Sven Uthicke

Dr Sven Uthicke

Principal Research Scientist
Understanding and managing Crown of Thorns Seastar outbreaks
Contact number
(07) 4753 4483
+61 7 4753 4483
Contact email

My current research activities include molecular and ecological research to develop indicators for changes in water quality and to investigate cumulative impacts on the Great Barrier Reef. This work combines field-based ecological techniques with state-of-the-art molecular and other laboratory based methods. I have worked on echinoderm population dynamics for a long time and currently investigate causes for crown-of-thorns-seastar outbreaks. I have strong expertise in experimental ecology, molecular ecology and population genetics. In previous studies I investigated genetic connectivity and ecological function of coral reef invertebrates (specifically echinoderms).

PhD in Biology, University of Hamburg, Germany
Diplom in Biology, University of Hamburg, Germany
  • Studying Ocean Acidification effects on marine invertebrates
  • Studying larval ecology of CoTS larvae
  • Developing genetic markers for CoTS larvae
  • Studying the effects of terrestrial runoff on reef biota
  • Studying the effects of climate change on calcifying, symbiont bearing organisms
  • Studying interactive effects of climate change and land runoff on coral reefs

Uthicke S, Logan M, Liddy M, Francis D, Hardy N, Lamare M (2015) Climate change as an unexpected co-factor promoting coral eating seastar (Acanthaster planci) outbreaks. Sci. Rep. 5, DOI: 10.1038/srep08402

Uthicke S, Furnas M, Lønborg C (2014) Coral Reefs on the Edge? Carbon Chemistry on Inshore Reefs of the Great Barrier Reef. PLoS ONE 9: e109092.

Byrne M, Lamare M, Winter D, Dworjanyn S, Uthicke S (2013) The stunting effect o

Uthicke S, Fabricius K (2012) Productivity gains do not compensate for reduced calcification under near-future ocean acidification in the photosynthetic benthic foraminifera Marginopora vertebralis. Global Change Biology 18: 2781-2791

Uthicke S, Patel F, Ditchburn R (2012) Elevated land runoff after European settlement perturbs persistent foraminiferal assemblages on the Great Barrier Reef. Ecology 93: 111-121

van Dam JW, Negri AP, Mueller J, Altenburger R, Uthicke S (2012) Additive pressures of elevated sea surface temperatures and herbicides on symbiont-bearing foraminifera. PlosOne 7: e33900.

Fabricius K, Cooper TF, Humphrey C, Uthicke S, De'ath G, Davidson J, LeGrand H, Thompson A, Schaffelke B (2012) A bioindicator system for water quality on inshore coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef. Marine Pollution Bulletin 65: 320-332.

Collier C, Uthicke S, Waycott M (2012) Thermal tolerance of two seagrass species under contrasting light levels: implications for future distribution in the Great Barrier Reef. Limnology and Oceanography 56: 2200-2210.

Uthicke S, Byrne M, Conand C (2010) Genetic barcoding of commercial Be¿che-de-mer species (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea). Molecular Ecology Resources 10:634-646.

Uthicke S, Altenrath C (2010) Water column nutrients control growth and C:N ratios of symbiont-bearing benthic foraminifera on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Limnology and Oceanography 55: 1681-1696.

Uthicke S, Schaffelke B, Byrne M (2009) A boom-bust phylum? Ecological and evolutionary consequences of density variations in echinoderms. Ecological Monographs 79: 3-24.

Bourne DG, Iida Y, Uthicke S, Smith-Keune C (2008) Changes in coral associated microbial communities during a bleaching event. The ISME Journal 2: 350-363.