Malcolm McCulloch

Professor, BAppSc MAppSc Curtin, PhD Calif.Tech.

  • The University of Western Australia (M470), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Accepting PhD Students

  • 4638 Citations
  • 36 h-Index
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Personal profile


Professor Malcolm McCulloch is an ARC Laureate Fellow undertaking research on the theme ‘Coral Reef Futures: a new paradigm for quantifying the resilience of marine calcifiers to ocean acidification and global change'. He is a member of ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and leader of the UWA node - Program 3: Responding to a changing world. In mid-2009 he was appointed to UWA as a Western Australian Premier’s Fellow. Professor McCulloch received his PhD from the Californian Institute of Technology (Caltech) and previously held an appointment at the Australian National University. He is an ISI Highly Cited Researcher and has published over 270 scientific papers in leading international journals including 26 in Science and Nature.

Funding overview

2017 LE170100219 A multi-institutional environmental radioactivity research centre
Prof P Masque; Prof P Lavery; Prof B McInnes; Dr P Grierson; Prof M McCulloch; A/Prof C Sanders ; Dr P Macreadie; Prof P Boyd; A/Prof Z Chase; Prof C Lovelock; Prof R Connolly; Dr M Vanderklift

2015 LE150100139 Isotope analyser with delta17O capability to examine water fluxes
Dr G Skrzypek; Dr P Grierson; Dr P Edwards; Prof M McCulloch; Prof K Grice

2015 LE150100013 Laser ablation multiple split streaming
Dr A I Kemp; Prof M T McCulloch; Dr M Fiorentini; Prof T C McCuaig; Dr A W Rate; A/Prof C F Clark; Prof B Rasmussen; Dr N J Evans; Prof S M Reddy; Prof P A Bland; Dr T Raimondo; A/Prof N J Pearson; Dr E Belousova; Dr D E Jacob; Prof D Rubatto; Dr C Spandler; Dr S J Barnes

2015 LE150100139 Isotope analyser with delta170 capability to examine water fluxes
A/Prof G Skrzypek, A/Prof P Grierson, Dr P Edwards, Prof M McCulloch, Prof K Grice

2013 LE130100029 Ultra-trace analytical facility for earth system change
Dr P Edwards, A/Prof I Goodwin, Dr S Tessalina, Dr P Grierson, Prof P Nelson, Prof M McCulloch

2014 CE140100020 ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (ex JCU Townsville)
Prof T Hughes, Ms J Lappin, Prof G Jones, Prof R Pressey, Prof B Willis, Prof A Baird, Prof D Bellwood, Prof J Cinner, Prof N Graham, Prof O Hoegh-Guldberg, Dr M Hoogenboom, Prof M Kingsford, Prof M McCormick, Prof D Miller, Prof P Munday, Prof M Pratchett, Prof G Russ, Prof S Connolly, Prof J Pandolfi, Dr S Foret, Prof P Mumby, A/Prof S Dove, Prof M McCulloch, Prof R Lowe, Dr L McCook, Prof J Jackson, Dr S Planes, Prof S Palmbi, Dr J Lough, Prof M van Oppen, Prof N Andrew

2014 WAMSI West Australian Marine Science Institute
Past and future impacts of climate change on calcification on coral reefs and crustose coraline algae

2014 NERP National Environmental Research Program – Environmental Decisions Hub (ex UQ)
Boron Isotopes and ocean acidification, geochemistry and paleoclimatology
Prof M McCulloch, Dr J P D’Olivo Cordero

2015 (1-12/3/15) Perth Canyon: first deep sea exploration on board RV Falkor
Schmidt Ocean Institute
Prof M McCulloch et al

2013 NCB Net Conservation Benefits Program (CSIRO): 3 projects:
Coral growth (historical and current)
Prof M McCulloch, Prof R Lowe, Dr J Falter
Thresholds of environmental pressures for coral health
Prof M McCulloch, Prof C Duarte, Prof G Kendrick, Prof R Lowe
Temporal pCO2, pH and nutrient variability
Prof M McCulloch, Dr J Falter, Prof C Duarte, Dr A Waite

2012 FL120100049 ARC Laureate Fellowship
A new paradigm for quantifying the resilience of marine calcifiers to ocean acidification and global warming
Professor Malcolm McCulloch

2011 FS11020021 - Indian Ocean Climate Change: Ningaloo Reef, a litmus test for the survival of coral reefs
Prof M McCulloch, Prof G Ivey, Prof R Lowe, Dr J Falter, Dr R Jones

2010 CSIRO Flagship Collaboration Fund Projects
Ocean Acidification and Environmental Change Across a Widening Tropical-Subtropical Gradient
Prof M McCulloch, Dr J Falter, Prof Ryan Lowe, Dr J Trotter

2009 DP0986505 Ocean Acidification in a Rapidly Increasing CO2 World
Prof M McCulloch, Dr J Trotter

2009 ARC LIEF & John De Laeter Centre of Mass Spectrometry
Advanced Facility for Climate & Environmental Change Research in Australia’s Indian Ocean Region'
Professor Malcolm McCulloch, et al

2009 WA Premiers Research Fellowship Program, WA Dept of Premier & Cabinet Funds awarded (4 years):
Prof M McCulloch

2005 CE0561435 - ARC Centre of Excellence (ex JCU Townsville)
Innovation science for sustainable management of coral reef biodiversity
Prof T Hughes, Prof A Baird, Prof D Bellwood , Prof S Connolly, A/Prof S Dove, Prof O Hoegh-Guldberg, Prof M Pratchett, Prof G Jones, Prof M Kingsford, Prof M McCormick, Prof M McCulloch, Prof D Miller, Prof P Munday, Prof J Pandolfi, Prof G Russ, Prof B Willis, Prof D Yellowlees, Prof R Pressey, Dr W Leggat, Dr C Fulton, Prof C Folke, Prof R Karlson, Dr J Lough, Dr M Meekan, Dr S Planes, Prof R Steneck, Prof M van Oppen, Dr L McCook

New and Noteworthy

In 2012 Professor Malcolm McCulloch, was awarded Australia's most prestigious research fellowship an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship, worth $3.2 million over five years.

Previous positions

Professor Environmental Geochemistry, Research School of Earth Sciences ANU, 1996 -2009
Senior Fellow, Research School of Earth Sciences ANU, 1990 – 1996
Fellow, Research School of Earth Sciences ANU, 1980 – 1990


Research is broadly based and focuses on important contemporary issues such as:
• The impacts of CO2 driven climate change and ocean acidification on coral reefs
• Biogenic calcification and the role of pH up-regulation
• Quantifying anthropogenic sediment & nutrient fluxes and direct human activities on coral reefs
• Sea level, sea surface temperature and salinity changes in coral reefs


  • Coral reefs
  • Coral calcification
  • Ocean acidification
  • Paleo oceanography
  • Isotope geochemistry
  • Coastal processes
  • Climate change

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Projects 2009 2018

Research Output 2005 2018

  • 4638 Citations
  • 36 h-Index
  • 116 Article
  • 4 Chapter
  • 1 Literature review
2 Citations

A simple biomineralization model to explain Li, Mg, and Sr incorporation into aragonitic foraminifera and corals

Marchitto, T. M., Bryan, S. P., Doss, W., McCulloch, M. T. & Montagna, P., 1 Jan 2018, In : Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 481, p. 20-29 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Calcium Carbonate

A universal multi-trace element calibration for reconstructing sea surface temperatures from long-lived Porites corals: Removing ‘vital-effects’

D'Olivo, J. P., Sinclair, D. J., Rankenburg, K. & McCulloch, M. T., 15 Oct 2018, In : Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 239, p. 109-135 27 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Trace Elements
sea surface temperature
trace element

Boron Isotopic Systematics in Scleractinian Corals and the Role of pH Up-regulation: Boron Isotopes: The Fifth Element

McCulloch, M. T., D’Olivo, J. P., Falter, J., Georgiou, L., Holcomb, M., Montagna, P. & Trotter, J. A., 2018, Boron Isotopes: The Fifth Element. Marschall, H. & Foster, G. (eds.). Cham: Springer International Publishing AG, p. 145-162 18 p. (Advances in Isotope Geochemistry)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapter

boron isotope
6 Citations

Coral resistance to ocean acidification linked to increased calcium at the site of calcification

DeCarlo, T. M., Comeau, S., Cornwall, C. E. & McCulloch, M. T., 16 May 2018, In : Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 285, 1878, 7 p., 20180564

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Impacts of coral bleaching on pH and oxygen gradients across the coral concentration boundary layer: a microsensor study

Schoepf, V., Cornwall, C. E., Pfeifer, S. M., Carrion, S. A., Alessi, C., Comeau, S. & McCulloch, M. T., 9 Aug 2018, In : Coral Reefs.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

coral bleaching
boundary layer