Dr David Marshall


Associate Professor, Faculty of Science



Academic positions:
2003- present: Associate Professor, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Brunei Darussalam
2001-2003: Associate Professor of Zoology, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Durban-Westville (now University of KwaZulu-Natal), Durban, South Africa
2002: Chair of Zoology, UDW, Durban
1996-2000: Senior Lecturer, Department of Zoology, UDW, Durban
1994-1995: Senior Lecturer, Zoology Department, University of Fort Hare, Alice
1992-1993: Chief Scientific Officer, Percy Fitz Patrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, Cape Town

Academic awards
2002: National Research Foundation (South Africa) Rating (C1)
2001: University Chancellor’s Award for Excellence (Academic and Research achievements, University of Durban-Westville)
2000: Commonwealth Postdoctoral Fellowship, Association of Commonwealth Universities (British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK)
1997: National Research Foundation (NRF) Rating (C3)
1987: Academic Colours Award (Rhodes University)


1987: BSc Hons (Zoology) in First Class, Rhodes University, South Africa
1991: PhD (Zoology), Rhodes University


My current research interests broadly fall within tropical marine invertebrate ecology and physiology. I work on projects exploring ecological responses to environmental change, usually having an anthropogenic origin. I undertake general benthic surveys and community ecology analyses. A particular recent focus at the organismal-level, aims to understand behavioural and physiological capacities and responses of marine gastropods to novel thermal or acidification regimes. This work, framed within the context of climate change biology, uses organisms that experience exceptional thermal heterogeneity along tropical rock shorelines or extraordinary acid sulphate soil inflows into intertidal marine systems (mainly estuarine). Results are often considered in the context of contemporary ecological and evolutionary theories, which have been developed using less extreme environmental circumstances and model systems.


Marine organismal responses to global change - warming

This project will consider how intertidal ectotherms behaviourally thermoregulate and acclimate to the temperature extremes experienced when exposed in air. We are especially interested in unraveling the nature and mechanisms of rapid heat hardening. Other elements include multi-stressor responses, such as the coupled effects of heating and drying when air-exposed.

Applications Invited
PhD, MSc

Metabolism and energetics associated with snails living under extreme and variable pH circumstances

This project will explore the constraints on energetic balance of circumstances leading to limited energetic uptake and the apparently high energy costs of life in acidified estuarine ecosystem. It will involve gastropods as a model system.

Applications Invited
PhD. MSc

Scopus Publications


Google Scholar Citations


Google Scholar h-index


Google Scholar i10-index

Scopus Publications


1. Proum, S., Santos, J.H., Lim, L-H. & Marshall, D.J. (2017). Spatial and temporal variation in carbonate chemistry, pH and salinity in the surface water of a pyrite-acidified, tropical estuarine system. Regional Studies in Marine Science (under review).
2. Monaco, C.J., McQuaid, C.D. & Marshall, D.J. (2017). Decoupling of behavioural and physiological thermal performance curves in ectotherm animals: a critical adaptive trait. Oecologia (in press).
3. Majewska, R., Adam, A., Mohammad-Noor, N., Convey, P., De Stefano, M. & Marshall, D.J. (2017). Spatio-temporal variation in phytoplankton communities along a salinity and pH gradient in a tropical estuary (Brunei, Borneo, South East Asia). Tropical Ecology, 58, 251–269.
4. Proum, S., Harley, C., Steele, M., & Marshall, D.J. (2017). Aerobic and behavioral flexibility allow estuarine gastropods to flourish in rapidly changing and extreme pH conditions. Marine Biology, 164, 97.
5. Ng, T.P.T., Lau, S.L.Y., Seuront, L., Davies, M.S., Stafford, R. Marshall, D.J. & Williams, G.A. (2017). Linking behaviour and climate change in intertidal ectotherms: insights from littorinid snails. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 492, 121-131.


1. Sinclair, B.J., Marshall, K.E., Sewell, M.A., Levesque, D.L., Willet, C.S., Slotsbo, S. Dong, Y, Harley, C.D.G., Marshall, D.J., Helmuth, B.S., Huey, R.B. (2016). Can we predict ectotherm responses to climate change using thermal performance curves and body temperatures? Ecology Letters, 19, 1372-1385. Can we predict ectotherm responses to climate change using thermal performance curves and body temperatures?
2. Marshall, D.J., Dong, Y-W., Williams G.A. & McQuaid C.D. (2011). Thermal adaptation in the intertidal snail Echinolittorina malaccana contradicts current theory by revealing the crucial roles of resting metabolism. Journal of Experimental Biology 214, 3649-3657.
3. Marshall, D.J. & McQuaid, C.D. (2011). Warming reduces metabolic rate in marine snails: adaptation to fluctuating high temperatures challenges the metabolic theory of ecology. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 278, 281-288
4. Marshall, D.J., McQuaid, C.D., Williams, G.A. (2010). Non-climatic thermal adaptation: implications for species’ responses to climate warming. Biology Letters 6, 669-673.
5. Marshall, D.J., Baharuddin, N., Rezende, E. & Helmuth, B. (2015). Thermal tolerance and climate warming sensitivity in tropical snails. Ecology and Evolution , 5, 5905-5919.


Grant type: BRC, Grant Number: UBD/GSR/S&T 16, Project Title: Chemical ecology of the Brunei estuarine system , Investigators (PI/Co-PI): Dr Lee Hoon Lim
Dr Jose Santos, Funding Details: , Start Date: 25/10/2010, End Date: 25/04/2015

Industry, Institute, or Organisation Collaboration

Academic collaboration