Dr. Malcolm Hill
Professor of Biology
Clarence E. Denoon Professor of Science

Projects focus on the evolutionary ecology of sponges (and other invertebrates) in temperate and tropical marine systems. Using molecular and field-based techniques, we study factors that influence population characteristics and community structure and function (e.g., symbiosis, predator-prey dynamics, morphological plasticity and anti-predator defenses).


*denotes undergraduate co-authors

Şen EH, Ide S, Bayari SH, Hill M (2016) Micro- and nano-structural characterization of six marine sponges of the class Demospongiae. Eur Biophys J doi:10.1007/s00249-016-1127-0.

Strehlow B*, McCauley M*, Friday S*, Hill M (2016) The potential of azooxanthellate poriferan hosts to assess the fundamental and realized Symbiodinium niche: Evaluating a novel method to initiate Symbiodinium associations. Coral Reefs. doi:10.1007/s00338-016-1465-5.
Hill M, Waters C, Bartels E (2016) A mass bleaching event involving clionaid sponges. Coral Reefs 35(1): 153.
Lawson B, Hill M, Hill A, Heist T*, Hughes C* (2015) An agent-based simulation model of sponge: algae symbiotic relationships. In Proceedings of the 2015 Winter Simulation Conference (WSC '15). IEEE Press, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 1012-1023.

Hill MS, Hill AL, Lopez J, Peterson KJ, Pomponi S, Diaz MC, Thacker RW, Adamska M, Boury-Esnault N,Cárdenas P, Chaves-Fonnegra A, Danka E*, De Laine B*, Formica D, Hajdu E, Lobo-Hajdu G, Klontz S, Morrow CC, Patel J, Picton B, Pisani D, Pohlmann D*, Redmond NE, Reed J, Richie S, Riesgo A, Rubin E, Russell Z*, Rützler K, Sperling EA, di Stefano M*, Tarver JD, Collins AG (in press) Reconstruction of family-level phylogenetic relationshipos within Demospongiae (Porifera) using nuclear encoded housekeeping genes. PLoS ONE

Hill M, Hill A (2012) The magnesium inhibition and arrested phagosome hypotheses: new perspectives on the evolution and ecology of Symbiodinium symbioses. Biological Reviews 87:804-821.
Richardson C, Hill M, Runyen-Janecky L, Hill A (2012) Experimental manipulation of sponge:bacterial symbiont community composition with antibiotics: sponge cell aggregates as a unique tool to study animal:microbe symbiosis. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 81: 407-418

Ramsby B*, Massaro A*, Marshall E*, Wilcox T, Hill M (2012) Epibiont-basibiont interactions: examination of ecological factors that may influence specialization in a two-sponge association between Geodiavosmaeri (Sollas, 1886) and Amphimedon erina (de Laubenfels, 1936). Hydrobiologia 687: 331-340.

*denotes student co-author

Massaro A*, Weisz J, Hill M, Webster N (2012) Selective filtration and reduced pumping rates in response to thermal stress in the Great Barrier Reef sponge Rhopaloides odorabile. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 416-417: 55-60.

*denotes studnet co-author

Rivera A, Hammel J, Haen K, Danka E*, Cieniewicz B*, Winters I*, Posfai D*, Wörheide G, Lavrov D, Knight S, Hill M, Nickel M, Hill A (2011) RNA interference in marine and freshwater sponges: actin knockdown in Tethya wilhelma and Ephydatia muelleri by ingested dsRNA expressing bacteria. BMC Biotechnology. 11: 67.

*denotes student co-author

Hill M, Allenby A*, Ramsby B*, Schönberg C, Hill A (2011) Symbiodinium diversity among host clionaid sponges from Caribbean and Pacific reefs: Evidence of heteroplasmy and putative host-specific symbiont lineages. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 59: 81-88.

*denotes student co-author

Weisz J, Massaro A*, Ramsby B*, Hill M (2010) Zooxanthellar symbionts shape host sponge trophic status through translocation of carbon. Biological Bulletin 219: 189-197.

*denotes student co-author

Holstien K*, Rivera A, Windsor P, Ding S*, Leys SP, Hill M, Hill A (2010) Expansion, diversification, and expression of T-box family genes in Porifera. Development Genes and Evolution 220: 251-262.

*denotes student co-author

Hill A, Boll W, Ries C, Warner L*, Osswalt M*, Hill M, Noll M (2010) Metazoan eye development genes in sponges: characterization of PaxB and Six1/2 orthologs. Developmental Biology 343: 106-123.

*denotes student co-author

Dattelbaum JD, Sieg D*, Manieri CM*, Thomson G*, Hill M (2010) Plasticity of acquired secondary metabolites in Clathria prolifera (Demospongia: Poecilosclerida): Putative photoprotective role of carotenoids in a temperate intertidal sponge. The Open Journal of Marine Biology 4: 87-95.

*denotes student co-author

West B*, Brandt J*, Holstien K*, Hill A, Hill M (2009) Fern-associated arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are represented by multiple Glomus spp.: do environmental factors influence partner identity? Mycorrhiza 19: 295-304.

*denotes student co-author

Ph.D., University of Houston
Contact Information
(804) 289-8418
(804) 289-8818 (Fax)
(804) 287-6628
(804) 289-8233 (Fax)
Areas of Expertise
Evolutionary ecology
Coral reef ecology