Peter Todd

Assistant Professor

Contact Information:
Department of Biological Science
National University of Singapore
14 Science Drive 4
Singapore 117543
Tel: 65161034
Fax: 67792486


Teaching Areas:
LSM3254 – Ecology of Aquatic Environments
LSM4261 – Marine Biology
SP3202 – Aquatic Ecology Research
LSM4263 – Field Studies in Biodiversity

Research Areas:
Marine biology, coral reef ecology, giant clams, coastal change, 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 crab (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.  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)
  • Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology (2008 to present)
  • Review Editor for Aquatic Biology (2007 to present)
  • Associate Editor [Conservation and Ecology] for the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology (2005 to present)
  • International Advisory Board Member for the Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography (2007 to 2011)

  • Referee for 55 ISI-listed journals, including: Behavioural Ecology, Biological Conservation, Biology Letters, BMC Ecology, Bulletin of Marine Science, Coral Reefs, Functional Ecology, Journal of Fish Biology, Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, Marine Biology, Marine Ecology Progress Series, PLOS ONE, PLOS Computational Biology, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, and Zoology.

    Selected Publications (for full list please click here):

    1. Loke L.H.L. and Todd, P.A. (in press) Habitat complexity and structural component type increases biodiversity independently of area. Ecology

    2. Todd, P.A., Phua, H. and Ben, T.K. (2015) Interactions between background matching and disruptive colouration: Experiments using human predators and virtual crabs. Current Zoology61: 718728, 2015 ]

    3. 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

    4. 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

    5. 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

    6. 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

    7. 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

    8. 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

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

    10. 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

    11. 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

    12. 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

    13. 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

    14. 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

    15. 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  

    16. 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

    17. 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

    18. 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

    19. 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 

    20. 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   

    21. 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

    22. 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  

    23. 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

    24. 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

    25. 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

    26. 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

    27. 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

    28. 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

    29. 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

    30. 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

    31. 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

    32. 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]

    33. 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]

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

    35. 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

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

    37. 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

    38. 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

    39. 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.

    40. 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.

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

    42. 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. 

    43. 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.

    44. 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.

    45. 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.

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

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

    48. 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

    updated 22 September 2015