Dr. Karlo Hock

I am a biologist broadly interested in the emergent properties of complex biological, spatial and social systems. My current projects investigate the connectivity of habitat-building corals and their predator crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) on the Great Barrier Reef.

The focus of the coral work is to identify regionally important sources of larvae that can mitigate against disturbance exposure and promote recovery and resilience on a regional- and system-level. The focus of the work on COTS is to understand and predict the distribution of known or possible outbreaks of this coral-eating predator, especially from the perspective of inter-reef connectivity patterns and the resultant coral-COTS dynamics. These analyses will then help in risk assessment and the design of cost-effective strategies for management, such as targeted allocation of resources when deciding which COTS outbreaks to prioritize for interventions, which reefs to survey, or where to establish an early warning system. Methodologically, my approach blends connectivity/dispersal models, network analysis, and decision theory, and is also inspired by algorithms used in complex systems analysis, epidemiology, and artificial intelligence.

In addition to working on COTS and coral dynamics, my broader goal is to develop network-based algorithms that can be readily adapted to model the range expansion of other potentially harmful populations, such as pests, pathogens and invasive species, as well as to investigate the processes of emergence in dynamic networked systems in general.

I also have an ongoing collaboration with Dr Sandra Hudina on investigating the behavioural determinants of invasive success in invasive crustaceans.


2016-cont. Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, Australia

2012-2016   John Stocker Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, Australia

2015             Visiting Professor/Researcher, Department of Biodiversity, Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technologies, University of Primorska, Slovenia

2009-2012    Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Ecology, Evolution & Natural Resources, Rutgers University, USA

2006-2009   Senior Assistant, Laboratory for Systems Biomedicine, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Croatia

2006            Expert Associate, Group for Systems Biomedicine, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Croatia

2000-2004Teaching Assistant, Department of Biological Sciences, Bowling Green State University, USA


2004   Ph.D., Biology, Bowling Green State University, USA

1999    B.Sc. Hons. equivalent (Diplom. Ing.), Biology, University of Zagreb, Croatia


2012-2016 John Stocker Postdoctoral Fellowship, Science and Industry Endowment Fund and The University of Queensland, Australia

2009-2012 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, USA

2000-2004 Teaching Assistantship, Bowling Green State University, USA

Recent grants/projects:

National Environmental Science Programme’s Tropical Water Quality Hub: Implementation of the crown-of-thorns research strategy: regional strategies, (multiple PIs and collaborators), 2017-2019, collaborator.

National Environmental Science Programme’s Tropical Water Quality Hub: Integrated pest management of crown-of-thorns starfish, (multiple PIs and collaborators), 2016-2018, collaborator.

Great Barrier Reef Foundation: Delivering a reef resilience plan for the Cairns management area through an integrated spatial decision support environment, (multiple PIs and collaborators), 2016-2017, collaborator.

Great Barrier Reef Foundation: Dispersal Processes (CONNIE) (to Condie, Hock, Kingsford and Gorton), AU$230k, collaborator.

Gladstone Healthy Harbour Project ISP007: Development of Connectivity Indicators for the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Report Card (to Herzfeld, Condie,  Andrewartha, Gorton, Rizwi and Hock), AU$240k, collaborator.

The Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts' Accelerate Partnership, QLD Government: Solving CoTS on the GBR (to KRN Anthony et al. ), AU$1,751k, collaborator.


Ecology, Decision-making & Conservation Biology

Hock, K., Wolff, N.H., Ortiz, J.C., Condie, S.A., Mumby, P.J. Connectivity and systemic resilience of the Great Barrier Reef. In review.

Condie, S.A., Plagányi, E.E., Morello, E.B., Hock, K., Beeden, R. Multiple stressors and ecosystem feedbacks control the fluctuating health of the Great Barrier Reef. In review.

Condie, S.A., Herzfeld, M., Hock, K., Andrewartha, J.R., Gorton, R., Brinkman, R., Schultz, M. System level indicators of changing marine environmental and ecological connectivity. In review.

Flower, J., Ortiz, J.C., Chollett, I., Abdullah, S., Castro, C., Hock, K., Lam, V., Mumby, P.J. (2017). Interpreting coral reef monitoring data: A guide for improved management decisions. Ecological Indicators, 72: 848-869

Hock, K., Wolff, N.H., Beeden, R., Hoey, J., Condie, S.A., Anthony, K.R.N., Possingham, H.P., Mumby, P.J. (2016). Controlling range expansion in habitat networks by adaptively targeting source populations. Conservation Biology, 30: 856-866 (link)

Hudina, S., Hock, K., Radovic, A., Klobucar, G., Petkovic, J., Jelic, M., Maguire, I. (2016). Species-specific differences in dynamics of agonistic interactions may contribute to the competitive advantage of the invasive signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) over the native narrow-clawed crayfish (Astacus leptodactylus). Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology, 49: 147-157.

Hudina, S., Zganec, K., Hock, K. (2015). Differences in aggressive behaviour along the expanding range of an invasive crayfish – an important component of invasion dynamics. Biological Invasions, 17:3101-3112. (link)

Hock, K., Mumby, P.J. (2015). Quantifying the reliability of dispersal paths in connectivity networks. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 12:20150013. (link)

Rogers, A., Harborne, A.R., Brown, C.J., Bozec, Y.M., Castro, C., Chollett, I., Hock, K., Knowland, C.A., Marshell, A., Ortiz, J.C., Razak, T., Roff, G., Samper-Villarreal, J., Saunders, M.I., Wolff, N.H., Mumby, P.J. (2015). Anticipative management for coral reef ecosystem services in the 21st century. Global Change Biology, 21:501-514. (link)

Hock, K., Wolff, N.H., Condie, S.A., Anthony, K.R.N., Mumby, P.J. (2014). Connectivity networks reveal the risks of crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks on the Great Barrier Reef. Journal of Applied Ecology, 51:1188–1196. (link)

Hudina, S., Hock, K., Zganec, K. (2014). The role of aggression in range expansion and biological invasions. Current Zoology, 60:401-409. (link)

Hock, K., Fefferman, N.H. (2012). Social organization patterns can lower disease risk without associated disease avoidance or immunity. Ecological Complexity, 12:34-42. (link)

Hudina, S., Hock, K. (2012). Behavioral determinants of agonistic success in invasive crayfish. Behavioural Processes, 91:77-81. (link)

Hudina, S., Hock, K., Zganec, K., Lucic, A. (2012). Changes in population characteristics and structure of the signal crayfish at the edge of its invasive range in a European river. Annales de Limnologie - International Journal of Limnology, 48:3-11. (link)

Hock, K., Fefferman, N.H. (2011). Violating social norms when choosing friends: how rule-breakers affect social networks. PLoS ONE 6:e26652. (link)

Hock, K., Fefferman, N.H. (2011). Extending the role of social networks to study social organization and interaction structure of animal groups. Annales Zoologici Fennici 28:365-370. (link)

Daws, A.G., Hock, K., Huber, R. (2011). Spatial structure of hierarchical groups: testing for processes of aggregation, clustering, and spatial centrality in crayfish (Orconectes rusticus). Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology 44:209-222. (link)

Hudina, S., Galic, N., Roessink, I., Hock, K. (2011). Competitive interactions between co-occurring invaders: identifying asymmetries between two invasive crayfish species. Biological Invasions 13:1791-1803. (link)

Hock, K., Ng, K.L., Fefferman, N.H. (2010). Systems approach to studying animal sociality: individual position versus group organization in dynamic social networks. PLoS ONE 5:e15789. (link)

Hock, K., Huber, R. (2009). Models of winner and loser effects: a cost-benefit analysis. Behaviour 146:69-87. (link)

Hock, K., Huber, R. (2007). Effects of fighting decisions on formation and structure of dominance hierarchies. Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology 40:153-169. (link)

Hock, K., Huber, R. (2006). Modeling the acquisition of social rank in crayfish: winner and loser effects and self-structuring properties. Behaviour 143:325-346. (link)

 Publications in Other Fields (Systems Biology & Drug Discovery)

Butorac, A., Dodig, I., Bacun-Druzina, V., Tishbee, A., Mrvicic, J., Hock, K., Diminic, J., Cindric, M. (2013). The effect of starvation stress on Lactobacillus brevis L62 protein profile determined by de novo sequencing in positive and negative mass spectrometry ion mode. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 27:1045-1054.

Wittine, K., Benci, K., Kraljevic Pavelic, S., Pavelic, K., Bratulic, S., Hock, K., Balzarini, J., Mintas, M. (2011). Synthesis, cytostatic and anti-viral activity evaluation of the novel acyclic nucleoside analogues containing a sterically constrained (Z)-4-amino-2-butenyl moiety. Medicinal Chemistry Research 20:280-286.

Sedic, M., Jurisic, D., Stanec, Z., Hock, K., Pavelic, K., Kraljevic Pavelic, S. (2010). Functional genomics in identification of drug targets in Dupuytren’s contracture. Frontiers in Bioscience 15:57-64.

Pavisic, R., Hock, K., Mijic, I., Horvatic, A., Gecan, M., Sedic, M., Bukvic Krajacic, M., Cindric, M. (2010). Recombinant human granulocyte colony stimulating factor pre-screening and screening of stabilizing carbohydrates and polyols. International Journal of Pharmaceutics 387:110-119.

Kraljevic Pavelic, S., Sedic, M., Hock, K., Vucinic, S., Jurisic, D., Gehrig, P., Scott, M., Schlapbach, R. Cacev, T., Kapitanovic, S., Pavelic, K. (2009). An integrated proteomics approach for studying the molecular pathogenesis of Dupuytren’s disease. Journal of Pathology 217:524-533.

Kraljevic Pavelic, S., Bratulic, S., Hock, K., Jurisic, D., Hranjec, M., Karminski-Zamola, G., Zinic, B., Bujak, M., Pavelic, K. (2009). Screening of potential prodrugs on cells derived from Dupuytren’s disease patients. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy 63:577-585.

Rajic, Z., Butula, I., Zorc, B., Kraljevic Pavelic, S., Hock, K., Pavelic, K., Naesens, L., De Clercq, E., Balzarini, J., Przyborowska, M., Ossowski, T., Mintas, M. (2009). Cytostatic and antiviral activity evaluations of hydroxamic derivatives of some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Chemical Biology & Drug Design 73:328-338.

Perkovic, I., Butula, I., Zorc, B., Hock, K., Kraljevic Pavelic, S., Pavelic, K., DeClercq, E., Balzarini, J., Mintas, M. (2008). Novel lipophilic hydroxyurea derivatives: Synthesis, cytostatic and antiviral activity evaluations. Chemical Biology & Drug Design 71: 546-553.

Hranilovic, D., Bujas-Petkovic, Z., Vragovic, R., Vuk, T., Hock, K., Jernej, B. (2007). Hyperserotonemia in adults with autistic disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 37:1934-1940.

 Book Chapters

Sedic, M., Kraljevic Pavelic, S., Hock, K. (2012). Using functional genomics to identify drug targets: a Dupuytren’s disease example. Bioinformatics & Drug Discovery (Methods in Molecular Biology vol. 910), 2nd edition. Larson, R.S. ed., pp15-31. Springer-Humana Press, New York. (link)