Research Fellows

Tracy Ainsworth

James Cook University
Email: Tracy.Ainsworth@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 4442

Tracy is originally from the North Coast of New South Wales. She completed a BSc in Marine Biology/Aquaculture in 1996 and MSc in Marine Microbiology/Immunology in 2001, both at James Cook University. After working at the University of Queensland for several years she completed a PhD in 2007 at the Center for Marine Studies. Her PhD research investigated the histopathology and microbial ecology of stress and disease in reef corals. Tracy’s broad research interests include stress responses, cell biology, immunity and disease of marine invertebrates.


Jorge G Álvarez Romero

James Cook University
Email: jorge.alvarezromero@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 6517

Jorge was born and grew up in Mexico City. He completed his BSc in Biology at the National University of Mexico (UNAM) with a research on invasive alien species in Mexico and did a Master degree in Management, Conservation and International Trade of Species at the International University of Andalusia (UNIA), Spain. He completed his PhD in Integrated Land-Sea Conservation Planning at James Cook University. Previous experiences include conservation, management, trade and sustainable use of wildlife. Jorge is currently working with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, Australia, under the supervision of Professor Bob Pressey, who leads Program 6 “Conservation Planning for a Sustainable Future” of the Centre.


Amélie Augé

James Cook University
Email: amelie.auge@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 6143

Amélie is originally from France and got her BSc at the University of Rennes including a year spent at the University of Quebec at Rimouski. Then, she migrated to New Zealand where she completed her MSc in Spatial Ecology and PhD in Zoology at the University of Otago. She combines her original vocation in marine conservation with her interests in spatio-temporal data to develop methods using GIS and spatial analyses to work on marine and coastal conservation management issues. This led her to the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies as a postdoctoral research fellow in mid-2012 where she is working on conservation planning for the Great Barrier Reef coastal zone using spatially-explicit scenario planning.


Andrew Baird

James Cook University
Email: Andrew.Baird@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 4857

Andrew grew up in Sydney, Australia. He completed a BSc with 1st class Honours in Marine Ecology in 1994 and a Phd in Marine Ecology in 2001 both at James Cook University. His current research focuses on the evolution of life histories and biogeographical patterns in reproductive ecology of scleractinian corals.


Anthony Bertucci

James Cook University
Emailanthony.bertucci@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 4149

Anthony-BertucciAnthony is originally from Corsica (France) and obtained a Master degree in Ecology and Evolution in 2007 at the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis. During this period, he started to work on symbiotic cnidarians by studying the effects of global warming on the oxidative stress resistance of the only symbiotic Mediterranean gorgonian: Eunicella singularis. He then started a PhD at the Centre Scientifique de Monaco (2007-2010) during which he used molecular biology, physiology and pharmacology methods to better comprehend the inorganic carbon transport and utilization in reef-building corals. In 2011, he accepted a teaching assistant position in Nice. Anthony recently joined the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies as a Super Science postdoctoral fellow for a 3-year period in the coral genomics group to study the differential expression of genes and physiological responses of corals to environmental parameters and global change.


Jessica Blythe

James Cook University
Email: jessica.blythe@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 3198

Corporate portraits of staff at the ARC Coral Reef Studies Jessica grew up in Newfoundland, Canada.  She completed a BSc from Memorial University in 2004 with a focus on juvenile cod behaviour.  After spending a year living in Malawi, she switched from marine biology into the social sciences and completed a Masters from York University in 2009.  In 2013, Jessica earned her PhD from the University of Victoria in 2013, which investigated fishers’ resilience and vulnerability in coastal Mozambique. In September 2013, Jessica joined the CoE as a postdoctorate research fellow.  She uses social science methods to explore life in remote fishing communities in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Kiribati.


Pim Bongaerts

University of Queensland
Email: pim@uq.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4978 1642 Ext 253

Pim BongaertsPim is originally from the Netherlands where he completed a BSc in Biology at Utrecht University and a MSc in Limnology and Oceanography at The University of Amsterdam. He came out to Australia towards the end of his MSc degree in 2006 and then stayed on to do a PhD at The University of Queenland investigating the extent of genetic connectivity between shallow and deep coral populations. After finishing his PhD, Pim completed a one-year post-doctoral fellowship (2011-2012). More recently, he has started at the Global Change Institute where he will be coordinating the Deep Reef component of the Catlin Seaview Survey. His current research focuses on deep coral reefs (30-150m) and the role these so-called “mesophotic reefs” may play as refugia from the environmental disturbances that are affecting shallow-water reefs. Using a range of molecular techniques he studies how corals may have adapted to the unique environmental conditions on these deep reefs, and whether or not their coral larvae will be able to aid in the recovery of disturbed shallow reef systems.


Mary Bonin

James Cook University
Email: mary.bonin@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 4119

Mary is originally from chilly Minneapolis (USA) and was awarded a B.A. in Biology from Colorado College (2002) before moving to tropical Townsville (Australia). In 2011 she received a PhD in Marine Ecology from James Cook University for her research into the effects of habitat degradation on coral-associated reef fishes. In 2012 Mary joined the CoE as a postdoc investigating connectivity of coral reef fish populations among fished and protected areas on the Great Barrier Reef. She is also interested in examining effects of habitat fragmentation and loss on population and community processes in coral reef fishes. In addition to research, Mary enjoys teaching and is involved with courses on sampling design, statistics and marine conservation biology at JCU.


Tom Bridge

James Cook University
Email: thomas.bridge@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 6189

Tom is originally from Sydney, Australia, and completed an honours degree in Marine Science at the University of Sydney in 2005. After a working in the tourism industry on the Great Barrier Reef, he moved to Townsville in 2007 to begin his PhD in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, JCU. His PhD research focussed on the benthic ecology of mesophotic coral ecosystems on the Great Barrier Reef. Tom has a broad interest in the biodiversity and biogeography of corals reefs, and his current research is focussed on understanding coral reef biodiversity in deeper waters beyond SCUBA diving depth, the relationship between deep and shallow reef habitats and the potential for deep reefs to provide refuge for coral reef species from climate change impacts.


Jana Brotankova

James Cook University
Email: jana.brotankova@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 5222

Corporate portraits of staff at the ARC Coral Reef StudiesJana arrived from a cold Europe where she completed her masters and PhD in plasma physics. After working in several European fusion centers – Italy, Spain, Germany, Netherlands but most of all in her home institute in Prague, she took off for postdoc positions in India and ANU, Canberra. Now, she is part of Program 6. With her unusual background, she is exploiting her programming skills which she gained during her research, and her strong analytic skills, as the mathematics and mathematical logic is one of the foot-stones of her education and lifestyle.


Joshua Cinner

James Cook University
Email: Joshua.Cinner@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 6751

Josh CinnerJosh grew up in Massachusetts, USA. He completed a Masters degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island in 2000 and a PhD from James Cook University in 2006. His research focuses on using social science to improve coral reef management.


Sean Connolly

James Cook University
Email: Sean.Connolly@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 4242

Sean ConnollySean Connolly was born and grew up in Evansville, Indiana, USA, a long way from the ocean. He received a B.A. in Biology from Earlham College (USA) in 1994, from whence he began his scientific career with a paper on spider web orientation in 1992. He received a PhD in Biological Sciences from Stanford University (USA) in 1999, for research on the ecology of temperate rocky shores. During a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Arizona (USA), as part of the Research Training Group in Biological Diversification (1998-2000), he shifted his focus to paleobiology, examining the global dynamics of biodiversity in the fossil record. Since then, he has been at James Cook University as a Lecturer (2000-2002), Senior Lecturer (2003-2006), and Associate Professor (2007), where he has developed a research program in ecological modelling applied to coral reefs. His principal focus is coral reef biodiversity, but he is also active in the areas of physiological ecology, larval ecology, and population dynamics. Sean currently holds an ARC Australian Professorial Fellowship (2008-2012).


Ian Craigie

James Cook University
Email: Ian.craigie@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 5282

Ian, originally from the UK, works on the performance and costs of protected areas. He completed his PhD in 2010 which was carried out jointly with the University of Cambridge, ZSL London and the UNEP – World Conservation Monitoring Centre. The PhD focussed on assessing the conservation performance of Africa’s protected areas. Prior to the PhD Ian worked for South African National Parks and competed an MSc at Imperial College London. Ian is currently a post-doc at the ARC Coral Reef Centre of Excellence in Townsville and is working with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to understand the costs of effective protected area management.


Vivian Cumbo

James Cook University
Email: vivian.cumbo@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 5241

Corporate portraits of staff at the ARC Coral Reef StudiesVivian is originally from Sydney, Australia. She completed her BSc in Microbiology (Hons) and Marine Biology at the UNSW. Her honours thesis investigated the antimicrobial compounds in the scleractinian corals Montipora digitata and Montipora tortuosa. Her interests in corals and coral reef ecosystems saw her embarking on a PhD exploring initial patterns of association between the coral host and Symbiodinium spp., and how environmental conditions affect the establishment and development of symbiosis. Vivian continued her research on corals as a NSF Postdoctoral Researcher at California State University, Northridge.  Here she focused on the area of global climate change and its effects on the early life stages of coral; specifically the effects of rising temperature and ocean acidification on the physiology of larvae, newly settled recruits and juvenile corals. Currently Vivian is a Research Associate in the ARC CoE for Coral Reef Studies, and her research is focused on coral systematics, coral reproductive biology, larval ecology and symbiosis.


Simon Dunn

University of Queensland
Email: s.dunn@cms.uq.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 3365 3378

Simon DunnSimon grew up in the UK and obtained a BSc(Hons) in marine and freshwater biology from Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London in 1998. He completed his PhD on cellular mechanisms of symbiont release during cnidarian bleaching at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (2002). This was followed by a short-term position researching cellular pathways in neuroblastoma and medullablastoma cancer at the University of Liverpool (2002-2003). He then moved to Corvallis, Oregon, USA to take up a post-doctoral position in the Weis lab. This work focused on the cellular interactions of cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis (2003-2007). His work at UQ will continue to focus on the changes in gene expression and cellular interactions of coral and anemone symbiosis.


Mike Fabinyi

James Cook University
Email: Michael.Fabinyi@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 6358

Mike FabinyiMike is originally from Melbourne, where he completed his undergraduate degree in Anthropology. He obtained his PhD at the Australian National University in 2009. His research broadly focuses on the social and political aspects of marine resource management in the Asia-Pacific region.


Jim Falter

University of Western Australia
Email: jim.falter@uwa.edu.au
Phone: +61 8 6488 7328

Jim FalterJim received his PhD in Chemical Oceanography from the University of Hawaii in 2002 following his completion of an MS from the same program in 1998. He also holds a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research focuses largely on climatic forcing of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles in coral reef communities.


Simon Foale

James Cook University
Email: Simon.Foale@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 6785

Simon FoaleSimon grew up in the Solomon Islands and studied zoology and marine ecology at the University of Queensland in the early ’80s. His Ph.D. (University of Melbourne) and subsequent work (ANU) has involved a strong social science focus. As leader of Research Program 7 he is building a cross-disciplinary cluster while at the Centre, before migrating to the School of Anthropology, Archaeology and Sociology in 2013.


Mariana Fuentes

James Cook University
Email: Mariana.Fuentes@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 5270

Mariana grew up in Brazil and England. At James Cook University, she completed a BSc with 1st class Honours in Marine Biology and Environmental Sciences in 2004 and was awarded a PhD Cum Laude (university medal) in May 2010. For her PhD she assessed the vulnerability of the northern Great Barrier Reef (nGBR) green turtle population to climate change. Her current research focus on developing systematic priorities for the management of marine mega-fauna as climate change progresses.


Nick Graham

James Cook University
Email: Nick.Graham@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 6291

Nick GrahamNick is from the Lake District in the UK, about 4000km from the nearest tropical coral reef. He obtained a BSc(Hons) degree in Zoology from Newcastle University in 1999, a Master of Applied Science in Tropical Marine Ecology from James Cook University in 2002 and, after a few years working as a Research Associate in Prof Nick Polunin’s group, a PhD from Newcastle University in 2008. His current research focuses on the impacts of climate change to reef systems, and the physical, ecological and management properties that promote recovery and resilience.


Alastair Harborne

University of Queensland
Email: a.harborne@uq.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 3365 1671

Alastair HarborneAlastair is from the UK, and obtained a degree in marine biology from the University of Southampton, where he first became interested in coral reef fishes. He then spent 8 years working for Coral Cay Conservation, managing  volunteer reef surveys in the Caribbean and Pacific. He then worked with Peter Mumby to complete his PhD at the University of Exeter, studying reef ecology and conservation in The Bahamas. This work continued through a NERC Research Fellowship at Exeter, focusing on reef fishes. He is now an ARC DECRA Fellow, studying the ecology of fishes on reef flat habitats along the Great Barrier Reef, while maintaining a research programme on fish ecology in The Bahamas.


Hugo Harrsion

James Cook University
Email: hugo.harrison@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 6358

HarrisonHugo’s research is broadly focused on the role of no-take marine reserves in the management and conservation of coral reef fishes. His current research projects apply methods of parentage analysis in commercially and recreationally important reef fish to assess the level of demographic connectivity between fish populations. Understanding these processes is of critical importance to the effective conservation of marine biodiversity, fisheries management and the design of marine protected areas in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and throughout the world.


Christina Hicks

James Cook University
Email: Christina.Hicks@.jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 4000

HicksChristina is an interdisciplinary social science early career fellow co-funded between the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and Stanford University’s Center for Ocean Solutions. Christina’s research aims to develop a better understanding of how individuals value ecosystem services, and how together with their social characteristics these values influence how people are likely to respond to environmental and policy change. Christina earned her MSc in Tropical Coastal Management from Newcastle University, UK, where she also worked as a research associate. Prior to this Christina worked as a fisheries scientist in Kenya.


Andrew Hoey

James Cook University
Email: Andrew.Hoey1@.jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 5979

Andy HoeyAndrew is originally from Sydney, where he completed a Bachelor of Economics at Macquarie University. In 1995 he changed focus, moving to James Cook University (JCU) to study marine ecology. After completing his undergraduate degree, Andrew worked for several years as a research officer and manager of the reef fish biology lab at JCU (1999-2006), before commencing his PhD. During his PhD (2006-2010) he studied fish-macroalgal interactions, in particular the ecosystem role of macroalgal browsing fishes on coral reefs. He worked as an experimental scientist for the Australian Institute of Science (2010-2011) before obtaining a postdoctoral fellowship with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Saudi Arabia). His research is focused on understanding the functional importance of different herbivorous fishes, the differential responses of herbivorous fishes to changes in the benthic structure of coral reef habitats, and the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function. In 2011 he was also awarded a Churchill Fellowship to work with Prof Mark Hay, examining the chemical ecology of macroalgal-coral interactions.


Michael Holcomb

University of Western Australia
Email: michael.holcomb@uwa.edu.au
Phone: +61 8 6488 3644

Michael HolcombMichael is originally from Nebraska (USA), he obtained a BS in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Idaho in 2004. Michael completed his PhD in 2010 in the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in oceanography working on biomineralization in corals. He went on to do a postdoc at the Centre Scientifique de Monaco where he worked on the energetics of coral calcification, and has recently started a postdoc at the University of Western Australia where he will be working on the boron isotope pH proxy in corals.


Terry Hughes

James Cook University
Email: Terry.Hughes@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 4000

Terry HughesProfessor Terry Hughes is an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow (2002-2007, 2007-2012) and Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (since 2005). Professor Hughes was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2001, and was a member of the Expert Advisory Committee for Australian National Research Priorities in 2002. He is a Fellow and Board Member of the Beijer International Institute for Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, Stockholm, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Resilience Alliance. He has been awarded numerous prizes awards, including the Centenary Medal of Australia, the Silver Jubilee Award for Excellence of the Australian Marine Science Association in 2004, the 2007 Sherman Eureka Prize for Environmental Research, and the 2008 quadrennial Darwin Medal of the International Society for Coral Reef Studies. According to ISI Science Citation Index, Professor Hughes is ranked number one globally for citations to individual researchers in coral reef science. He has published 18 papers in Science and Nature. In the past 2-3 years, his research has increasingly evolved in a new direction, moving from an ecological focus to a broader evaluation of the linkages between coral reef ecosystems, the goods and services they provide to people, and the welfare of human societies.


Vimoksalehi Lukoschek

James Cook University
Email: Vimoksalehi.Lukoschek@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 6294

Vimoksalehi LukoschekVimoksalehi (Vee) grew up in Melbourne and spent most of her 20′s in Europe working as a nurse. In her early 30′s she made a career shift and moved to Townsville to study marine and conservation biology at James Cook University. She obtained a First Class Honours (1999) on the foraging ecology of coral reef fishes and a PhD (2008) on the molecular ecology of sea snakes. Following her PhD, Vimoksalehi spent a few years as Postdoctoral Fellow in Prof John Avise’s group at UC Irvine, where she continued her molecular genetic research on sea snakes. Vimoksalehi’s research interests also includes marine mammals and she worked as Research Associate in Scott Baker’s lab in New Zealand using forensic genetics to investigate the whale meat markets of Japan and Korea. Vimoksalehi’s current research interests include seascape genetics, coral connectivity, and marine protected areas, as well as the conservation of sea snakes on Australia’s coral reefs.


Ben Mason

James Cook University
Email: ben.mason@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 6483

Ben is originally from Slippery Rock (USA). He completed a BS in Biology/Environmental Science in 2000 at Allegheny College, a MS in Marine Biology in 2004 at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and earned his PhD in Marine Biology in 2011 from the University of Miami. His research has evolved around coral reproduction and larval biology/ecology, including investigations of the effects of ocean acidification on the early life history stages of corals and the influence of light on larval settlement. Ben joined the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in 2012 as an NSF International Postdoctoral Fellow. His research investigates the sensory biology of corals with a focus on the molecular mechanisms underpinning photo- and chemoreception in coral larvae.


Vanessa Messmer

James Cook University
Email: Vanessa.Messmer@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 5531

Vanessa MessmerVanessa grew up in a few places, but has her roots in France and Germany. She moved to Townsville in 2000, where she completed a BSc with Honours in Marine Biology in 2003. After working at the University of Perpignan (France) for a couple of years, she returned to JCU and obtained her PhD in 2010. Her research focuses on the causes and consequences of biodiversity loss from a genetic to ecosystem level in coral reef fish assemblages, as well as the effects of climate change on reef organisms.


Aurelie Moya

James Cook University
Email: aurelie.moya@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 3654

Corporate portraits of staff at the ARC Coral Reef StudiesAurelie is originally from France. She completed her PhD at the Scientific Centre of Monaco (2004-2007) where she studied the relation that exists between calcification and photosynthesis in Cnidarian-Dinoflagellate symbiosis. From 2007 to 2009, she held a Lecturer position at the University of Nice where she studied the molecular dialogue between the two partners of the symbiosis, and more particularly the molecular response to heat stress. In 2009, Aurelie was awarded a European fellowship from the Marie Curie actions. She shared her time between Australia (ARC CoE for Coral Reefs Studies, Townsville) and France (UPMC-CNRS, Villefranche-sur-mer), and investigated the timely topic of ocean acidification’s impact on marine invertebrates using high-throughput sequencing. Her current research focuses on understanding how reef-building corals function at the molecular level, how they build their skeleton, and why they fail to do so when they are under stress.


Peter Mumby

University of Queensland
Email: p.j.mumby@uq.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 3365 1686

Peter MumbyProfessor Peter Mumby moved to the University of Queensland in 2010 to take up an Australian Laureate Fellowship. Peter was a Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Exeter. His research on coral reef remote sensing remains the most-heavily cited in the field and has strongly influenced the monitoring of marine ecosystems from space. Before embarking on a research career, Peter spent two years designing marine reserves in Belize where he experienced, first hand, the limited scientific basis for such planning. This experience was highly influential in defining and driving his research, which has been dedicated to conducting applied science in support of the management of coral reefs. In 1997 he obtained a PhD in coral reef remote sensing and then used two post-doctoral fellowships to broaden his expertise into empirical reef ecology and ecological modelling. Today, Peter uses remotely-sensed data to scale up ecological models so that they are spatially-realistic and able to inform conservation decisions directly.


Philip Munday

James Cook University
Email: Philip.Munday@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 5341

Philip MundayPhilip grew up in Tasmania where he was surrounded by beautiful forests, great trout fishing, and superb (but chilly) temperate-water diving. He spent a number of years working overseas as a dive guide before returning to Australia and moving to Townsville to study marine biology. He completed his PhD (1996-1999) in Marine Ecology at James Cook University. Philip has conducted extensive research on the reproductive ecology of reef fishes. His current research focuses on fish-habitat associations and the impact of climate change on reef fish communities.


Morgan Pratchett

James Cook University
Email: Morgan.Pratchett@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 5747

Morgan is originally from Botswana, but spent his childhood in Kununurra, north-western Australia. He completed his BSc with honours (1992-1996) and Phd (1996-2001) in Marine Ecology, at James Cook University. His current research focuses on major perturbations and threats to coral reef ecosystems, such as climate induced coral bleaching and outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish.


Bob Pressey

James Cook University
Email: Bob.Pressey@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 6194

Professor Bob Pressey has worked on the theory, techniques and practice of conservation planning as a private environmental consultant, then as a research scientist with the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service, and now at James Cook University. During his career, he has combined scientific research with policy development and collaboration with practitioners in Australia and internationally. His publications have had a high scientific impact. He is an ISI highly cited researcher in the field of Environment/Ecology with more than 4000 non-self citations of his papers and book chapters. His influence on practice includes close involvement with the systematic design of about 1 million hectares of reserves in New South Wales and collaborative projects that have influenced conservation decisions extensively in other countries. He has current projects in China, South Africa, Brazil, Papua New Guinea and Mexico, including two global biodiversity hotspots. His awards and prizes include the New South Wales Premier’s Public Sector Environment Award (2004), the Eureka Prize for Biodiversity Research (2002), and the major annual award from the Society for Conservation Biology (2001). An important feature of his new research program will be the close involvement of practitioners and other stakeholders representing local, regional, state and national agencies, non-government organisations and community groups.


Jairo Rivera

James Cook University
Email: Jairo.riveraposada@my.jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 4850

Jairo was born in Colombia. He completed his DVM (Hons) at the University of Caldas (1999). After that he did 3 GradDip in Medical imaging (Radiology, Ultrasound, CT and MRI). Then Jairo obtained his first Doctorate in Veterinary Science with emphasis in Animal Surgery and Medicine at the University of Leon (Spain) awarding a Summa Cum Laude and patented his Bone graft (2005). Jairo worked as a professor of animal surgery, radiology and internal medicine for seven years and then made a career shift and moved to Australia and completed a PhD in Marine Biology and Microbiology at James Cook University (2012). Actually he is working as a research fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence. Jairo has broad interests in clinical diagnosis of marine diseases and host-pathogen interactions. The primary focus of his research is the Pathogenesis of Crown of Thorns (Acanthaster planci).


Jodie Rummer

James Cook University
Email: jodie.rummer@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 5300

Jodie is originally from the USA where she completed honours, BSc, and MSc degrees in Biology and Marine Biology in Illinois and West Florida before moving to Vancouver, Canada to commence a PhD at the University of British Columbia. Her PhD research investigated oxygen uptake and delivery mechanisms in fish during stress, but she has also done extensive research on buoyancy, exercise, and oxygen and temperature stress in fish. After a post-doctoral fellowship in Hong Kong (2010-2011), she joined the ARC CoECRS where she is applying her broad research interests in conservation physiology. Jodie’s research aims to understand how evolutionary pressures have shaped physiological systems and the degree to which adaptation and acclimation to natural and environmental perturbations, such as anthropogenic climate change, can occur.


Eugenia Sampayo

University of Queensland
Email: e.sampayo@uq.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 3365 2729

Eugenia SampayoEugenia was born in The Netherlands and sparked a passion for the ocean after spending part of her childhood living on the Caribbean island of Curacao (Dutch Antilles). She completed a MSc in Marine biology focused on coral reproduction and evolutionary ecology at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, then moved to Australia to do a PhD in Marine Science at the University of Queensland. After completion of her PhD in 2008, she has worked in the USA and Japan. Eugenia’s research focuses on the ecology and functional significance of the symbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium) that associate with corals. She is particularly interested symbioses ecology and evolution, species ranges and flexibility of symbiotic partnerships in response to climate change.


Verena Schoepf

The University of Western Australia
Email: verena.schoepf@uwa.edu.au
Phone: +61 8 6488 6767

Verena SchoepfVerena is originally from Austria where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Zoology from the University of Innsbruck. She then started a PhD in Geological Sciences at The Ohio State University where she studied the impacts of combined climate change stressors on coral physiology and biogeochemistry. Verena is now a postdoctoral research fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at the University of Western Australia. Her current research focuses on the physical and chemical controls on coral calcification and the response of coral reef systems generally to climate change using geochemical approaches.


Ruth Thurstan

University of Queensland
Email: r.thurstan@uq.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 3365 2529

Ruth ThurstonRuth grew up in the Peak District in the UK, many miles from the sea. She graduated from Liverpool University with a BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology in 2004, and completed an MSc in Marine Environmental Management at York University in 2007. Ruth continued at York to complete her PhD on shifting baselines and the impact of industrial fishing on the UK marine environment in June 2011. She has recently started at the University of Queensland and plans to investigate the history of exploitation of Australian fisheries and marine mega-fauna.


Linda Tonk

University of Queensland
Email: l.tonk@uq.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 3365 2118

Linda TonkLinda grew up in the Netherlands where she completed her MSc in Marine Biology at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (1995 -2000). She worked as a research assistant cultivating microalgae at the department of Aquatic Microbiology, Universiteit van Amsterdam where she also completed her PhD on the impact of environmental factors on toxic and bioactive peptide production by harmful cyanobacteria (2003-2007). As of 2009 she has worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the School of Biological Sciences, the University of Queensland. Her current research focuses on Symbiodinium diversity on the Great Barrier Reef with the aim to understand how environmental factors and host specificity affect symbiont community diversity in the face of a changing climate. More broadly her research interests lie at the intersection of microbiology, phytoplankton physiology and marine & molecular ecology.


Rebecca Weeks

James Cook University
Email: rebecca.weeks@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 6134

Corporate portraits of staff at the ARC Coral Reef StudiesAfter completing a Masters degree in Zoology at the University in Sheffield (UK), Rebecca moved to Australia to pursue her interest in marine conservation in warmer climes. Her PhD, undertaken at James Cook University, explored approaches to developing marine protected area networks in the Philippines. Following an 18-month fellowship with the Wildlife Conservation Society in Fiji, Rebecca returned to the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in 2012 as a research fellow in the Conservation Planning for a Sustainable Future group.


David Williamson

James Cook University
Email: david.williamson@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 6825

David WilliamsonOriginally from Perth, WA, David moved to Townsville to pursue a BSc and MSc in Marine Biology at JCU. David completed a PhD in the School of Marine Biology and Aquaculture at JCU under the supervision of Garry Russ, Geoff Jones, Lynne Van Herwerden and Simon Thorrold (Woods Hole Institute, USA). David investigates larval dispersal of exploited reef fish, genetic connectivity of populations and potential export effects of MPA’s within the GBR marine park. David has worked on Australian and international research and monitoring projects for organizations including the GBRMPA, CRC, the French Institute for Research and Development (IRD) and the U.S. based Smithsonian Institute.  David’s other interests include playing music, travel and adventure.


Ke Zhang

James Cook University
Email: ke.zhang1@jcu.edu.au
Phone: +61 7 4781 3194

DSC_0179_2345看图王Ke is originally from China, where he completed his Ph.D degree in physical Geography in 2010, with special focus on paleoecology and paleoclimatology. He then moved to UK to take up a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Southampton (2011-2013), where he investigated the nonlinear interactions between ecosystem services and human wellbeing from an evolutionary (historical) perspective. Ke joined the CoE as a research fellow in late 2013. His work here will continue to focus on the dynamics of linked social-ecological systems. He will test and develop resilience theories and apply them to rapidly developing countries (mainly China) to understand the nonlinear interactions between ecosystem and society, such as regime shift, transient dynamic, and reinforce feedback and connectivity issues.


Zhenlin Zhang

University of Western Australia
Email: zhenlin.zhang@uwa.edu.au
Phone: +61 8 6488 6093

Zhenlin came from China, where she obtained a BS in water resources and hydrology engineering at Wuhan University and an MS in the same discipline at Sun Yat-sen University. In 2011, she was awarded a PhD degree in oceanography at the University of Western Australia. Her current research focuses on developing spatial-explicit models of nutrient and calcification processes in coral reef systems and investigating how the physical and biogeochemical processes offshore influences coral reef communities nearshore.

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