Peter Alan TODD

Associate Professor

Contact Information:

Department of Biological Science
National University of Singapore
14 Science Drive 4
Singapore 117543

6516 1034
6779 2486

Teaching Areas

LSM3254 – Ecology of Aquatic Environments
LSM4261 – Marine Biology
SP3202 – Aquatic Ecology Research

Research Areas

Marine biology, ecological engineering, coastal change, coral reefs, giant clams, the functions of colour and morphology.

Research Interests

As an ecologist and SCUBA diver it was almost inevitable that I should end up studying coral reefs and coastal systems. I conducted my doctoral research here in Singapore on intraspecific variation, phenotypic plasticity, and symmetry in scleractinian corals. After my PhD I spent two years in Scotland where I focused on crypsis and polymorphism in crabs (the only corals in those chilly waters are deep in the sea)! After returning to Singapore, I started working on the autecology of giant clams, the effects of sediments on corals, and other coastal change related issues. More recently, I have been working on the ecological engineering of seawalls. Much of my research has involves extensive fieldwork and experimentation, and often requires the development of novel methods and techniques.

Editorial Activities

  • Academic Editor [Marine Biology] for PLoS ONE (2013 to present)
  • Associate Editor [Zoology] for Nature in Singapore (2013 to present)
  • Subject Editor [Marine Ecology] for Oikos (2011 to present)
  • Review Editor for Aquatic Biology (2007 to present)
  • Associate Editor [Conservation and Ecology] for the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology (2005 to present)
  • Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology (2008 to 2016)
  • International Advisory Board Member for the Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography (2007 to 2011)

Referee for 65 ISI-listed journals, including: American Naturalist, Behavioural Ecology, Biological Conservation, Biology Letters, BMC Ecology, Biological Reviews, Coral Reefs, Ecology, Ecological Engineering, Functional Ecology, Marine Biology, Marine Ecology Progress Series, PLOS Computational Biology, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, and Scientific Reports.

Selected Publications

For full list please click here

  1. Neo, M.L., Wabnitz, C.C.C., Braley, R.D., Heslinga, G.A., Fauvelot, C., Van Wynsberge, S., Andréfouët, S., Waters, C., Tan A. S.-H., Gomez, E.D., Costello, M.J. and Todd P.A. (in press) Giant clams (Bivalvia: Cardiidae: Tridacninae): A comprehensive update of species and their distribution, current threats and conservation status. Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review 

  2. Tanzil J.T.I., Lee J.N., Brown B.E., Quax R., Kaandorp J.A., Lough J.M. and Todd P.A. (2016) Luminescence and density banding patterns in massive Porites corals around the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Southeast Asia. Limnology and Oceanography61: 2003-2026

  3. Toh, K.B. and Todd, P.A. (2017) Camouflage that is spot on! Optimization of spot size in prey-background matching. Evolutionary Ecologydoi:10.1007/s10682-017-9886-3

  4. Teo. A., Guest, J.R., Neo, M.L., Vicentuan-Cabaitan, K., and Todd, P.A. (2016) Quantification of coral sperm collected during a synchronous spawning event. PeerJ4 e2180

  5. Guest J.R., Low, J., Tun, K., Wilson, B., Ng, C., Raingeard, D., Ulstrup, K.E., Tanzil, J.T.I.#, Todd, P.A., Toh, T.C., McDouglad, D., Chou L.M. and Steinberg, P.D. (2016) Coral community bleaching response on a highly urbanised reef. Scientific reports6, 20717; doi: 10.1038/ srep20717

  6. Loke L.H.L. and Todd, P.A. (2016) Structural complexity and component type increase intertidal biodiversity independently of area. Ecology97: 383–393

  7. Todd, P. A. , Phua, H., and Toh, K.B. (2015) Interactions between background matching and disruptive colouration: Experiments using human predators and virtual crabs. Current Zoology 61: 718728

  8. Bauman, A.G., Guest J.R., Dunshea, G., Low, J., Todd, P.A., and Steinberg, P.D. (2015) Coral settlement on a highly disturbed equatorial reef system. PLOS ONE10: e0127874. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0127874

  9. Neo, M.L., Vicentuan-Cabaitan, K., Teo, S. L.-M., Erftemeijer, P.L.A. and Todd, P.A. (2015) Early life history of the fluted giant clam, Tridacna squamosa and its potential effects on larval dispersal models. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 469: 76-82

  10. Browne, N.K., Tay, J.K.L., Low, J., Larson, O. and Todd, P.A. (2015) Fluctuations in coral health of four common inshore reef corals in response to seasonal and anthropogenic changes in water quality. Marine Environmental Research. 105: 39-52

  11. Loke L.H.L., Ladle, R.J., Bouma, T.J. and Todd, P.A. (2015) Creating complex habitats for restoration and reconciliation. Ecological Engineering. 77: 307-313

  12. Neo, M.L., Eckman, W., Vicentuan-Cabaitan, K., Teo, S. L.-M. and Todd, P.A. (2015) The ecological significance of giant clams in coral reef ecosystems. Biological Conservation. 181: 111–123

  13. Junjie, R.K, Browne, N.K., Erftemeijer P.L.A. and Todd, P.A. (2014) Impacts of sediments on coral energetics: partitioning the effects of turbidity and settling particles. PLOS ONE.9(9): e107195. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107195

  14. Soo, P. and Todd, P.A. (2014) The behaviour of giant clams (Bivalvia: Cardiidae: Tridacninae). Marine Biology.161:2699–2717

  15. Tay, Y.C., Noreen, A.M.E., Chou, L.M. and Todd, P.A. (2014) Connectivity of the broadcast spawning reef coral Platygyra sinensis on impacted reefs, and the description of new microsatellite markers. Coral Reefs.10.1007/s00338-014-1206-6

  16. Lee, B.Y., Parra-Velandia, F.J., Ng, N.K., and Todd, P.A. (2014) An unusual form of camouflage in the mangrove crab Clistocoeloma merguiense. Bulletin of Marine Science. 90: 967-968

  17. Yaakub, S.M., Chen, E., Bouma, T.J., Erftemeijer, P.L.A. and Todd, P.A. (2014) Chronic light reduction reduces overall resilience to additional shading stress in the seagrass Halophila ovalis. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 83: 467–474

  18. Yaakub, S.M., McKenzie, L.J., Erftemeijer P.L.A., Bouma, T.J. and Todd, P.A. (2014) Courage under fire: Seagrass persistence adjacent to a highly urbanised city-state. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 83: 417–424

  19. Browne, N.K., Precht, E., Last, K.S. and Todd, P.A. (2014) The photo-physiological costs associated with acute sediment stress events in three near-shore turbid water corals. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 502:129-143

  20. Loke L.H.L., Jachowski, N.R., Bouma, T.J., Ladle, R.J. and Todd, P.A. (2014) Complexity for Artificial Substrates (CASU): software for creating and visualising habitat complexity. PLOS ONE 9(2): e87990. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0087990

  21. Neo, M.L., Erftemeijer, P.L.A., van Beek J.K.L., van Maren D. S., Teo S. L-M and Todd, P.A. (2013) Recruitment constraints in Singapore’s fluted giant clam (Tridacna squamosa) populations – A dispersal model approach. PLOS ONE. 8(3): e58819. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0058819

  22. Tanzil, J.T.I., Brown, B.E., Dunne, R.P., Lee, J.N., Kaandorp, J.A. and Todd, P.A. (2013) Regional decline in growth rates of massive Porites corals in Southeast Asia. Global Change Biology. 19: 3011-3023

  23. Stevens, M., Cheo P.R. and Todd, P.A. (2013) Color change and camouflage in the horned ghost crab, Ocypode ceratophthalmus. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. DOI: 10.1111/bij.12039

  24. Ong, C.W., Reimer, J.D. and Todd, P.A. (2012) Morphologically plastic responses to shading in the zoanthids Zoanthus sansibaricus and Palythoa tuberculosa. Marine Biology. 160:1053–1064

  25. Neo, M.L. and Todd, P.A. (2012) Population density and genetic structure of the giant clams Tridacna crocea and T. squamosa on Singapore’s reefs. Aquatic Biology. 14: 265–275   

  26. Todd, P.A., Oh, J., Loke L.H.L., and Ladle, R.J (2012) Multi-scale phenotype-substrate matching: evidence from shore crabs (Carcinus maenas L.).Ecological Complexity. 12: 58-62

  27. Erftemeijer, P.L.A., Riegl B., Hoeksema, B.W. and Todd, P.A. (2012) Environmental impacts of dredging and other sediment disturbances on corals: a review. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 64: 1737–1765

  28. Tay, Y.C., Todd, P.A., Per, S.R. and Chou, L.M. (2012) Simulating the transport of coral larvae among the Southern Islands of Singapore.Aquatic Biology. 15: 283-297

  29. Todd, P.A., Wang W.Y., Huang, H. Belle, C.C., Lim .M L.M., Yeo, D. C. J. (2011) The function of colourful facial bands in mangrove crab (Perisesarma) communication. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 407: 26–33

  30. Belle, C., Wong, J.Q.H., Yeo, D.C.J., Tan, S.H.,Tan, H.H., Clews, E., Todd, P.A. (2011) Ornamental trade as a pathway of Cherax quadricarinatus introduction and establishment. Aquatic Biology. 12: 69-79

  31. Tay, Y.C., Guest, J.R., Todd, P.A. and Chou, L.M. (2011) Vertical distribution and settlement competencies in broadcast spawning coral larvae: implications for dispersal. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 409: 324–330

  32. Neo, M.L. and Todd, P.A. (2010) Predator-induced changes in fluted giant clam (Tridacna squamosa L.) shell morphology. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 397: 21–26

  33. Todd, P.A., Ong, X. and Chou, L.M. (2010) Impacts of pollution on marine life in Southeast Asia. Biodiversity and Conservation. 19: 1063-1082

  34. Ow Y.X. and Todd, P.A. (2010) Light-induced morphological plasticity in the Scleractinian coral Goniastrea pectinata and its functional significance. Coral Reefs. 29: 797-808

  35. Todd, P.A., Guest, J.R., Lu, J. and Chou, L.M. (2010) One in four citations in marine biology papers are inappropriate. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 408: 299-303

  36. Huang, D., Meier, R., Todd, P.A. and Chou, L.M. (2009) More evidence for pervasive paraphyly in scleractinian corals: systematic study of Southeast Asian Faviidae (Cnidaria; Scleractinia) based on molecular and morphological data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 50: 102-116

  37. Reimer, J.D. and Todd, P.A. (2009) Preliminary molecular examination of zooxanthellate zoanthid (Hexacorallia: Zoantharia) and associated zooxanthellae (Symbiodinium spp.) diversity in Singapore. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. 22: 103-120 [partial front cover]

  38. Todd, P.A., Lee J. H. and Chou L.M. (2009) Polymorphism and crypsis in the boring clam (Tridacna crocea): potential strategies against visual predators. Hydrobiologia. 635: 37-43 [front cover]

  39. Todd, P.A. (2008) Morphological plasticity in scleractinian corals. Biological Reviews. 83: 315-337 [front cover]

  40. Han, L., Todd, P.A., Chou, L.M., Yap, V.B. and Sivalonganathan, B. (2008) The defensive role of scutes in juvenile fluted giant clams (Tridacna squamosa). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 359: 77-83

  41. Todd, P.A. and Ladle, R.J. (2008) Citations: poor practices by authors reduce their value. Nature. 451: 244  

  42. Huang, D., Meier, R., Todd, P.A. and Chou, L.M. (2008) Slow mitochondrial COI sequence evolution at the base of the metazoan tree and its implications for DNA barcoding. Journal of Molecular Evolution. 66:167-174

  43. Todd, P.A., Yeo, D.C.J., Li, D. and  Ladle, R.J. (2007) Citing practices in ecology: can we believe our own words? Oikos. 116: 1599-1601

  44. Huang, D., Todd, P.A. and Guest, J.R. (2007) Locomotion and aggregation in the fluted giant clam (Tridacna squamosa L.). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 342: 269–281.

  45. Todd, P.A., Briers, R.A., Ladle, R.J., Middleton, F. (2006) Phenotype-environment matching in the shore crab (Carcinus maenas). Marine Biology. 148: 1357-1367.

  46. Todd, P.A. and Chou, L.M. (2005) A Tale of Survival: Labrador Park, Singapore. Coral Reefs. 24 (3): 391-391. 

  47. Todd, P.A., Ladle, R.J., Briers, R. and Brunton, A. (2005) Quantifying two-dimensional dichromatic patterns using a photographic technique: case study on the shore crab (Carcinus maenas, L.). Ecological Research. 20: 497-502. 

  48. Todd, P.A., Ladle, R.J., Lewin-Koh, N.J.I. and Chou, L.M. (2004) Flesh or Bone? Quantifying small-scale coral morphology using with-tissue and without-tissue techniques. Marine Biology.145: 323-328.

  49. Todd, P.A., Sidle, R.C. and Lewin-Koh, N.J.I. (2004) An aquarium experiment for identifying the physical factors inducing morphological change in two massive scleractinian corals. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 299: 97-133.

  50. Todd, P.A., Ladle, R.J., Lewin-Koh, N.J.I. and Chou, L.M. (2004) Genotype x environment interactions in transplanted clones of the massive corals Favia speciosa and Diploastrea heliopora. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 271: 167-182.

  51. Todd, P.A., Sidle, R.C. and Chou, L.M. (2002) Plastic corals from Singapore 2. Coral Reefs. 21: 407-408.

  52. Todd, P.A., Sidle, R.C. and Chou, L.M. (2002) Plastic corals from Singapore 1. Coral Reefs. 21: 391-392.

  53. Todd, P.A., Sanderson, P.G. and Chou, L.M. (2001) Small-scale variation in the scleractinian coral Favia speciosa (Dana, 1846) around Singapore. Hydrobiologia. 444: 227-235