Leading-edge coral reef research centre

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies undertakes world-best integrated research for sustainable use and management of coral reefs.

Funded in July 2005 under the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centres of Excellence program this prestigious research centre is headquartered at James Cook University, in Townsville. The ARC Centre is a partnership of James Cook University (JCU), the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), The Australian National University (ANU), the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), The University of Queensland (UQ) and the University of Western Australia (UWA).

The ARC Centre of Excellence cements Australia’s leading contribution to coral reef sciences, and fosters stronger collaborative links between the major partners and 24 other leading institutions in nine countries. According to ISI Essential Science Indicators, four of the ARC Centre’s major research partners rank in the top 20 institutions world-wide for citations for coral reef science with JCU ranking 1st (among 1644 institutions in 103 countries) (http://esi-topics.com/coralreef/inst/c1a.html). Collectively, the ARC Centre creates the world’s largest concentration of coral reef scientists.

The Centre Director is Professor Terry Hughes (JCU), who is also a Laureate Fellow (2012-2017).  Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg (UQ) and Professor Malcolm McCulloch (UWA) are the Deputy Directors.

The ARC Centre of Excellence focuses on 3 research programs, each one under the stewardship of Program Leaders from James Cook University, the University of Western Australia and the University of Queensland.

Program 1: People and Ecosystems (Terry Hughes, JCU & Bob Pressey, JCU)
Program 2: Ecosystem Dynamics: Past, Present and Future (Sean Connolly, JCU & John Pandolfi, UQ)
Program 3: Responding to a changing world (Malcolm McCulloch, UWA & Bette Willis, JCU)