Our People

Joe Pollock

Senior Coral Reef Resilience Scientist, Hawai'i and Palmyra Programs

North Carolina

Dr. Joe Pollock smiling, with a blue sky background behind his head

Dr. Joseph Pollock - Director of Coral Strategy for TNC's Caribbean Division © Marjo Aho

Areas of Expertise

Coral reef ecology, ecosystem services, climate change adaptation, coastal habitat restoration

Media Contact

Toni Parras


Dr. Joe Pollock is the Senior Coral Reef Resilience Scientist for The Nature Conservancy’s Hawai'i and Palmyra Programs. In this role, he advises on coral reef restoration and monitoring efforts for the main Hawaiian Islands and Palmyra Atoll. Throughout his career, Joe has collaborated deeply with scientists, managers, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members in Australia, the Caribbean, and over a dozen countries around the globe to develop the knowledge, tools, and public will to protect coral reefs and the people who depend upon them.

Joe received master’s and PhD degrees in marine science from James Cook University and the Australian Institute of Marine Science. He was a Postdoctoral Scholar at Penn State University, where he co-led the Global Coral Microbiome Project and is currently an adjunct assistant professor. He also founded Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders in Marine Science, an award-winning program providing science career pathways for Indigenous students.

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View Joe's Google Scholar Profile for a full list of publications.

Pollock FJ, Morris PJ, Willis BL, Bourne DG (2010) Detection and quantification of the coral pathogen Vibrio coralliilyticus by real-time PCR with TaqMan fluorescent probes. Appl Environ Microbiol 76:5282-5286.

Pollock FJ, Wilson B, Johnson WR, Morris PJ, Willis BL, Bourne DG (2010) Phylogeny of the coral pathogen Vibrio coralliilyticus. Environmental microbiology reports 2:172-178.

Pollock FJ, Morris PJ, Willis BL, Bourne DG (2011) The urgent need for robust coral disease diagnostics. PLoS pathogens 7:e1002183.

Cohen Y, Pollock FJ, Rosenberg E, Bourne DG (2013) Phage therapy treatment of the coral pathogen Vibrio coralliilyticus. Microbiologyopen 2:64-74.

Pollock F, Katz S, Bourne D, Willis B (2013) Cymo melanodactylus crabs slow progression of white syndrome lesions on corals. Coral Reefs 32:43-48.

Katz SM, Pollock FJ, Bourne DG, Willis BL (2014) Crown-of-thorns starfish predation and physical injuries promote brown band disease on corals. Coral Reefs:1-12.

Pollock FJ (2014) Understanding the drivers of white syndrome coral diseases on Indo-Pacific reefs. James Cook University.

Pollock FJ, Lamb JB, Field SN, Heron SF, Schaffelke B, Shedrawi G, Bourne DG, Willis BL (2014) Sediment and turbidity associated with offshore dredging increase coral disease prevalence on nearby reefs. PLOS one 9:e102498.

Pollock FJ, Wood-Charlson EM, van Oppen MJ, Bourne DG, Willis BL, Weynberg KD (2014) Abundance and morphology of virus-like particles associated with the coral Acropora hyacinthus differ between healthy and white syndrome-infected states. Marine Ecology Progress Series 510:39-43.

Bourne DG, Ainsworth T, Pollock FJ, Willis B (2015) Towards a better understanding of white syndromes and their causes on Indo-Pacific coral reefs. Coral Reefs 34:233-242.

Pollock FJ, Krediet CJ, Garren M, Stocker R, Winn K, Wilson B, Huete-Stauffer C, Willis BL, Bourne DG (2015) Visualization of coral host–pathogen interactions using a stable GFP-labeled Vibrio coralliilyticus strain. Coral Reefs 34:655-662.

Wada N, Pollock FJ, Willis BL, Ainsworth T, Mano N, Bourne DG (2016) In situ visualization of bacterial populations in coral tissues: pitfalls and solutions. PeerJ 4:e2424.

Page C, Field S, Pollock FJ, Lamb J, Shedrawi G, Wilson S (2017) Assessing coral health and disease from digital photographs and in situ surveys. Environmental monitoring and assessment 189:18.

Pizarro V, Rodríguez SC, López-Victoria M, Zapata FA, Zea S, Galindo-Martínez CT, Iglesias-Prieto R, Pollock J, Medina M (2017) Unraveling the structure and composition of Varadero Reef, an improbable and imperiled coral reef in the Colombian Caribbean. PeerJ 5:e4119.

Pollock FJ, Katz SM, van de Water JA, Davies SW, Hein M, Torda G, Matz MV, Beltran VH, Buerger P, Puill-Stephan E (2017) Coral larvae for restoration and research: a large-scale method for rearing Acropora millepora larvae, inducing settlement, and establishing symbiosis. PeerJ 5:e3732.

Pollock FJ, Wada N, Torda G, Willis BL, Bourne DG (2017) White syndrome-affected corals have a distinct microbiome at disease lesion fronts. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 83:e02799-02716.

Thompson LR, Sanders JG, McDonald D, Amir A, Ladau J, Locey KJ, Prill RJ, Tripathi A, Gibbons SM, Ackermann G (2017) A communal catalogue reveals Earth’s multiscale microbial diversity. Nature 551:457.

Mansour JS, Pollock FJ, Díaz-Almeyda E, Iglesias-Prieto R, Medina M (2018) Intra-and interspecific variation and phenotypic plasticity in thylakoid membrane properties across two Symbiodinium clades. Coral Reefs 37:841-850.

Pollock FJ, McMinds R, Smith S, Bourne DG, Willis BL, Medina M, Thurber RV, Zaneveld JR (2018) Coral-associated bacteria demonstrate phylosymbiosis and cophylogeny. Nature communications 9:4921.

Raina J-B, Eme L, Pollock FJ, Spang A, Archibald JM, Williams TA (2018) Symbiosis in the microbial world: from ecology to genome evolution. Biology open 7:bio032524.

Roitman S, Pollock FJ, Medina M (2018) Coral microbiomes as bioindicators of reef health. In: Population Genomics. Springer.

Wada N, Ishimochi M, Matsui T, Pollock FJ, Tang S-L, Ainsworth TD, Willis BL, Mano N, Bourne DG (2019) Characterization of coral-associated microbial aggregates (CAMAs) within tissues of the coral Acropora hyacinthus. bioRxiv:576488.