The Future of Coral Reefs, Canberra

Introduction  |   Symposium Program   |   Presenters   |   Public Forum  |   Register Here

The Future of Coral Reefs symposium to be held in Canberra on 3rd and 4th July celebrates the launch of the newly funded Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Integrated Coral Reef Studies. In an era of rapid environmental shifts, social change, and unprecedented economic development, the worldwide demand and need for trans-disciplinary and policy-relevant research has never been greater or more urgent. The theme of the new ARC Centre is the generation and supply of knowledge (in social and biological sciences) to foster sustainable use, adaptive governance and effective management of the world’s coral reefs. Globally, more than 300 million people depend on the ecosystem services that coral reefs provide, for their livelihoods and food security. In Australia, the Great Barrier Reef alone generates $6 billion per annum in income from tourism and fisheries, yet its status as a World Heritage Area is under review by UNESCO. This illustrates the challenges associated with sustainable use of the world’s coral reefs and the need to build bridges between the natural and social sciences, to strengthen capacity and communication, and to inform and support actions for transformative changes in reef governance and management in order to enhance human well-being.

Who should attend?

Two events are scheduled:

  • A 2-day symposium on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th July 2014 with over 30 presentations by leading scientists, managers and policy makers. The symposium is aimed at a general audience of scientists in related fields, natural resource managers, conservationists, and policy makers. The symposium will be held at The Shine Dome, Canberra.
  • A public forum also being held at The Shine Dome, at 5.30pm for a 6.00pm start, Thursday 3 July 2014. This event is for everyone: the general public, teachers and school children (older than about 10) as well as scientists, resource managers and policy-makers.


Our objectives are to:

  • present the latest science which supports the sustainable management of coral reefs, in Australia, our region and globally
  • focus on the research, management and policy developments for coral reefs
  • present research examining the effects of the changing environment on marine ecosystems.


The symposium will feature presentations from leading coral reef scientists and policy makers including:

  • Dr Jon Brodie, TropWater, James Cook University
  • Daniel Gschwind, Chief Executive, Queensland Tourism Industry Council
  • Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg FAA, Australian Laureate Fellow, University of Queensland
  • Professor Terry Hughes FAA, Australian Laureate Fellow, James Cook University
  • Professor Jeremy Jackson, International Union for Conservation of Nature, USA
  • Professor Helene Marsh, Distinguished Professor of Environmental Science, James Cook University
  • Professor Malcolm McCulloch FRS FAA, Australian Laureate Fellow, University of Western Australia
  • Professor Hugh Possingham, FAA, ARC Laureate Fellow, University of Queensland
  • Professor Bob Pressey FAA, Distinguished Professor of Conservation Planning, James Cook University.


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