Philip Matich

Instructional Assistant Professor
Department of Marine Biology,

Phone: +1 (409) 740-4954
Fax: +1 (409) 740-5001

Ocean & Coastal Studies Bldg., Office 249

Google Scholars Page

Learn more about Philip Matich

Get To Know Philip Matich

What in your life drew you to your current field of study?

Exploring the natural world has provided me with venues to question how nature works. Growing up I spent much of my time outdoors hiking, camping, and canoeing, but living hundreds of miles from the ocean limited my exposure to the marine realm. A sense of adventure drew me away from my landlocked home across the country and the world pursuing opportunities to explore coral reefs, seagrass meadows, and the open ocean, progressively narrowing my interests to the seas' top predators, and what leads to both similarities and differences in their behaviors and ecological roles.

What do you hope your students gain from studying or working with you?

I hope that students learn to question their surroundings, and seek ways in which to answer those questions. In the courses I teach, I provide students with the background material needed to gain a broad understanding of the topic of interest, and then the opportunity to further explore that topic and ask questions that most interests them through their projects and assignments. I encourage students to deviate from the path and explore new avenues, challenge current paradigms in science and society, and find new ways to express their understanding of the natural world.

What are you passionate about in your personal life?

Being active, spending time outside, and experiencing new places with new people.


Ph.D. Biology, Florida International University, 2014
B.S. Marine Science, University of South Carolina, 2007

Courses Taught

BIOL 111: Introductory Biology I

BIOL 112: Introductory Biology II

MARB 300: Scientific Methods

MARB 303: Biostatistics

MARB 426: Aquatic Animal Nutrition

MARB 445: Fisheries Management

MARB 460: Fisheries Population Dynamics

MARB 482: Seminar in Marine Biology 


Hernout B, Leleux J, Lynch J, Ramaswamy K, Faulkner P, Matich P, Hala D. 2020. The integration of fatty acid biomarkers of trophic ecology with pollutant body-burdens of PAHs and PCBs in four species of fish from Sabine Lake, Texas. Environmental Advances 1: 100001

MacNeil MA, Chapman D, Heupel M, Simpfendorfer CA, Heithaus MR, Meekan M, Harvey E, Goetze J, Kizska J, Bond M, Currey-Randall LM, Speed C, Sherman CS, Rees MJ, Udyawer V, Flowers KI, Clementi G, Valentin-Albanese J, Gorham T, Adam MS, Ali K, Pina-Amargós F, Angulo-Valdés JA, Asher J, Barcia LG, Beaufort O, Benjamin C, Bernard A, Berumen ML, Bierwagen S, Bonema E, Bown RMK, Bradley D, Brooks E, Brown JJ, Buddo D, Burke P, Caceres C, Cardenosa D, Carrier JC, Caselle JE, Charloo V, Claverie T, Clua E, Cochrane JEM, Cook N, Cramp J, D’Alberto BD, de Graffe M, Dornhege M, Estep A, Fanovich L, Farabough NF, Fernando D, Flam A, Floros C, Fourqurean V, Garla R, Gastrich K, George L, Graham R, Guttridge T, Hardenstine RS, Heck S, Henderson A, Hertler H, Hueter R, Johnson M, Jupiter S, Kessel S, Kiilu B, Kirata T, Kuguru B, Kyne F, Langlois T, Lédée EJI, Lindfield S, Maggs J, Manjaji-Matsumoto BM, Marshall A, Matich P, McCombs E, McLean D, MEggs L, Moore S, Murray R, Muslimin, Newman SJ, Nogués J, Obuta C, O’Shea O, Osuka K, Papastamatiou Y, Perera N, Peterson B, Ponzo A, Prasetyo A, Qamar LMS, Quinlan J, Ruiz-Abierno A, Sala E, Samoilys M, Scharer-Umpierre M, Schlaff A, Simpson N, Smith A, Sparks L, Tadurrbannna A, Torres R, Travers M, Van Zinnicq Bergmann M, Vigliola L, Ward J, Watts AM, Wen C, Whitman E, Wirsing A, Wothke A, Zarza E, Cinner JE. 2020. Global status and conservation potential of tropical reef sharks. Nature 583: 801-806

Shipley ON, Matich P. 2020. Studying animal niches using bulk stable isotope ratios: an updated synthesis. Oecologia 193: 27-51

Matich P, Nowicki RJ, Davis J, Mohan JA, Plumlee JD, Strickland BA, TinHan TC, Wells RJD, Fisher M. 2020. Does freshwater refuge shape size structure of an estuarine predator (Carcharhinus lecuas) in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico? Marine and Freshwater Research

Matich P, Moore KB, Plumlee JD. 2020. Effects of Hurricane Harvey on the trophic status of juvenile sport fishes (Cynoscion nebulosus, Sciaenops ocellatus) in an estuarine nursery. Estuaries and Coasts 43: 997-1012

Matich P, Strickland BA, Heithaus MR. 2020. Long-term monitoring provides insight into the resilience of an estuarine top predator (Carcharhinus lecuas) in response to an extreme weather event. Marine Ecology Progress Series 639: 169-183

Kominoski J, Rehage J, Anderson B, Boecek R, Briceño H, Bush M, Dreschel T, Heithaus M, Jaffé R, Larsen L, Matich P, McVoy C, Rosenblatt A, and Troxler T. 2019. Chapter 4: Ecosystem fragmentation and connectivity - Legacies and future implications of a restored Everglades. In (Childers DL, Gaiser EE, and Ogden LA) The Coastal Everglades: The dynamics of social-ecological transformation in the south Florida Landscape. Oxford University Press. P. 71-98.

Weideli OC, Kiszka JJ, Matich P, Heithaus MR. 2019. Effects of anticoagulants on stable isotope values (δ13C and δ15N) of shark blood components. Journal of Fish Biology. 95: 1535-1539

Matich P, Schalk CM. 2019. Move it or lose it: inter- and intraspecific variation in risk response of pond-breeding anurans. PeerJ 7: e6956         

Pirog A, Ravigné V, Fontaine M, Rieux A, Gilabert A, Cliff G, Clua E, Daly R, Heithaus M, Kiszka J, Matich P, Nevill J, Smoothey A, Temple A, P Berggren, Jaquemet S, Magalon H. 2019. Population structure, connectivity and demographic history of an apex marine predator, the bull shark Carcharhinus leucas. Ecology and Evolution 9: 12980-13000           

Matich P, Kiszka JJ, Heithaus MR, Le Bourg B, Mourier J. 2019. Inter-individual differences in ontogenetic trophic shifts among three marine predators. Oecologia 189: 621-636        

Plumlee JD, Dance KM, Matich P, Mohan JA, Richards TM, TinHan TC, Wells RJD. 2018. Community structure of elasmobranchs in estuaries along the northwest Gulf of Mexico. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 204: 103-113

Bird CS, Veríssimo A, Magozzi S, Abrantes KG, Aguilar A, Al-Reasi H, Barnett A, Bethea DM, Biais G, Borrell A, Bouchoucha M, Boyle M, Brooks EJ, Brunnschweiler J, Bustamante P, Carlisle A, Catarino D, Caut S, Cherel Y, Chouvelon T, Churchill D, Ciancio J, Claes J, Colaço A, Courtney DL, Cresson P, Daly R, de Necker L, Endo T, Figueiredo I, Frisch AJ, Holst Hansen J, Heithaus M, Hussey NE, Iitembu J, Juanes F, Kinney MJ, Kiszka JJ, Klarian SA, Kopp D, Leaf R, Li Y, Lorrain A, Madigan DJ, Maljković A, Malpica-Cruz L, Matich P, Meekan MG, Ménard F, Menezes GM, Munroe SEM, Newman MC, Papastamtiou YP, Pethybridge H, Plumlee JD, Polo-Silva C, Quaeck-Davies K, Raoult V, Reum J, Torres-Rojas YE, Shiffman DS, Shipley ON, Speed CW, Staudinger MD, Teffler AK, Tilley A, Valls M, Vaudo JJ, Wai T-C, Wells RJD, Wyatt ASJ, Yool A, Trueman CN. A global perspective on the trophic geography of sharks. Nature Ecology & Evolution 2: 299-305         

Matich P, Mohan JA, Plumlee JD, TinHan T, Wells RJD, and Fisher M. 2017. Factors shaping the co-occurrence and concentrations of two juvenile shark species along the Texas Gulf Coast. Marine Biology 164: 141         

Hammerschlag N, Gutowsky LFG, Gallagher AJ, Matich P, and Cooke SJ. 2017. A comparison of diurnal versus nocturnal habitat use patterns of a marine apex predator (tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier) at high use area exposed to dive tourism. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 495: 24-34         

Matich P, Kiszka JJ, Gastrich K, Heithaus MR. 2017. Trophic interactions of fishes in an East African nearshore seagrass community inferred from stable isotope analysis. Journal of Fish Biology 91: 490-509          

Matich P, Kiszka JJ, Mourier J, Planes S, Heithaus MR. 2017 Species co-occurrence affects the trophic interactions of two juvenile reef shark species in tropical lagoon nurseries in Moorea (French Polynesia). Marine Environmental Research 127: 84-91         

Bogrand, AL, Neudorf, DLH, and Matich P. 2017. Predator recognition and nest defence by Carolina wrens Thryothorus ludovicianus in urban and rural environments: does experience matter? Bird Study 64: 211-221

Matich P, Ault J, Boucek R, Bryan D, Gastrich K, Harvey C, Heithaus MR, Kiszka JJ, Paz V, Rehage JS, and Rosenblatt AE. 2017. Ecological niche partitioning within a large predator guild in a nutrient-limited estuary. Limnology and Oceanography 62: 934-953         

Matich P, Godwin WB, and Fisher M. 2016. Long-term trends in fish community composition across coastal bays and lakes in the Lavaca-Colorado Estuary. Canadian Journal of Zoology 94: 871-884      

Matich P and Heithaus MR. 2015. Individual variation in ontogenetic niche shifts in habitat use and movement patterns of a large estuarine predator (Carcharhinus leucas). Oecologia, 178: 347-359

Matich P, Kiszka JJ, Heithaus MR, Mourier J, and Planes S. 2015. Short-term shifts of stable isotope (δ13C, δ15N) values in juvenile sharks within nursery areas suggest rapid shifts in trophic interactions. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 465: 83-91

Matich P and Heithaus MR. 2014. Multi-tissue stable isotope analysis and acoustic telemetry reveal seasonal variability in the trophic interactions of juvenile bull sharks in a coastal estuary. Journal of Animal Ecology 83: 199-213 

Rosenblatt AE, Heithaus MR, Mather ME, Matich P, Nifong JC, Ripple WJ, and Silliman BR. 2013. The roles of large top predators in coastal ecosystems: new insights from Long-Term Ecological Research. Oceanography 26: 156-167

Belicka LL, Matich P, Jaffé R, and Heithaus MR. 2012. Fatty acid and stable isotopic composition as indicators of the effect of maternal resource dependency on early-life feeding ecology of the bull shark, Carcharhinus leucas. Marine Ecology Progress Series 455: 245-256

Matich P and Heithaus MR. 2012. Effects of an extreme temperature event on the behavior and age structure of an estuarine top predator (Carcharhinus leucas). Marine Ecology Progress Series 447: 165-178 

Layman CA, Araujo MS, Boucek R, Harrison E, Jud ZR, Matich P, Hammerschlag-Peyer CM, Rosenblatt AR, Vaudo JJ, Yeager LA, Post D, and Bearhops S. 2012. Applying stable isotopes to examine food web structure: an overview of analytical tools. Biological Reviews 87: 542-562           

Matich P, Heithaus MR, and Layman CA. 2011. Contrasting patterns of individual specialization and trophic coupling in two marine apex predators.  Journal of Animal Ecology 80: 295-304

Vaudo JJ, Matich P, and Heithaus MR. 2010. Mother-offspring fractionation in two species of placentatrophic sharks. Journal of Fish Biology 77: 1724-1727           

Matich P, Heithaus MR, and Layman CA. 2010. Size-based variation in inter-tissue comparisons of stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic signatures of bull sharks (Carcharhinusn leucas) and tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier).  Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 67: 877-885