Noonan, Sam

Sam Noonan

Experimental Scientist
Coral reef ecology
Contact number
(07) 4753 4131
+61 7 4753 4131
Contact email

I joined AIMS as a coral reef ecologist in 2010. Prior to this I worked on coral disease at James Cook University and completed my Honours research on reef fish ecology.

BSc (Hons 1A) in Marine Biology, JCU, Townsville.

I am part of a research team that examines the ecological effects of ocean acidification on coral reef communities. We use CO2 seeps in Papua New Guinea as natural laboratories to examine how coral reef communities are expected to change under ocean acidification.

I am also involved in other research projects that investigate the effects of declining water quality (light, sedimentation, nutrients etc.), and cumulative interactions with climate change, on coral reef organisms.


Noonan SHC, Kluibenschedl A, Fabricius KE (2018) Ocean acidification alters early successional coral reef communities and their rates of community metabolism. PLoS One 13(5): e0197130

Noonan SHC, Fabricius KE (2016) Ocean acidification affects productivity but not the severity of thermal bleaching in some tropical corals. ICES Journal of Marine Science 73(3): 715-726

Takahashi M, Noonan SHC, Fabricius KE, Collier CJ (2016) The effects of long-term in situ CO2 enrichment on tropical seagrass communities at volcanic vents. ICES Journal of Marine Science 73(3): 876-886

Smith JN, Strahl J, Noonan SHC, Schmidt GM, Richter C, Fabricius KE (2016) Reduced heterotrophy in the stony coral Galaxea fascicularis after life-long exposure to elevated carbon dioxide. Scientific Reports 6: 27019

Vogel N, Fabricius KE, Strahl J, Noonan SHC, Wild C, Uthicke S (2015) Calcareous green alga Halimeda tolerates ocean acidification conditions at tropical carbon dioxide seeps. Limnology and Oceanography 60(1): 263-275

Strahl J, Stolz I, Uthicke S, Vogel N, Noonan SHC, Fabricius KE (2015) Physiological and ecological performance differs in four coral taxa at a volcanic carbon dioxide seep. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology 184: 179-186

Fabricius KE, Kluibenschedl A, Harrington L, Noonan S, De'ath G (2015) In situ changes of tropical crustose coralline algae along carbon dioxide gradients. Scientific Reports 5: 9537

Fabricius KE, De'ath G, Noonan S, Uthicke S (2014) Ecological effects of ocean acidification and habitat complexity on reef-associated macroinvertebrate communities. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 281 (no 1775): 20132479

Noonan SHC, Fabricius KE, Humphrey C (2013) Symbiodinium community composition in Scleractinian corals is not affected by life-long exposure to elevated carbon dioxide. PLoS ONE 8(5): e63985

Noonan SHC, Jones GP, Pratchett MS (2012) Coral size, health and structural complexity: effects on the ecology of a coral reef damselfish. Marine Ecology Progress Series 456: 127-137

Fabricius KE, Langdon C, Uthicke S, Humphrey CA, Noonan S, De'ath AG, Okazaki R, Muehllehner N, Glas MS, Lough JM (2011) Losers and winners in coral reefs acclimatized to elevated carbon dioxide concentrations. Nature Climate Change 1: 165-169.