Progress Series 478:43–55.
  51. Schlacher TA, and Thompson L (2013) Environmental control of community organisation on ocean-exposed sandy beaches. Marine and Freshwater Research 64:119-129.
  52. Schlacher TA, Weston MA, Lynn DD, and Connolly RM (2013) Setback distances as a conservation tool in wildlife-human interactions: testing their efficacy for birds affected by vehicles on open-coast sandy beaches. PLoS ONE 8(9):e71200.
  53. Clark MR, Schlacher TA, Rowden AA, Stocks KI, and Consalvey M (2012) Science priorities for seamounts: research links to conservation and management. PLoS ONE 7:e29232.
  54. Meager JJ, Schlacher TA, and Nielsen T (2012) Humans alter habitat selection of birds on ocean-exposed sandy beaches. Diversity & Distributions 18:294–306.
  55. Noriega R, Schlacher TA, and Smeuninx B (2012) Reductions in ghost crab populations reflect urbanization of beaches and dunes. Journal of Coastal Research 28:123–131.
  56. Schlacher TA, Noriega R, Jones A, and Dye T (2012) The effects of beach nourishment on benthic invertebrates in eastern Australia: Impacts and variable recovery. Science of the Total Environment 435–436:411–417.
  57. Schlacher TA, and Thompson L (2012) Beach recreation impacts benthic invertebrates on ocean-exposed sandy shores. Biological Conservation 147:123-132.
  58. Stevens T, Boden A, Arthur JM, Schlacher TA, Rissik D, and Atkinson S (2012) Initial effects of a moderate-sized oil spill on benthic assemblage structure of a subtropical rocky shore. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 109:107-115.
  59. Stocks K, Clark M, Rowden A, Consalvey M, and Schlacher TA (2012) CenSeam, an international program on seamounts within the Census of Marine Life: Achievements and lessons learned. PLoS ONE 7(2):e32031.
  60. Dugan JE, Airoldi L, Chapman MG, Walker SJ, and Schlacher TA (2011). Estuarine and Coastal Structures: Environmental Effects, A Focus on Shore and Nearshore Structures. Pages 17–41 in E. Wolanski and D. S. McLusky, editors. Treatise on Estuarine and Coastal Science, Vol 8. Academic Press, Waltham.
  61. Dunstan PK, Clark MR, Guinotte J, O’Hara T, Niklitschek E, Rowden AA, Schlacher TA, Tsuchida S, Watling L, and Williams A (2011) Identifying Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas on Seamounts. IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), Gland, Switzerland
  62. Jones AR, Schlacher TA, Schoeman DS, Dugan JE, Defeo O, Scapini F, Lastra M, and Mclachlan A (2011) Sandy-beach ecosystems: Their health, resilience and management. Published in: sandy beaches and coastal zone management - Proceedings of the Fifth International Symposium on Sandy Beaches (A. Bayed ed); Travaux de l'Institut Scientifique, Rabat, série générale, n°6, 125-126
  63. Meager J, Schlacher TA, and Green M (2011) Topographic complexity and landscape temperature patterns create a dynamic habitat structure on a rocky intertidal shore. Marine Ecology Progress Series 428:1–12.
  64. Schlacher TA, de Jager R, and Nielsen T (2011) Vegetation and ghost crabs in coastal dunes as indicators of putative stressors from tourism. Ecological Indicators 11:284-294.
  65. Schlacher TA, Holzheimer A, Stevens T, and Rissik D (2011) Impacts of the 'Pacific Adventurer' oil spill on the macrobenthos of subtropical sandy beaches. Estuaries and Coasts 34:937–949.
  66. Walker SJ, and Schlacher TA (2011) Impact of a pulse human disturbance experiment on macrofaunal assemblages on an Australian sandy beach. Journal of Coastal Research 27:184–192.
  67. Clark MR, Rowden AA, Schlacher TA, Williams A, Consalvey M, Stocks KI, Rogers AD, O'Hara TD, White M, Shank TM, and Hall-Spencer JM (2010) The ecology of seamounts: structure, function, and human impacts. Annual Review of Marine Science 2:253–278.
  68. Dugan J, Defeo O, Jaramillo E, Jones A, Lastra M, Nel R, Peterson CH, Scapini F, Schlacher TA, and Schoeman D (2010) Give beach ecosystems their day in the sun. Science 329:1146.
  69. Lastra M, Schlacher TA, and Olabarria C (2010) Niche segregation in sandy beach animals: an analysis with surface-active peracarid crustaceans on the Atlantic coast of Spain. Marine Biology 157:613–625.
  70. Lucrezi S, and Schlacher TA (2010) Impacts of off-road vehicles (ORVs) on burrow architecture of Ghost Crabs (Genus Ocypode) on sandy beaches. Environmental Management 45:1352–1362.
  71. Lucrezi S, Schlacher TA, and Robinson W (2010) Can storms and shore armouring exert additive effects on sandy beach habitats and biota? Marine & Freshwater Research 61:951–962.
  72. Rowden AA, Dower JF, Schlacher TA, Consalvey M, and Clark MR (2010) Paradigms in seamount ecology: fact, fiction and future. Marine Ecology 31:226–241.
  73. Rowden AA, Schlacher TA, Williams A, Clark MR, Stewart R, Althaus F, Bowden DA, Consalvey M, Robinson W, and Dowdney J (2010) A test of the seamount oasis hypothesis: Seamounts support higher epibenthic megafaunal biomass than adjacent slopes. Marine Ecology 31:95–106.
  74. Rowden AA, Schnabel KE, Schlacher TA, Macpherson E, Ahyong ST, and Richer de Forges B (2010) Squat lobster assemblages on seamounts differ from some, but not all, deep‐sea habitats of comparable depth. Marine Ecology 31:63–83.
  75. Schlacher TA, Lloyd S, and Wiegand A (2010) Use of local ecological knowledge in the management of algal blooms. Environmental Conservation 37:210-221.
  76. Schlacher TA, and Lucrezi S (2010) Experimental evidence that vehicle traffic changes burrow architecture and reduces population density of ghost crabs on sandy beaches. Vie et Milieu 60:313-320.
  77. Schlacher TA, and Lucrezi S (2010) Compression of home ranges in ghost crabs on sandy beaches impacted by vehicle traffic Marine Biology 157:2467-2474.
  78. Schlacher TA, Rowden A, Dower J, and Consalvey M (2010) Seamount science scales undersea mountains: new research and outlook. Marine Ecology 31:1–13.
  79. Schlacher TA, Rowden AA, Dower JF, and Consalvey M, editors. 2010. Recent Advances in Seamount Ecology: A contribution to the Census of Marine Life. Wiley - Blackwell, Marine Ecology.
  80. Schlacher TA, Williams A, Althaus F, and Schlacher-Hoenlinger M (2010) High-resolution seabed imagery quantifies habitat attributes and megabenthos diversity in submarine canyons to underpin spatial conservation planning on continental margins. Marine Ecology 31:200-221.
  81. Williams A, Schlacher TA, Rowden AA, Althaus F, Clark MR, Bowden DA, Stewart R, Bax NJ, Consalvey M, and Kloser RJ (2010) Seamount megabenthic assemblages fail to recover from trawling impacts. Marine Ecology 31:183–199.
  82. Althaus F, Williams A, Schlacher TA, Kloser RJ, Green MA, Barker BA, Bax NJ, Brodie P, and Hoenlinger-Schlacher MA (2009) Impacts of bottom trawling on deep-coral ecosystems of seamounts are long-lasting. Marine Ecology Progress Series 397:279–294.
  83. Bennett J, Fisk G, Abal E, Stevens T, Connolly RM, Schlacher TA, Udy N, Rissik D, Zeller B, Winning M, and Deacon G (Year) of Conference. Towards understanding the ecological health and character of Moreton Proceedings of the Queensland Coastal Conference – 2009. Published on-line: ISBN 978-0-9806511-0-2. p 1-6.
  84. Connolly RM, Schlacher TA, and Gaston TF (2009) Stable isotope evidence for trophic subsidy of coastal benthic fisheries by river discharge plumes generated off small estuaries. Marine Biology Research 5 164-171.
  85. Corbett BB, Jackson LA, Tomlinson RB, Hagan M, Schlacher TA, and Hughes LP (2009) Noosa main beach algae mitigation trial. Coasts and Ports 2009, Wellington, New Zealand, Engineers Australia
  86. Defeo O, McLachlan A, Schoeman DS, Schlacher TA, Dugan J, Jones A, Lastra M, and Scapini F (2009) Threats to sandy beach ecosystems: A review. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 81:1-12.
  87. Lucrezi S, and Schlacher TA (2009) Monitoring beach impacts: a case for ghost crabs as ecological indicators? Proceedings of the 2009 Queensland Coastal Conference /SEQ Catchments Ltd / Brisbane, Australia
  88. Lucrezi S, Schlacher TA, and Robinson W (2009) Human disturbance as a cause of bias in ecological indicators for sandy beaches: Experimental evidence for the effects of human trampling on ghost crabs (Ocypode spp.). Ecological Indicators 9:913-921.
  89. Lucrezi S, Schlacher TA, and Walker SJ (2009) Monitoring human impacts on sandy shore ecosystems: a test of ghost crabs (Ocypode spp.) as biological indicators on an urban beach. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 152:413–424.
  90. Reopanichkul P, Schlacher TA, Carter RW, and Worachananant S (2009) Sewage impacts coral reefs at multiple levels of ecological organization. Marine Pollution Bulletin 58:1356-1362.
  91. Schlacher TA, and Connolly RM (2009) Land-ocean coupling of carbon and nitrogen fluxes on sandy beaches. Ecosystems 12:311-321.
  92. Schlacher TA, Connolly RM, Skillington AJ, and Gaston TF (2009) Can export of organic matter from estuaries support zooplankton in nearshore, marine plumes? Aquatic Ecology 43:383-393.
  93. Schlacher TA, and Thompson LMC (2009) Changes to dunes caused by 4WD vehicle tracks in beach camping areas of Fraser Island. Proceedings of the 2009 Queensland Coastal Conference, S. Galvin, Editor. 2009, SEQC: Brisbane, Australia
  94. Sheppard N, Pitt KA, and Schlacher TA (2009) Sub-lethal effects of off-road vehicles (ORVs) on surf clams on sandy beaches. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology & Ecology 380:113–118.
  95. Tittensor DP, Baco AR, Brewin PE, Clark MR, Consalvey M, Hall-Spencer J, Rowden AA, Schlacher TA, Stocks KI, and Rogers AD (2009) Predicting global habitat suitability for stony corals on seamounts. Journal of Biogeography 36:1111-1128.
  96. Jones A, Schlacher TA, Dugan J, Lastra M, Schoeman DS, McLachlan A, and Scapini F (2008) Sandy beach ecosystems: vulnerability, resilience, and management. 17th NSW Coastal Conference, Wollongong, Australia, 2008;
  97. Jones AR, Schlacher TA, Withycombe G, and Schoeman DS (Year) of Conference. Sandy beach biological research - important questions for knowledge and 21st NSW Coastal Conference, Kiama, Australia, 2001;
  98. Lastra M, and Schlacher TA, editors. 2008. Advances in sandy shore ecology: Proceedings of the fourth International Sandy Beach Symposium. Marine Ecology, Vol. 29, Special Issue 1.
  99. Schlacher TA, and Morrison JM (2008) Beach disturbance caused by off-road vehicles (ORVs) on sandy shores: Relationship with traffic volumes and a new method to quantify impacts using image-based data acquisition and analysis. Marine Pollution Bulletin 56:1646-1649.
  100. Schlacher TA, Richardson D, and McLean I (2008) Impacts of off-road vehicles (ORVs) on macrobenthic assemblages on sandy beaches. Environmental Management 41:878-892.
  101. Schlacher TA, Schoeman DS, Dugan JE, Lastra M, Jones A, Scapini F, and McLachlan A (2008) Sandy beach ecosystems: key features, sampling issues, management challenges and climate change impacts. Marine Ecology 29:70–90.
  102. Schlacher TA, Skillington AJ, Connolly RM, Robinson W, and Gaston TF (2008) Coupling between marine plankton and freshwater flow in the plumes off a small estuary International Review of Hydrobiology 6:641-658.
  103. Schlacher TA, and Thompson LMC (2008) Physical impacts caused by off-road vehicles (ORVs) to sandy beaches: spatial quantification of car tracks on an Australian barrier island. Journal of Coastal Research 224:234-242.
  104. Schlacher TA, Thompson LMC, and Walker SJ (2008) Mortalities caused by off-road vehicles (ORVs) to a key member of sandy beach assemblages, the surf clam Donax deltoides. Hydrobiologia 610:345-350.
  105. Thompson LMC, and Schlacher TA (2008) Physical damage to coastal foredunes and ecological impacts caused by vehicle tracks associated with beach camping on sandy shores: a case study from Fraser Island, Australia. Journal of Coastal Conservation 12:67–82.
  106. Walker SJ, Schlacher TA, and Thompson LMC (2008) Habitat modification in a dynamic environment: The influence of a small artificial groyne on macrofaunal assemblages of a sandy beach. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 79:24-34.
  107. Carter D, and Schlacher TA (2007). Management of sandy beaches to balance conservation and human uses: a case study from North Stradbroke S. Sargent, editor. Proceedings of the Qld Coastal Conference, Bundaberg Australia, 2007.
  108. Samedi S, Schlacher TA, and Richer de Forges B (2007). Seamount Benthos. Pages 119-140 in T. Pitcher, T. Morato, P. J. B. Hart, M. R. Clark, N. Haggan, and R. S. Santos, editors. Seamounts: Ecology, Fisheries & Conservation. Blackwell Scientific, Oxford, U.K.
  109. Schlacher TA, and Cronin G (2007) A trophic cascade in a macrophytes-based food web at the land-water ecotone. Ecological Research 22:749-755.
  110. Schlacher TA, Dugan J, Schoeman DS, Lastra M, Jones A, Scapini F, McLachlan A, and Defeo O (2007) Sandy beaches at the brink. Diversity & Distributions 13:556-560.
  111. Schlacher TA, Mondon JA, and Connolly RM (2007) Estuarine fish health assessment: Evidence of wastewater impacts based on nitrogen isotopes and histopathology. Marine Pollution Bulletin 54:1762-1776.
  112. Schlacher TA, and Noriega (2007) Human threats to ecological attributes of sandy beaches. Qld Coastal Conference, Bundaberg Australia, 2007
  113. Schlacher TA, Schlacher-Hoenlinger MA, Williams A, Althaus F, and Hooper JNA (2007) Richness and distribution of sponge megabenthos in continental margin canyons off South-Eastern Australia. Marine Ecology Progress Series 340:73-88.
  114. Schlacher TA, Stark J, and Fischer ABP (2007) Evaluation of artificial light regimes and substrate types for aquaria propagation of the staghorn coral Acropora solitaryensis. Aquaculture 269:278-289.
  115. Schlacher TA, and Thompson LMC (2007) Exposure of fauna to off-road vehicle (ORV) traffic on sandy beaches. Coastal Management 35:567-583.
  116. Schlacher TA, Thompson LMC, and Price S (2007) Vehicles versus conservation of invertebrates on sandy beaches: quantifying direct mortalities inflicted by off-road vehicles (ORVs) on ghost crabs. Marine Ecology 28:354-367.
  117. Walker SJ, Schlacher TA, and Schlacher-Hoenlinger MA (2007) Spatial heterogeneity of epibenthos on artificial reefs: Fouling communities in the early stages of colonization on an East Australian shipwreck. Marine Ecology 28:435-445.

Current grants

Chief Investigator(s)/Years
Project Title/Funding Body/Role - Schlacher
Grant value (AUD)

Schlacher TA, Gloster M, Gillies C, Game E, Olds A, Gilby B, Walker S (2016 - 2018) Bringing back Noosa's fish. Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation; Lead CI.


O’Hara T, Wilson R, Rowden A, Schlacher TA, Ahyong S, Bruce N, King R, Hubble T, Glover A, McCallum A (2015 - 2016) Sampling the abyss: latitudinal biodiversity patterns along the base of Australia’s eastern continental margin. Marine National Facility; CI.


Olds A, Schlacher TA, Gilby B, Connolly R, Sheaves M, Flint N (2017 - 2018) Environmental features shape habitat values for fish: effects on diversity and productivity in Central Queensland estuaries. Department of Environment & Heritage Protection; CI.


Connolly R, Rasheed M, Sheaves M, York P, Schlacher TA, Olds A (2017 - 2018) The value of tidal wetland habitats in sustaining fisheries production. Department of Environment & Heritage Protection; CI.


Connolly RM, Schlacher TA (2015 - 2017) Connectivity and resilience: factors determining the resistance and recovery of aquatic systems to disturbance. Australian Research Council (ARC) - Discovery Projects (DP); CI.


Schlacher TA, Olds AD, Weston M, Gilby BL, Connolly R (2016 - 2020) Bird Diversity and Exotic Species of Coastal Dunes and Sandy Beaches. Sekisui House; Lead CI.


Research projects for Honours, Masters and PhD students

  • Extreme trophic subsidies: when island biogeography meets food-web ecology on remote Pacific Islands.
  • Connectivity and resilience in ecosystems: what makes natural systems resist and recover from disturbance?
  • Whole ecosystem effects of scavengers: some serious scaling-up of food-web experiments.
  • Assembly rules for scavenger guilds: testing fundamental processes in ecology with new models.
  • Submarine canyons on Australia’s continental margin: what drives elevated biomass and diversity of deep-sea fauna in highly complex sea.
  • Reserves and cross-boundary fluxes: the many faces of connectivity in achieving conservation success in marine systems.
  • Putrefaction and carrion palatability: how much do scavengers care about microbiology?
  • Food-web effects of apex predators: are introduced foxes functionally equivalent to dingos on sandy beaches?
  • More to land-ocean gradients: estuaries as scavenging corridors in the coastal zone.

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