Michael D. Fox

Assistant Research Professor, Marine Science

Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division
Center membership :
Red Sea Research Center


Education Profile

  • Postdoctoral Scholar, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2018-2021
  • PhD, Marine Biology, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 2018
  • MSc, Marine Science, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, 2013
  • BA, Marine Science, University of San Diego, 2008

Research Interests

Prof. Fox is a coral reef ecologist whose research focuses on identifying natural mechanisms that facilitate coral reef resilience in a changing ocean. He has worked extensively on remote coral reefs of the central Pacific and Indian Oceans to identify the roles of pelagic food subsidies in coral reef food webs and their influence on coral survival of and recovery from bleaching. His interdisciplinary research combines stable isotope biogeochemistry with oceanography and coral biology to link physiological processes at the level of individuals with ecological patterns at the community scale.

Selected Publications

  • Fox, M.D., Cohen, A.L., Rotjan, R., Manguhbai, S., Sandin, S.A., Smith, J.E., Thorrold, S., Dissly, L., Mollica, N.R., Obura, D. 2021. Increasing coral reef resilience through successive marine heatwaves. Geophysical Research Letters 48: e2021GL094128. doi:10.1029/2021GL094128
  • Fox, M.D., Nelson, C.E., Oliver, T.A., Quinlan, Z.A, Remple, K., Glanz, J., Smith, J.E., Putnam, H.M. 2021. Differential resistance and acclimatization of two Hawaiian coral species to chronic nutrient enrichment reflect life history traits. Functional Ecology 35, 1081-1093. doi:10.1111/1365-2435.13780
  • Fox, M.D., Elliot Smith, E.A., Smith, J.E., Newsome, S.D. 2019. Trophic plasticity in a common reef-building coral: Insights from d13C analysis of amino acids. Functional Ecology 33: 2203-2214. doi:10.1111/1365-2435.13441
  • Fox, M.D., Carter, A.L., Edwards, C.B., Takeshita, Y., Johnson, M.D., Petrovic, V., Amir, C., Sala, E., Sandin, S.A., Smith, J.E. 2019. Limited coral mortality following acute thermal stress and widespread bleaching on Palmyra Atoll, central Pacific. Coral Reefs 38: 701-712. doi:10.1007/s00338-019-01796-7
  • Fox, M.D., Williams, G.J., Johnson, M.D., Radice, V.Z., Zgliczynski, B.J., Kelly, E.L.A., Rohwer, F., Sandin, S.A., Smith, J.E. 2018. Gradients in primary production predict the trophic strategies of mixotrophic corals at multiple spatial scales. Current Biology 28:1-9. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2018.08.057