Michael Fox Ph.D.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


Many people don’t realize that corals can actually be voracious predators.

My work in the Indian Ocean Region is in collaboration with Bangor University. One aspect of our research focuses on understanding the connections between oceanography (internal waves, upwelling), the feeding ecology of corals, and spatial patterns of reef community structure. We are interested in how these processes influence the resilience of shallow reefs (up to 25m) across the Chagos Archipelago. The reefs of the Chagos Archipelago are an exceptional place to explore these connections.

Our research has revealed that some corals respond strongly to patterns of food availability that are associated with oceanographic processes such as upwelling.

Michael Fox


2018 Present
Postdoctoral Scholar WHOI
2013 2018
Ph.D. Scripps Institution of Oceanography
2009 2013
MSc. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
2004 2008
BSc. University of San Diego

My Projects

  • Island Reef Connections
    Monitoring Coral Reefs in the Indian Ocean
  • Island Reef Connections
    Coral Reef Fish in the Indian Ocean Region

Other interests

In addition to my work in the Indian Ocean Region, I conduct related research in the Line and Phoenix Islands of Kiribati, in the central Pacific Ocean, as well as Palau, in the western Pacific Ocean. I am particularly interested in the natural mechanisms that can enhance coral survival and recovery in our warming oceans. This work involves a lot of fieldwork and laboratory experiments oriented towards developing innovative approaches to study coral nutrition.