Australian Society For Fish Biology

Jeffrey Martin Leis

Jeff Leis has had a distinguished career in marine science, he is recognised internationally as a pioneer in unravelling the taxonomy, early life history dynamics and behaviour of larval fishes. His work has been pivotal in challenging and changing the paradigm that fish larvae are essentially “biological drift cards” moving about passively at the mercy of ocean currents. Through a combination of innovative field and laboratory research and integration of biology and oceanography he has demonstrated that fish larvae are able to actively influence their trajectory and select where and when they settle. An important outcome of this work has been that dispersal and connectivity models now seek to incorporate larval behaviour as well as hydrodynamic factors to provide more accurate approximations of the patterns of settlement and recruitment in fish populations.

Jeff, American by birth, commenced his tertiary studies at the University of Arizona, with every intention of completing a pre-med degree and then going onto to do a medical degree. Through a marine studies program he was introduced to fish taxonomy and SCUBA diving in the Gulf of California, Mexico and, mentored by Don Thompson and Lloyd Findley, developed a passion for marine science, graduating with high distinction in Zoology in 1971. He went on to complete his Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Oceanography at the University of Hawaii in 1978, focussing on the ichthyoplankton fauna of Hawaii. This research led Jeff to look beyond the belief that fish larvae drifted passively about in the ocean, with settlement occurring almost as a chance event. Rather he recognised the importance of taking a multidisciplinary approach to understanding fish dispersal, considering the interplay between both oceanographic processes and larval fish behaviour.

In 1979 he was awarded a Queen’s Fellowship in Marine Science and moved to Sydney and the Australian Museum, where he joined the formable team of John Paxton and Doug Hoese. After a series of successful research grants while based at the museum, he joined the museum permanent staff in 1987 as a Senior Research Scientist, progressing to the position of Senior Principal Research Scientist, Ichthyology. In addition to his role at the museum he held the roles of Visiting Professor at the University of New South Wales, Honorary Teaching Associate at the University of Sydney and Adjunct Professor at the University of Technology. He also collaborated on international research expeditions and has been a convenor and invited keynote presenter at a number of international conferences, in particular focusing on fish systematics and zoogeography and larval fish behaviour.

Jeff joined ASFB in 1979 and has been a member since, regularly contributing presentations at the annual conferences and helping to organise the 1995 conference and workshop. He has supervised several PhD students and mentored many other researchers. His publication record is impressive, with over 130 refereed articles published, almost 100 as senior author. Subjects include taxonomy of larval and adult fishes, fish phylogeny, larval fish ecology, dispersal, behaviour and sensory abilities, physical oceanography and fish population management.

In 2007 Jeff was awarded ASFB’s highest honour, the K Radway Allen Award in recognition of his significant contributions to fish and fisheries science, and in 2013 he was presented the prestigious Bleeker Award for Ecology at the 9th Indo-Pacific Fish Conference, recognising his outstanding body of published work on larval fish behaviour. Jeff, humble as ever, points out that although these awards have his name on them, in reality, they represent the combined work of his many external collaborators, students and Australian Museum technical staff.

Jeff will be officially retiring from the Australian Museum in early 2014 after 35 years of service and is relocating, with wife Suzanne Bullock, to Hobart. Retirement, however, does not mean he will be leaving science, he has taken up an appointment as an Honorary Research Professor at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (University of Tasmania) and, with several active projects and plenty of research questions still to be answered, he promises to remain research active for many years to come.

Prepared by Jeremy Lyle

Refereed publications (current 2013)

Miller, J.M., W. Watson and J.M. Leis. 1973. Larval Fishes. Section VII‑C: pp 101‑105 in S.V. Smith, K.E. Chave and D.T. O. Kam (eds.) Atlas of Kaneohe Bay: a reef ecosystem under stress. Univ. Hawaii Sea Grant Program Technical Report 72‑01.
Watson, W. and J. M. Leis. 1974. Ichthyoplankton of Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii: a one‑year study of fish eggs and larvae. Univ. Hawaii Sea Grant Program Technical Report 75‑01: 178 pp.
Leis, J.M. and J.M. Miller. 1976. Offshore distributional patterns of Hawaiian fish larvae. Marine Biology 36(3): 359‑367.
Leis, J. M. 1977. Development of the eggs and larvae of the slender mola, Ranzania laevis (Pisces, Molidae). Bulletin of Marine Science 27(3): 448‑466.
Leis, J.M. 1978. Systematics and zoogeography of the porcupine fishes (Diodon, Diodontidae, Tetraodontiformes) with comments on egg and larval development. U.S. Fishery Bulletin 76(3): 535‑567.
Miller, J.M., W. Watson and J.M. Leis. 1979. An atlas of common nearshore marine fish larvae of the Hawaiian Islands. Univ. Hawaii Sea Grant Program Miscellaneous Report 80‑02: 179 pp.
Leis, J.M. 1981. Family Diodontidae. in FAO species identification sheets for fisheries purposes: the Eastern Atlantic Ocean. FAO, Rome.
Leis, J.M. 1982a. Hawaiian creediid fishes (Crystallodytes cookei and Limnichthys donaldsoni): development of eggs and larvae and use of pelagic eggs to trace coastal water movement. Bulletin of Marine Science 32(1): 166‑180.
Leis, J.M. 1982b. Distribution of fish larvae around Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef: coral reef lagoon as refuge? Proceedings 4th International Coral Reef Symposium (Manila) Vol 2: 471‑477.
Leis, J.M. 1982c. Nearshore distributional gradients of larval fish (15 taxa) and planktonic crustaceans (6 taxa) in Hawaii. Marine Biology 72(1): 89‑97.
Leis, J.M. and J.E. Randall. 1982. Chilomycterus spilostylus, a new species of Indo‑Pacific burrfish (Pisces, Tetraodontiformes, Diodontidae). Records of the Australian Museum 34(3): 363‑371 and colour plate.
Leis, J.M. 1983. Coral reef fish larvae (Labridae) in the East Pacific Barrier. Copeia 1983(3): 826‑828.
Leis, J.M. and B. Goldman. 1983. Studies on the biology of larval fishes in the Lizard Island area, Northern Great Barrier Reef. p 221‑225 in J.T. Baker, R.M. Carter, P.W. Sammarco and K.P. Stark (eds.) Proceedings of the Inaugural Great Barrier Reef Conference, J. Cook Univ. Press, Townsville.
Leis, J.M. and D.S. Rennis. 1983. The larvae of Indo‑Pacific coral reef fishes. New South Wales University Press, Sydney and University Press of Hawaii, Honolulu. 269pp, 75 plates.
Leis, J.M. and B. Goldman. 1984. A preliminary distributional study of fish larvae near a ribbon reef in the Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs 2(4): 197‑203.
Leis, J.M. 1984a. Family Diodontidae. in FAO species identification sheets for fisheries purposes: The Western Indian Ocean. FAO, Rome.
Aboussouan, A. and J.M. Leis. 1984. Balistoidei: Development. p 450‑459 in H.G Moser, W.J. Richards, D.M. Cohen, M.P. Fahay, A.W. Kendall and S.L. Richardson (eds.). Ontogeny and Systematics of Fishes. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Special Publication 1. 
Leis, J.M. 1984b. Tetraodontoidei: Development. p 447‑450 op. cit.
Leis, J.M. 1984c. Tetraodontiformes: Relationships. p 459‑464 op. cit.
Richards, W.J. and J.M. Leis. 1984. Labroidei: Development and Relationships. p 542‑547 op. cit.
Leis J.M. and W.J. Richards. 1984. Acanthuroidei: Development and Relationships. p 547‑551. op. cit.
Leis, J.M. and M.L. Bauchot. 1984. Catalogue critique des types de poissons du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (Famille des Diodontidae). Bulletin Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, 4e ser., sect.A, no 3, suppl.: 83‑101.
Leis, J.M. 1985. Larval fish dispersal and the East Pacific Barrier. Océanographie Tropicale 19(2): 181‑192.
Leis, J.M. and J.T. Moyer. 1985. Development of the eggs, larvae, and pelagic juveniles of three Indo‑Pacific ostraciid fishes (Pisces: Tetraodontiformes): Ostracion meleagris, Lactoria fornasini and Lactoria diaphana. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 32(2): 189‑202.
Leis, J.M. 1986a. Larval development of four species of the Indo‑Pacific coral trout genus Plectropomus (Pisces: Serranidae: Epinephelinae) with an analysis of the relationships of the genus. Bulletin of Marine Science 38(3): 525‑552.
Leis, J.M. 1986b. Vertical and horizontal distribution of fish larvae near coral reefs at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. Marine Biology 90(4): 505‑516.
Leis, J.M. 1986c. Ecological requirements of Indo‑Pacific larval fishes: a neglected zoogeographic factor. p 759‑767 in T. Uyeno, R. Arai, T. Taniuchi and K. Matsuura (eds). Indo‑Pacific fish biology: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Indo‑Pacific Fishes. Ichthyological Society of Japan, Tokyo.
Leis, J.M. 1986d. Epibenthic schooling by the larvae of the spratellodine clupeid Spratelloides gracilis. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 33(1): 60‑62.
Leis, J.M. 1986e. Family Diodontidae. p 903‑907 in M.M. Smith and P.C. Heemstra (eds.) Smith's Sea Fishes. McMillian South Africa, Johannesburg.
Leis, J.M. and S. Bullock. 1986. The luminous cardinalfish Siphamia (Pisces, Apogonidae): development of larvae and the luminous organ. p 703‑714 in T. Uyeno, R. Arai, T. Taniuchi and K. Matsuura (eds). Indo‑Pacific Fish Biology: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Indo‑Pacific Fishes. Ichthyological Society of Japan, Tokyo.
Young, P.C., J.M. Leis and H. Hausfeld. 1986. Seasonal and spatial distribution of fish larvae in waters over the northwest continental shelf of Western Australia. Marine Ecology Progress Series 31(3): 209‑222.
Frith, C.A., J.M. Leis and B. Goldman. 1986. Currents in the Lizard Island Region of the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon and their relevance to potential movements of larvae. Coral Reefs 5(2): 81‑92.
Leis, J.M. 1987. Review of the early life history of tropical groupers (Serranidae) and snappers (Lutjanidae) p 189‑237. in J.J. Polovina and S. Ralston (eds.). Tropical Snappers and Groupers: Biology and Fisheries Management. Westview Press, Boulder and London.
Leis, J.M. and B. Goldman. 1987. Composition and distribution of larval fish assemblages in the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon near Lizard Island, Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 38(2): 211‑223.
Leis, J.M., B. Goldman and S. Ueyanagi. 1987. Distribution and abundance of billfish larvae (Istiophoridae) in the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon and Coral Sea near Lizard Island, Australia. U.S. Fishery Bulletin 85(4): 757‑765.
Leis, J.M., B. Goldman and S.E. Reader. 1989. Epibenthic fish larvae in the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon near Lizard Island, Australia. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 35(4): 428‑433.
Leis, J.M. and T. Trnski. 1989. The larvae of Indo‑Pacific shorefishes. New South Wales University Press, Sydney and University Press of Hawaii, Honolulu. 371pp, 83 plates.
Leis, J.M. 1989. Larval biology of butterflyfishes (Pisces, Chaetodontidae): what do we really know? Environmental Biology of Fishes 25(1‑3): 87‑100.
Leis, J.M. 1991a. Vertical distribution of fish larvae in the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon, Australia. Marine Biology 109(1): 157-166.
Leis, J.M. 1991b. The pelagic phase of coral reef fishes: larval biology of coral reef fishes. p183-230 In P.F. Sale (ed.) The ecology fishes on coral reefs. Academic Press, San Diego. 
Leis, J.M. and S.E. Reader. 1991. Distributional ecology of larval milkfish, Chanos chanos (Pisces, Chanidae) in the Lizard Island Region. Environmental Biology of Fishes 30(4): 395-405.
Leis, J.M., T. Trnski, R. Galzin, M. Harmelin‑Vivien, J.‑P. Renon, V. Dufour and M.K. El Moudni. 1991. High concentrations of tuna larvae (Pisces: Scombridae) in near‑shore waters of French Polynesia (Society and Tuamotu Islands). Bulletin of Marine Science 48(1): 150-158.
Leis, J.M., D.F. Hoese and T. Trnski. 1993. Larval development in two genera of the Indo-Pacific gobioid fish family Xenisthmidae: Allomicrodesmus and Xenisthmus. Copeia. 1993(1):186-196.
Leis, J.M. 1993. Larval fish assemblages near Indo-Pacific coral reefs. Bulletin of Marine Science. 53(2):362-392.
Choat, J.H., P.J. Doherty, B.A. Kerrigan and J.M. Leis. 1993. A comparison of towed nets, purse seines and light aggregation devices for sampling larvae and pelagic juveniles of coral reef fishes. U.S. Fishery Bulletin 91(2):195-209. [N.B. order of authorship alphabetical].
Leis, J.M. 1994. Coral Sea atoll lagoons - closed nurseries for the larvae of a few coral reef fishes. Bulletin of Marine Science. 54(1):206-227.
Leis, J.M. and K. Lee. 1994. Larval development in the lutjanid subfamily Etelinae (Pisces): The genera Aphareus, Aprion, Etelis and Pristipomoides. Bulletin of Marine Science. 55(1):46-125.
Leis, J.M. 1994. Larvae, adults and relationships of the monotypic perciform fish family Lactariidae. Records of the Australian Museum. 46(2):131-144.
Leis, J.M. and D.J. Bray. 1995. Larval development in the lutjanid subfamily Paradicichthyinae (Pisces): The genera Symphorus and Symphorichthys. Bulletin of Marine Science. 56(2):418-433.
Reader, S.E. and J.M. Leis. 1996. Larval development in the lutjanid subfamily Caesioninae (Pisces): The genera Caesio, Gymnocaesio, Pterocaesio and Dipterygonotus. Bulletin of Marine Science. 59(2):310-369.
Leis, J.M., H.P.A. Sweatman and S.E. Reader. 1996. What the pelagic stages of coral reef fishes are doing out in blue water: daytime field observations of larval behavioural capabilities. Marine and Freshwater Research. 47(2):401-411.
Leis, J.M., J.E. Olney and M. Okiyama (editors). 1997. Proceedings of the Symposium “Fish larvae and systematics: ontogeny and relationships” of the International Larval Fish Conference, held in Sydney, June 1995. Bulletin of Marine Science 60(1):1-212.
Leis, J.M. and C.D. van der Lingen. 1997. Larval development and relationships of the galjoen fishes of southern Africa (Perciformes: Dichistiidae). Bulletin of Marine Science 60(1):100-116.
Leis, J.M. and B.M. Carson-Ewart. 1997. In situ swimming speeds of the late larvae of some Indo-Pacific coral reef fishes. Marine Ecology Progress Series 159(1):165-174.
Leis, J.M., D.J. Bray, S. Bullock and K. Lee. 1998. Larval development in the lutjanid subfamily Apsilinae (Pisces): The genus Paracaesio. Bulletin of Marine Science 61(3):697-742.
Leis, J.M., T. Trnski, P.J. Doherty and V. Dufour. 1998. Replenishment of fish populations in the enclosed lagoon of Taiaro Atoll: evidence from eggs and larvae. Coral Reefs 17(1):1-8.
Leis, J.M. and B.M. Carson-Ewart. 1998. Complex behaviour by coral-reef fish larvae in open-water and near-reef pelagic environments. Environmental Biology of Fishes 53(3):259-266.
Leis, J.M. and I.C. Stobutzki. 1999. Swimming performance of late pelagic larvae of coral-reef fishes: in situ and laboratory-based measurements. pp 575-583 In: (Séret B. & J.-Y. Sire, eds), Proceedings of the 5th Indo-Pacific Fish Conference, Nouméa, 1997. Société Française d'Ichtyologie & Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Paris
Leis, J.M. and B.M. Carson-Ewart. 1999. In situ swimming and settlement behaviour of larvae of an Indo-Pacific coral-reef fish, the Coral Trout (Pisces, Serranidae, Plectropomus leopardus). Marine Biology 134(1):51-64.
Leis, J.M. and T. Trnski. 1999. Larval development of the Indo-Pacific perciform fish, Centrogenys vaigiensis (Pisces: Centrogeniidae). Ichthyological Research 46(4): 413-418. 
Leis, J.M. 2000. Family Lactariidae. p2649 in KE Carpenter and VH Niem (eds) The living marine resources of the Western Central Pacific, vol 4. FAO, Rome. 
Leis, J.M. and B.M. Carson-Ewart. (editors). 2000. The larvae of Indo-Pacific coastal fishes. An identification guide to marine fish larvae. (Fauna Malesiana Handbooks 2). E.J. Brill, Leiden. (of 130 chapters, 110 are co-authored by Leis) 870 pp
Beckley, L.E. and J.M. Leis. 2000. The occurrence of tuna and mackerel larvae (Family: Scombridae) off the east coast of South Africa. Marine and Freshwater Research. 51:777-782.
Leis, J.M. 2001. Family Diodontidae. P3958-3965 in KE Carpenter and VH Niem (eds) The living marine resources of the Western Central Pacific, vol 6. FAO, Rome.
Leis, J.M. and B.M. Carson-Ewart. 2001. Behaviour of pelagic larvae of four coral-reef fish species in the ocean and an atoll lagoon. Coral Reefs 19 (3): 247-257.
Leis, J.M. 2002 Pacific coral-reef fishes: the implications of behaviour and ecology of larvae for biodiversity and conservation, and a reassessment of the open population paradigm. Environmental Biology of Fishes 65 (2): 199-208.
Leis, J.M. and B.M. Carson-Ewart. 2002. In situ settlement behaviour of damselfish larvae (Pisces: Pomacentridae). Journal of Fish Biology 61(2): 325-346.
Leis, J.M., B.M. Carson-Ewart and D.H. Cato. 2002. Sound detection in situ by the larvae of a coral-reef damselfish (Pomacentridae). Marine Ecology Progress Series 232: 259-268.
Leis, J.M., B.M. Carson-Ewart and J. Webley. 2002. Settlement behaviour of coral-reef fish larvae at subsurface artificial-reef moorings. Marine and Freshwater Research 53: 319-327.
Leis, J. M. and M.I. McCormick. 2002. The biology, behaviour and ecology of the pelagic, larval stage of coral-reef fishes. P171-199 In P.F. Sale, (ed). Coral Reef Fishes: Dynamics and diversity in a complex ecosystem. Academic Press, San Diego.
Leis, JM, T. Trnski and L.E. Beckley. 2002. Larval development of Pagellus natalensis and what larval morphology indicates about relationships in the perciform fish family Sparidae. Marine and Freshwater Research 53: 367-376.
Kingsford, M.J., J.M. Leis, A. Shanks, K. Lindeman, S. Morgan and J. Pineda. 2002. Sensory environments, larval abilities and local self‑recruitment. Bulletin of Marine Science 70 (1 Supplement): 309-340.
Sponaugle, S., R.K. Cowen, A. Shanks, S.G. Morgan, J.M. Leis, J. Pineda, G.W. Boehlert, M.J. Kingsford, K. Lindeman, C. Grimes and J.L. Munro. 2002. Predicting self–recruitment in marine populations: Biophysical correlates. Bulletin of Marine Science 70 (1, Supplement): 341-375.
Leis, J.M. and B.M. Carson-Ewart. 2003. Orientation of pelagic larvae of coral-reef fishes in the ocean. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 252: 239-253.
Leis, J.M. 2003. Family Diodontidae. P 2007-2013 in: K.E. Carpenter (ed) The living marine resources of the western Central Atlantic vol 3, FAO, Rome
Leis, J.M. 2003. What does larval fish biology tell us about the design and efficacy of marine protected areas? Pp 170-180 in: J.P. Beumer, A. Grant and D.C. Smith, (eds) Aquatic Protected Areas: What works best and how do we know? Proceedings of the World Congress on Aquatic Protected Areas, Cairns, August 2002. Australian Society for Fish Biology, North Beach, WA
Leis, J.M., B.M. Carson-Ewart, A.C. Hay and D.H. Cato. 2003 Coral-reef sounds enable nocturnal navigation by some reef-fish larvae in some places and at some times. Journal of Fish Biology 63: 724-737. 
Leis, J.M., T. Trnski, V. Dufour, M. Harmelin-Vivien, J.-P. Renon and R. Galzin. 2003. Local completion of the pelagic larval stage of coastal fishes in coral-reef lagoons of the Society and Tuamotu Islands. Coral Reefs 22: 271-290.
Leis, J.M. and A.C. Hay 2004 Larval development of Achoerodus viridis (Pisces: Labridae), the Australian Eastern Blue Groper. Ichthyological Research 51(1):46-51.
Leis, J.M. 2004 Vertical distribution behaviour and its spatial variation in late-stage larvae of coral-reef fishes during the day. Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology 37(2):65-88
Leis, J.M., A. C. Hay and A. G. Miskiewicz. 2004. Larval development of the rare Australian aploactinid fish Matsubarichthys inusitatus (Pisces: Scorpaeniformes). Zoological Studies 43(3): 580-588.
Leis, J.M. and B.M. Carson-Ewart. (editors). 2004. The larvae of Indo-Pacific coastal fishes. An identification guide to marine fish larvae. (Fauna Malesiana Handbooks 2). Soft cover edition. E.J. Brill, Leiden. (of 130 chapters, 110 are co-authored by Leis) 870 pp
Leis, J.M. and M.F. Gomon (guest editors). 2004. Thirty-three new species of Australian fishes. Records of the Australian Museum 56(2):139-258.
Leis, J.M. and M.M. Lockett. 2005. Localization of reef sounds by settlement-stage larvae of coral-reef fishes (Pomacentridae). Bulletin of Marine Science 76(3): 715-724.
Leis, J.M. and D.L. Clark. 2005. Feeding greatly enhances endurance swimming of settlement-stage reef-fish larvae (Pomacentridae). Ichthyological Research. 52(2):185-188
Lindeman, K.C., W.J. Richards, J. Lyczkowski-Shultz, D.M. Drass, C.B. Paris, J.M. Leis, M. Lara, and B.H. Comyns. 2005. Lutjanidae: Snappers. In WJ Richards (ed) Early Stages of Atlantic Fishes. An identification guide for the Western Central Atlantic. Vol 2: 1549-1586. Taylor and Francis, Boca Raton.
Fisher R., Leis J.M., Clark D., Wilson S.K. 2005. Critical swimming speeds of late-stage coral reef fish larvae: variation within species, among species and between locations. Marine Biology 147: 1201-1212.
Clark, D.L., J.M. Leis, A.C. Hay and T. Trnski. 2005. Ontogeny of swimming abilities of the larvae of four temperate marine fishes. Marine Ecology Progress Series 292: 287–300.
Wright, K.J., D.M. Higgs, A.J. Belanger and J.M. Leis. 2005. Auditory and olfactory abilities of pre-settlement larvae and post- settlement juveniles of a coral reef damselfish (Pisces: Pomacentridae). Marine Biology 147: 1425-1434.
Leis, J.M. 2005. A larva of the eteline lutjanid, Randallichthys filamentosus (Pisces: Perciformes), with comments on phylogenetic implications of larval morphology of basal lutjanids. Zootaxa 1008: 57-64. 
Leis, J.M., A.C. Hay and T. Trnski. 2006. In situ ontogeny of behaviour in pelagic larvae of three temperate, marine, demersal fishes. Marine Biology. 148 (3): 655-669.
Leis, J.M., A.C. Hay, D.A. Clark, I.-S. Chen and K.-T. Shao. 2006. Behavioral ontogeny in larvae and early juveniles of the Giant Trevally, Caranx ignobilis (Pisces: Carangidae). US Fishery Bulletin. 104(3):401-414.
Leis, J.M. and R. Fisher 2006. Swimming speed of settlement-stage reef-fish larvae measured in the laboratory and in the field: a comparison of critical speed and in situ speed. P 438-445. In: Y. Suzuki, T Nakamori, M. Hidaka, H. Kayanne, B.E. Casareto, K. Nadaoka, H. Yamano and M. Tsuchiya (eds), Proceedings of the 10th International Coral Reef Symposium, Okinawa. The Japanese Coral Reef Society, University of Tokyo, Tokyo.
Leis, J.M. 2006 Are larvae of demersal fishes plankton or nekton? Advances in Marine Biology 51: 57-141.
Leis, J.M. 2006. Nomenclature and distribution of the species of the porcupinefish family Diodontidae (Pisces, Teleostei). Memoirs of Museum Victoria 63(1):77-90. 
Gomon, M.F. and J.M. Leis.(guest editors). 2006. New species of Australian Fishes . Memoirs of Museum Victoria 63(1):1-106. 
Leis, J.M. 2007. Larval development in the lutjanid subfamily Lutjaninae (Pisces): the genus Macolor. Records of the Australian Museum 59(1): 1-8. 
Baldwin, C.C. and J.M. Leis 2007. Rainfordia opercularis, a liopropomin serranid (Teleostei: Serranidae: Epinephelinae: Liopropomini): Corroborative evidence from settlement-stage larvae. Ichthyological Research 54: 193-197. 
Murphy, B.F., J.M. Leis and K.D. Kavanagh. 2007. Larval development of the Ambon damselfish (Pomacentrus amboinensis) with a summary of pomacentrid development. Journal of Fish Biology 71 (2): 569-584.
Leis, J.M., K.J. Wright, and R.N. Johnson. 2007. Behaviour that influences dispersal and connectivity in the small, young larvae of a reef fish. Marine Biology 153(1): 103-117 
Leis, J.M. 2007. Behaviour as an input for modelling dispersal of fish larvae: behaviour, biogeography, hydrodynamics, ontogeny, physiology and phylogeny meet hydrography. Marine Ecology Progress Series 347: 185-193. 
Leis, J. M., Hay, A. C., Lockett, M. M., Chen, J.-P., and Fang, L.-S. 2007. Ontogeny of swimming speed in larvae of pelagic-spawning, tropical, marine fishes. Marine Ecology Progress Series 349: 257-269.
Leis, J. M. 2008. Larval development in the lutjanid subfamily Lutjaninae: the Indo-Pacific genus Pinjalo. Zootaxa. 1760:37-49.
Wright, K.J., D.M. Higgs, A.J. Belanger and J.M. Leis. 2008. Auditory and olfactory abilities of larvae of the Indo-Pacific Coral Trout Plectropomus leopardus (Lacepède) at settlement. Journal of Fish Biology 72: 2543-2556.
Fowler, A.M., J.M. Leis and I.M. Suthers 2008. On-offshore distribution and abundance of tuna larvae (Pisces: Scombridae: Thunnini) in near-reef waters of the Coral Sea. US Fishery Bulletin 106(4):405-416.
Leis, J.M., R.F. Piola, A.C. Hay, C. Wen and K.-P. Kan. 2009. Ontogeny of behaviour relevant to dispersal and connectivity in larvae of two non-reef demersal, tropical fish species. Marine and Freshwater Research. 60: 211-223.
Leis, J.M., A.C. Hay and G.J. Howarth. 2009. Ontogeny of in situ behaviours relevant to dispersal and population connectivity in larvae of coral-reef fishes. Marine Ecology Progress Series 379:163-179
Fisher, R. and J.M. Leis. 2009 . Swimming performance in larval fishes: from escaping predators to the potential for long distance migration. In P. Domenici and B. G. Kapoor (eds) 'Fish locomotion: an etho-ecological approach '. Science Publishers, Enfield, New Hampshire, USA, p 333-373.
Munday, P.L., J.M. Leis, J.M. Lough, C.B. Paris, M.J. Kingsford, M.L. Berumen and J. Lambrechts 2009. Climate change and coral reef connectivity. Coral Reefs 28:379–395. 
McCook, L.J., G.R. Almany, M.L. Berumen, J.C. Day, A.L. Green, G.P. Jones, J.M. Leis, S. Planes, G.R. Russ, P.F. Sale and S.R. Thorrold. 2009. Management under uncertainty: guide-lines for incorporating connectivity into the protection of coral reefs. Coral Reefs. 28:353–366 
Irisson, J.-O., J.M. Leis, C. Paris, H. Browman. 2009. Biological Processes: Behavior and Settlement. in North, E. W., A. Gallego and P. Petitgas (eds) Manual of Recommended Practices for Modelling Physical-Biological Interactions During Fish Early Life. International Council for the Exploration of the Sea Cooperative Research Report 295: 42-60.
Paris, C., J.-O. Irisson, G. Lacroix, Ø. Fiksen, J.M. Leis, & C. Mullon. 2009. Connectivity. in North, E. W., A. Gallego and P. Petitgas (eds) Manual of Recommended Practices for Modelling Physical-Biological Interactions During Fish Early Life. International Council for the Exploration of the Sea Cooperative Research Report 295: 63-77.
Paris, C., J.M. Leis & J.-O. Irisson. 2009. Biological Processes: Pelagic larval duration. in North, E. W., A. Gallego and P. Petitgas (eds) Manual of Recommended Practices for Modelling Physical-Biological Interactions During Fish Early Life. International Council for the Exploration of the Sea Cooperative Research Report 295: 23-24.
Wright, K.J., D.M. Higgs, D.H. Cato and J.M. Leis. 2010. Auditory sensitivity in settlement-stage larvae of coral-reef fishes. Coral Reefs 29(1): 235-243. DOI 10.1007/s00338-009-0572-y 
Soars, N. A., and J. M. Leis. 2010. Larval development of the Common Ponyfish, Leiognathus equulus (Teleostei: Leiognathidae). Ichthyological Research. 57(3):263-271. DOI 10.1007/s10228-010-0163-5 
Quéré, G. and J.M. Leis. 2010. Settlement behaviour of larvae of the Stripey Snapper, Lutjanus carponotatus (Teleostei: Lutjanidae). Environmental Biology of Fishes 88(3):227–238. DOI: 10.1007/s10641-010-9633-x 
Leis, J.M. 2010. Ontogeny of behaviour in larvae of marine demersal fishes. Ichthyological Research. 57:325–342. DOI 10.1007/s10228-010-0177-z 
Wright, K.J., D.M. Higgs and J.M. Leis. 2011. Ontogenetic and interspecific variation in hearing ability in marine fish larvae. Marine Ecology Progress Series 424: 1-13. DOI 10.3354/meps09004 
Leis, J.M., A.C. Hay and M.R. Gaither 2011. Swimming ability and its rapid decrease at settlement in wrasse larvae (Teleostei: Labridae). Marine Biology 158:1239–1246. DOI 10.1007/s00227-011-1644-4 
Leis, J.M., U. Siebeck, and D.L. Dixson. 2011. How Nemo finds home: the neuroecology of marine larval-fish dispersal and population connectivity. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 51 (5): 826-843. DOI 10.1093/icb/ICR004 
Leis, J.M., L.van Herwerden and H.M. Patterson. 2011. Estimating connectivity in marine fish populations: what works best? Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review 49: 193-234.
Leis, J.M. 2011. Chapters 11 Atheriniformes; 12 Beloniformes; 13 Stephanoberyciformes; 14 Beryciformes; 16 Perciformes: Percoidei, Labroidei, Acanthuroidei, Scombroidei, Stromateoidei; 18 Tetraodontiformes: Balistidae, Tetraodontidae. in A.W. Kendall (ed) Identification of eggs and larvae of marine fishes. Tokai University Press, Tokyo, 379 pp 
Yerman, M.N. and J.M. Leis. 2011. Larvae of Belonepterygion fasciolatum (Plesiopidae: Acanthoclininae). Records of the Australian Museum 63(1): 79–83 doi:10.3853/j.0067-1975.63.2011.1577
Hay, A. C., and J. M. Leis, 2011. The pelagic larva of the Midnight Snapper, Macolor macularis (Teleostei: Lutjanidae). Records of the Australian Museum 63(1): 85–88. doi:10.3853/j.0067-1975.63.2011.1578 
Leis, J.M., P. Balma, R. Ricoux and R. Galzin, 2012. Ontogeny of swimming ability in the European Sea Bass, Dicentrarchus labrax (L.) (Teleostei: Moronidae). Marine Biology Research 8(3): 265-272. doi: 10.1080/17451000.2011.616898
Leis, J.M., S. Bullock, A. Duday, C. Guion and R. Galzin. 2012. Development of morphology and swimming in larvae of a coral-reef fish, the Royal Gramma, Gramma loreto (Grammatidae, Teleostei). Scientia Marina 76(2): 281-288. doi: 10.3989/scimar.03409.03A
Leis, J.M. and M.N. Yerman. 2012. Behavior of larval butterflyfishes (Teleostei, Chaetodontidae) at settlement on coral reefs. Copeia 2012(2): 212-222. doi: 10.1643/CE-10-185
Leis, J.M., J. E. Caselle, I.R. Bradbury, T. Kristiansen, J. K. Llopiz, M. J. Miller, M. I. O’Connor, C.B. Paris, A. L. Shanks, S. M. Sogard, S. E. Swearer, E. A. Treml, R. D. Vetter, R. R. Warner 2013. Does fish larval dispersal differ between high and low latitudes? Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 280:1-9 + Supplement, 30 pp.
Leis, J.M. (in press). Family Diodontidae. in: K.E. Carpenter (ed) The living marine resources of the eastern Central Atlantic, FAO, Rome 
Leis, J.M. (in press). Family Diodontidae. In: P.C. Heemstra and J.E. Randall (eds). Fishes of the Western Indian Ocean. 
Santana-Garcon, J. , J. M. Leis, S. J. Newman and E. S. Harvey (2013) Presettlement schooling behaviour of a priacanthid, the purplespotted bigeye Priacanthus tayenus (Priacanthidae: Teleostei). Environmental Biology of Fishes doi:10.1007/s10641-013-0150-6
Leis, J.M., P. Sasal, A.C. Hay, A.S. Hicks and R. Galzin (2013). Pelagic to demersal transition in a coral-reef fish, Platax orbicularis, the Orbicular Batfish (Teleostei: Ephippidae) Journal of Fish Biology 83 (3):466-479. doi:10.1111/jfb.12182
Wen, C.K.C., G.R. Almany, D.H. Williamson, M.S. Pratchett, T.D. Mannering, R.D. Evans, J.M. Leis and G. P. Jones (2013). Recruitment hotspots boost the effectiveness of no-take marine reserves. Biological Conservation 166: 124-131. doi: 0.1016/j.biocon.2013.06.017
Siebeck, U.E., J. O'Connor, C. Braun and J.M. Leis (in press) Do human activities influence survival and orientation abilities of larval fishes in the ocean? Journal of Integrative Zoology