Coast to Coral: Gnathiid Isopods - What are they and what do they do!

Join Reef Check Australia and friends on the first Tuesday night of each month in your lounge room/office/comfy chair, for an evening of discovery, inspiration and appreciation of our local marine, coastal and catchment environments.


Matt Nicholson is a marine ecologist from Miami, Florida. Like many marine scientists, he grew up in and around the ocean and was always enamoured by all sorts ocean critters. After earning his undergraduate degree at Florida Gulf Coast University and his Master's degree at the University of Exeter, he completed his PhD at the University of Miami at the end of 2022 and has now moved on to a postdoctoral position in the same lab. As part of the parasite ecology lab, Matt's research focuses on the interactions between coral reef fishes and marine parasites. Specifically, his work aims to determine how parasites fit into marine food webs, given that they have often been ignored in marine food web studies. While his lab collects data all over the world, most of Matt's work has focused on reefs in the Caribbean and the Great Barrier Reef. 


Parasitism is the most common animal lifestyle. Yet, along with many other small and "cryptic" animals, the impacts of parasites on ecosystem dynamics have often been overlooked. Comprising nearly 40% of the earth's biodiversity, parasites are involved in many complex biological interactions. On coral reefs, the most common fish ectoparasites are gnathiid isopods. Gnathiids are similar to ticks and mosquitoes in that they  temporarily attach to hosts and remove a small blood meal. They can be found across the globe, from the shallowest reefs to the deep abyss and feed on a wide range of fish hosts. In this talk, Matt will tell you all about these marvellous micropredators and share some of the exciting science currently happening around the world.


Virtual doors (zoom) opens at 6.25pm for a 6:30 pm start.

Bring a mate and share in the discovery!

At Reef Check Australia we’re all about inspiring our mates and we love to read your thoughts! So, share your favourite parts about the night and tag us! Reef Check Australia #coasttocoral

This initiative is hosted by Reef Check Australia, and proudly supported by oh so many groups including the City of Gold Coast, Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd, Sunshine Coast Council's Environment Levy partnerships grant, The Great Barrier Reef Foundation and Townsville City Council.

Future talks take place on the first Tuesday night of each month, with a new, interesting and engaging speaker. Please note however this is our last talk for 2023, until February 2024

For more information contact

November 07, 2023 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Will you come?