Shelby E. McIlroy, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

The Chinese University of Hong Kong
School of Life Sciences, Simon F.S. Li Marine Science Laboratory


email: [email protected]
107A Simon F.S. Li Marine Science Laboratory
Shatin, Hong Kong SAR


Ph.D. Evolution, Ecology and Behaviour – SUNY at Buffalo
M.Sc. Marine Science – Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
B.S. Integrated Biology – University of Florida


Landry-Yuan F, T Yamakita, TC Bonebrake, SE McIlroy* (2023) Optimal thermal conditions for corals extend poleward with oceanic warming. Diversity & Distributions 29:1388–1401

Davies SW, …SE McIlroy…AMS Correa, JE Parkinson (2023) Building consensus around the assessment and interpretation of Symbiodiniaceae diversity. PeerJ 11:e15023

Tong H, F Zhang, J Sun, SE McIlroy, W Zhang, Y Wang, H Huang, G Zhou, PY Qian (2023) Meta-organism gene expression reveals that the impact of nitrate enrichment on coral larvae is mediated by their associated Symbiodiniaceae and prokaryotic assemblages. Microbiome 11:89

W Dellisanti, JTH Chung, SKF Yiu, RHL Tsang, P Ang Jr, YYH Yeung, JW Qiu, SE McIlroy, ML Wells, J Wu, LL Chan (2023) Seasonal drivers of productivity and biocalcification of the coral Platygyra carnosa in a subtropical reef. Frontiers in Marine Science

G Puntin, J Craggs, R Hayden, KE Engelhardt, SE McIlroy, M Sweet, DM Baker, M Ziegler (2022) The reef-building coral Galaxea fascicularis: a new model system for coral symbiosis. Coral Reefs 1-14

McIlroy SE, CP terHorst, M Teece, MA Coffroth (2022) Nutrient dynamics in coral symbiosis depend on both the relative and absolute abundance of Symbiodiniaceae species. Microbiome 10:1-13. video_summary

Coffroth MA, NJ Leigh, SE McIlroy, MW Miller, HD Sheets (2022) Genetic structure of dinoflagellate symbionts in coral recruits differs from that of parental or local adults. Ecology & Evolution 12:e9312.

Richards JL, V Sheng, HWY Chung, M Liu, RHH Tsang, SE McIlroy*, David Baker. (2022) Development of an eDNA-based survey method for urban fish markets. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 13:1568-1580. *corresponding author

Aguilar R, JA Baeza, S Prakash, MB Ogburn, KM Pagenkopp Lohan, KS MacDonald III, AC Driskell, M Leray, ST Ahyong, SE McIlroy, TD Tuckey, AH Hines (2022) Unresolved taxonomy can confound the identification of invasive species: Introduction of a member of the Lysmata vittata Stimpson 1860 (Decapoda: Caridea) species complex in the western Atlantic. Journal of Crustacean Biology. 42(1):1-18.

McIlroy SE, JCY Wong, DM Baker (2020)Competitive traits of coral symbionts may alter the structure and function of the microbiome. ISME J  14(10): 2424-2432.

Röthig T, H Bravo, A Corley, TL Prigge, A Chung, V Yu, SE McIlroy; M Bulling, M Sweet, DM Baker (2020) Environmental flexibility in Oulastrea crispata in a highly urbanised environment – a microbial perspective. Coral Reefs 39(3):649-662.

Geeraert N, NN Duprey, SE McIlroy, PD Thompson, BR Goldstein, C LaRoche, K Kim, LJ Raymundo, DM Baker (2020) The anthropogenic nitrogen footprint of a tropical lagoon: spatial variability in Padina sp. δ 15 N values. Pacific Science 74(1).

Burkepile DE, AA Shantz, TC Adam, KS Munsterman, KE Speare, MC Ladd, MM Rice, SE McIlroy, JCY Wong, DM Baker, AJ Brooks, RJ Schmitt, SJ Holbrook (2020) Nitrogen source drives differential impacts of nutrients on coral bleaching prevalence, duration, and mortality. Ecosystems 23:798-811.

McIlroy SE, R Cunning, AC Baker, MA Coffroth (2019) Competition and succession among coral endosymbionts. Ecology and Evolution 9:12767-12778.

McIlroy SE, PD Thompson, F Landry Yuan, T Bonebrake, DM Baker (2019) Subtropical thermal variation supports persistence of corals but limits productivity of coral reefs. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B Biological Sciences 286(1907):20190882.

Chen J** and SE Mcllroy**, A Archana, DM Baker, G Panagiotou (2019) A pollution gradient contributes to the taxonomic, functional and resistome diversity of microbial communities in marine sediments. Microbiome  7:104. **co-first authors

Edmunds PJ, SE McIlroy, M Adjeroud, P Ang, JL Bergman, RC Carpenter, MA Coffroth, AG Fujimura, JL Hench, SJ Holbrook, JJ Leichter, S Muko, Y Nakajima, M Nakamura, CB Paris, RJ Schmitt, M Sutthacheep, RJ Toonen, K Sakai, G Suzuki, L Washburn, ASJ Wyatt, and S Mitarai (2018) Critical information gaps impeding understanding of the role of larval connectivity among coral reef islands in an era of global change. Frontiers in Marine Science 5:290.

McIlroy SE, MA Coffroth (2017) Coral ontogeny affects early symbiont acquisition in laboratory-reared recruits. Coral Reefs 36:927-932.

Duprey NN, McIlroy SE, Ng TP, Kim T, Thompson PD, Wong CY, Wong MCW, Husa SM, Li SMH, Williams GA, Baker DM (2017) Facing a wicked problem with optimism: issues and priorities for coral conservation in Hong Kong. Biodiversity and Conservation 26:2521-2545.

Klueter A, Trapani J, Archer FI, McIlroy SE, Coffroth MA (2017) Comparative growth rates of cultured marine dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium and the effect of temperature and light. PLoS One  12:e0187707.

McIlroy SE, R Cunning, P. Gilette, A Kluter, T Capo, AC Baker, MA Coffroth (2016) The effects of Symbiodinium (Pyrrhophyta) identity on growth, survivorship, and thermal tolerance of newly settled coral recruits Journal of Phycology 52:1114-1124.

Prada C** and SE McIlroy**, DJ Valint, DM Beltrán, S Ford, ME Hellberg, MA Coffroth (2014) Cryptic diversity hides host and habitat specialization in a gorgonian-algal symbiosis. Molecular Ecology 23:3330-3340.  **co-first authors

McIlroy SE, GJ Smith, JB Geller (2014) FISH-Flow: A quantitative molecular approach for describing mixed clade communities of Symbiodinium. Coral Reefs 33(1):157-167.

Mellas RE, SE McIlroy, WK Fitt, MA Coffroth (2014) Variation in symbiont uptake in the early ontogeny of the upside-down jellyfish, Cassiopea spp. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology & Ecology 459:38-44.

McKeon C, AC Stier, SE McIlroy, BM Bolker (2012) Multiple defender effects: synergistic coral defense by mutualist crustaceans. Oecologia 169:1095-1103.

Boyer SE, JS White, AC Stier, CW Osenberg (2008) Effects of the fish anesthetic, clove oil (eugenol), on coral health and growth. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology & Ecology 369:53-57.