Doctor Ben Moore

Ben MooreBen Moore is an ecologist broadly interested in plant-animal interactions, chemical ecology and the causes and consequences of variation in plant chemistry.

He completed his honours degree in zoology at the University of Melbourne and then obtained his Ph.D. from the Australian National University (Canberra). He then spent 2.5 years at James Cook University in Townsville and 5 years at the James Hutton Institute (formerly the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute) in Aberdeen, UK.

Ben's previous research in Australia focussed on role played by plant secondary metabolites of Eucalyptus in the ecology of marsupial folivores (especially the koala and the common brushtail possum) at a range of scales – from understanding the foraging behaviour of individual animals to understanding how plant chemistry affects where we do and don't find animals in natural landscapes.

In Scotland, Ben investigated the complex mixtures of terpenes (essential oils) found in pine needles and their consequences for numerous ecological processes in Caledonian pinewood.

His work at HIE will continue to consider the causes and consequences of variable plant chemistry in Australian plants, how this is affected by climate change and what this means for animals that rely on these resources.

Teaching, expertise

Ecology, Chemical ecology, Vertebrate ecology, Plant-animal interactions, Fauna and biodiversity, ecosystem effects of plant secondary metabolites.

Grants/Current Projects

Understanding the koala microbiome: unlocking the secrets of koala health and dietary specialisation, and successful husbandry and translocation
Partner/Funding Body: Australian Research Council (Linkage)
Period: 2014-2018

Rehabilitating a changing landscape: using the latest advances in koala ecology to direct adaptive management (opens in a new window) [via The University of Sydney]
Funding Body: Australian Research Council (Linkage)
Period: 2014-2017

Get tough, get toxic or get a bodyguard: how root herbivores shape grass defences
Co-researcher: Dr Scott Johnson
Partner/Funding Body: Australian Research Council (Discovery)
Period: 2014-2016

Temperature-dependent toxicity of plant secondary compounds to mammalian herbivores [via The Australian National University]
Partner/Funding Body: Australian Research Council (Discovery)
Period: 2014-2016

Psyllid-induced dieback of Grey Box (Eucalyptus moluccana) on the Cumberland Plain
Co-researchers: Dr Markus Riegler, Prof James Cook, Dr Paul Rymer
Partner/Funding Body: Environmental Trust, Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust
Period: 2013-2015

High-throughput sample preparation robotics to enable emerging large-scale plant genomics, metabolomics and proteomics research
Co-researchers: Prof David Tissue, Prof David Ellsworth, Dr Markus Riegler and Dr Paul Rymer
Partner/Funding Body: Australian Research Council (non ACRG)
Period: 2013-2014

Genotypic and chemotypic diversity of Eucalyptus moluccana and its role in psyllid caused dieback
Co-researchers: Dr Markus Riegler, Dr Paul Rymer
Partner/Funding Body: Bjarne K Dahl Trust
Period: 2013

Selected publications

Book chapters

Moore BD, De Gabriel JL, (2012) 'Integrating the effects of PSMs on vertebrate herbivores across spatial and temporal scales', In: Iason G R, Dicke M, Hartley SE (eds.) The Ecology of Plant Secondary Metabolites: From Genes to Global Processes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Iason GR, Moore BD, Lennon JJ, Stockan JA, Osler GHR, Russell JR, Campbell CD, Sim DA, Beaton JR, (2012) 'Plant secondary metabolite polymorphisms and the extended chemical phenotype', In: Iason GR, Dicke M, Hartley SE (eds.) The Ecology of Plant Secondary Metabolites: From Genes to Global Processes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Moore BD, Wallis IR, Marsh KJ, Foley WJ, (2004) 'The role of nutrition in the conservation of the marsupial folivores of eucalypt forests', In: Lunney D. (ed.) Conservation of Australia's Forest Fauna. 2nd ed. Mosman, NSW: Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales

Foley W J, Lawler IR, Moore BD, Marsh KJ, Wallis IR, (2004) 'Diet selection in marsupial folivores of Eucalyptus: the role of plant secondary metabolites', In: Goldingay RL, Jackson SM (eds.) The Biology of Australian Possums and Gliders. Chipping Norton, New South Wales: Surrey Beatty & Sons

Journal articles

Adams-Hosking C, Mcbride MF, Baxter G, Burgman M, de Villiers D, Kavanagh R, Lawler I, Lunney D, Melzer A, Menkhorst P, Molsher R, Moore BD, Phalen D, Rhodes JR, Todd C, Whisson D, Mcalpine CA, (2016) 'Use of expert knowledge to elicit population trends for the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)', Diversity and Distributions, vol.22, no.3, pp 249-262

Gherlenda AN, Crous KY, Moore BD, Haigh AM, Johnson SN, Riegler M, (2016) 'Precipitation, not CO2 enrichment, drives insect herbivore frass deposition and subsequent nutrient dynamics in a mature Eucalyptus woodland', Plant and Soil, vol.399, no.s 1-2, pp 29-39

Gherlenda AN, Haigh AM, Moore BD, Johnson SN, Riegler M, (2016) 'Climate change, nutrition and immunity: Effects of elevated CO2 and temperature on the immune function of an insect herbivore', Journal of Insect Physiology, vol.85, pp 57-64

Ryalls JMW, Moore BD, Riegler M, Johnson SN, (2016) 'Above-belowground herbivore interactions in mixed plant communities are influenced by altered precipitation patterns', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol.7, Article no.345

Moore BD, Wiggins NL, Marsh KJ, Dearing MD, Foley WJ, (2015) 'Translating physiological signals to changes in feeding behaviour in mammals and the future effects of global climate change', Animal Production Science, vol.55, no.3, pp 272-283

Ryalls JMW, Moore BD, Riegler R, Gherlenda AN, Johnson SN, (2015) 'Amino acid-mediated impacts of elevated carbon dioxide and simulated root herbivory on aphids are neutralized by increased air temperatures' Journal of Experimental Botany, vol.66, no.2, pp 613-623

DeGabriel JL, Moore BD, Felton AM, Ganzhorn JU, Stolter C, Wallis IR, Johnson CN, Foley WJ, (2014) 'Translating nutritional ecology from the laboratory to the field: Milestones in linking plant chemistry to population regulation in mammalian browsers', Oikos, vol.123, no.3, pp 298-308

DeGabriel JL, Moore BD, Foley WJ, Johnson CN, (2014) 'Male-Biased Predation and Its Effect on Paternity Skew and Life History in a Population of Common Brushtail Possums (Trichosurus vulpecula)', Plos One, vol.9, no.11, Article number e111746

Gherlenda AN, Haigh AM, Moore BD, Johnson SN, Riegler M, (2014) 'Responses of leaf beetle larvae to elevated [CO2] and temperature depend on Eucalyptus species', Oecologia, vol.177, no.2, pp 607-617

Jensen LM, Wallis IR, Marsh KJ, Moore BD, Wiggins NL, Foley WJ, (2014) 'Four species of arboreal folivore show differential tolerance to a secondary metabolite', Oecologia, vol.176, no.1, pp 251-258

Marsh KJ, Moore BD, Wallis IR, Foley WJ, (2014) 'Feeding rates of a mammalian browser confirm the predictions of a 'foodscape' model of its habitat', Oecologia, vol.174, pp 873–882

Moore BD, Andrew RL, Külheim C, Foley WJ, (2014) 'Explaining intraspecific diversity in plant secondary metabolites in an ecological context', New Phytologist, vol.201, no.3, pp 733-750

Ode PJ, Johnson SN, Moore BD, (2014) 'Atmospheric change and induced plant secondary metabolites — are we reshaping the building blocks of multi-trophic interactions?', Current Opinion in Insect Science, vol.5, pp 57–65 

O'Reilly-Wapstra JM, Moore BD, Brewer M, Beaton J, Sim D, Wiggins NL, Iason GR, (2014) 'Pinus sylvestris sapling growth and recovery from mammalian browsing', Forest Ecology and Management , vol.325, pp 18 - 25

Bennett AE, Macrae AM, Moore BD, Caul S, Johnson SN, (2013) 'Early Root Herbivory Impairs Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Colonization and Shifts Defence Allocation in Establishing Plantago lanceolata', PLOS One, vol.8, no.6, Article No.e66053

Marsh KJ, Moore BD, Wallis IR, Foley WJ, (2013) 'Continuous monitoring of feeding by koalas highlights diurnal differences in tree preferences', Wildlife Research, vol.40, pp 639-646

Moles AT, Peco B, Wallis IR, Foley WJ, Poore AGB, Seabloom EW, Vesk PA, Bisigato AJ, Cella-Pizarro L, Clark CJ, Cohen PS, Cornwell WK, Edwards W, Ejrnaes R, Gonzales-Ojeda T, Graae BJ, Hay G, Lumbwe FC, Magana-Rodriguez B, Moore BD, Peri PL, Poulsen JR, Stegen JC, Veldtman R, Zeipel H, Andrew NR, Boulter SL, Borer ET, Cornelissen JHC, Farji-Brener AG, DeGabriel JL, Jurado E, Kyhn LA, Low B, Mulder CPH, Reardon-Smith K, Rodriguez-Velazquez J, De Fortier A, Zheng Z, Blendinger PG, Enquist BJ, Facelli JM, Knight T, Majer JD, Martinez-Ramos M, McQuillan P, Hui FKC, (2013) 'Correlations between physical and chemical defences in plants: tradeoffs, syndromes, or just many different ways to skin a herbivorous cat?', New Phytologist, vol.198, no.1, pp 252-263

Moore BD, Foley WJ, Forbey JS, Degabriel JL, (2013) 'Self-medication: A learning process?', Science, vol.340, no.6136, p 1041

Ryalls JMW, Riegler M, Moore BD, Johnson SN, (2013) 'Biology and trophic interactions of lucerne aphids', Agricultural and Forest Entomology, vol.15, no.4, pp 335-350

Ryalls JM, Riegler M, Moore BD, Lopaticki G, Johnson SN, (2013) 'Effects of elevated temperature and CO2 on aboveground-belowground systems: a case study with plants, their mutualistic bacteria and root / shoot herbivores', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol.4, p 445

Windley HR, Wallis IR, DeGabriel JL, Moore BD, Johnson CN, Foley WJ, (2013) 'A faecal index of diet quality that predicts reproductive success in a marsupial folivore', Oecologia, vol.173, no.1, pp 203-212

Iason GR, O'Reilly-Wapstra JM, Brewer MJ, Summers RW, Moore BD, (2011) 'Do multiple herbivores maintain chemical diversity of Scots pine monoterpenes?', Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, vol.366, pp 1337-1345

Moles AT, Wallis IR, Foley WJ, Warton DI, Stegen JC, Bisigato AJ, Cella-Pizarro L, Clark CJ, Cohen PS, Cornwell WK, Edwards W, Ejrnaes R, Gonzales-Ojeda T, Graae BJ, Hay G, Lumbwe FC, Magana-Rodriguez B, Moore BD, Peri PL, Poulsen JR, Veldtman R, Von Zeipel H, Andrew NR, Boulter SL, Borer ET, Campon FF, Coll M, Farji-Brener AG, De Gabriel J, Jurado E, Kyhn LA, Low B, Mulder CPH, Reardon-Smith K, Rodriguez-Velazquez J, Seabloom EW, Vesk PA, Van Cauter A, Waldram MS, Zheng Z, Blendinger PG, Enquist BJ, Facelli JM, Knight T, Majer JD, Martinez-Ramos M, McQuillan P, Prior LD, (2011) 'Putting plant resistance traits on the map: a test of the idea that plants are better defended at lower latitudes', New Phytologist, vol.191, pp 777-788

Moore BD, Lawler IR, Wallis IR, Beale CM, Foley WJ, (2010) 'Palatability mapping: a koala's eye view of spatial variation in habitat quality', Ecology, vol.91, pp 3165-3176

De Gabriel JL, Moore BD, Marsh KJ, Foley WJ, (2010) 'The effect of plant secondary metabolites on the interplay between the internal and external environments of marsupial folivores', Chemoecology, vol.20, pp 97-108

De Gabriel JL, Moore BD, Foley WJ, Johnson CN, (2009) 'The effects of plant defensive chemistry on nutrient availability predict reproductive success in a mammal', Ecology, vol.90, pp 711-719

De Gabriel JL, Moore BD, Shipley LA, Krockenberger AK, Wallis IR, Johnson CN, Foley WJ, (2009) 'Inter-population differences in the tolerance of a marsupial folivore to plant secondary metabolites', Oecologia, vol.161, pp 539-548

Shipley LA, Forbey JS, Moore BD, (2009) 'Revisiting the dietary niche: When is a mammalian herbivore a specialist?', Integrative and Comparative Biology, vol.49, pp 274-290

De Gabriel JL, Wallis IR, Moore BD, Foley WJ, (2008) 'A simple, integrative assay to quantify nutritional quality of browses for herbivores', Oecologia, vol.156, pp 107-116

Fisher DO, Double MC, Moore BD, (2006) 'Number of mates and timing of mating affect offspring growth in the small marsupial Antechinus agilis', Animal Behaviour, vol.71, pp 289-297

Moore BD, Foley WJ, (2005) 'Tree use by koalas in a chemically complex landscape', Nature, vol.435, pp 488-490

Moore BD, Foley WJ, Wallis IR, Cowling A, Handasyde KA, (2005) 'Eucalyptus foliar chemistry explains selective feeding by koalas', Biology Letters, vol.1, pp 64-67

Foley WJ, Moore BD, (2005) 'Plant secondary metabolites and vertebrate herbivores - from physiological regulation to ecosystem function', Current Opinion in Plant Biology, vol.8, pp 430-435

Moore BD, Wallis IR, Wood JT, Foley WJ, (2004) 'Foliar nutrition, site quality, and temperature influence foliar chemistry of tallowwood (Eucalyptus microcorys)', Ecological Monographs, vol. 74, pp 553-568

Moore BD, Wallis IR, Pala-Paul J, Brophy JJ, Willis RH, Foley WJ, (2004) 'Antiherbivore chemistry of Eucalyptus - Cues and deterrents for marsupial folivores', Journal of Chemical Ecology, vol.30, pp 1743-1769

Mclean S, Brandon S, Davies NW, Boyle R, Foley WJ, Moore B, Pass GJ, (2003) 'Glucuronuria in the koala', Journal of Chemical Ecology, vol.29, pp 1465-1477

Moore BD, Coulson G, Way S, (2002) 'Habitat selection by adult female eastern grey kangaroos', Wildlife Research, vol.29, pp 439-445

Moore BD, Foley WJ, (2000) 'A review of feeding and diet selection in koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus)', Australian Journal of Zoology, vol.48, pp 317-333

Boyle R, Mclean S, Foley WJ, Moore BD, Davies NW, Brandon S, (2000) 'Fate of the dietary terpene, p-cymene, in the male koala', Journal of Chemical Ecology, vol.26, pp 1095-1111

Reports and Popular Articles

Moore BD, Sim D, Iason, GR, (2010b) 'The Scottish Beaver Trial: Woodland monitoring 2009', Scottish Natural Heritage. http://www.snh.org.uk/pdfs/publications/commissioned_reports/393.pdf

Moore BD, Sim D, Iason GR, (2011) 'The Scottish Beaver Trial: Woodland monitoring 2010', Scottish Natural Heritage.
http://www.snh.org.uk/pdfs/publications/commissioned_reports/462.pdf

Moore BD, (2006) 'Why did the koala cross the forest floor?', Australasian Science.

I advised the IUCN on the preparation of this document prior to Copenhagen 2009.

IUCN SPECIES SURVIVAL COMMISSION 2009. Koalas and climate change: hungry for CO2 cuts. Species and Climate Change: More than just the Polar Bear. http://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/fact_sheet_red_list_koala_v2.pdf