1

People and ecosystems

Understanding of the links between coral reef ecosystems, the goods and services they provide to people, and the wellbeing of human societies.

2

Ecosystem dynamics: past, present and future

Examining the multi-scale dynamics of reefs, from population dynamics to macroevolution

3

Responding to a changing world

Advancing the fundamental understanding of the key processes underpinning reef resilience.

Coral Triangle Initiative

Coral Triangle Initiative

Coral Reef Studies

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University Townsville
Queensland 4811 Australia

Phone: 61 7 4781 4000
Email: info@coralcoe.org.au

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Terry Hughes

Terry Hughes


Professor; Centre Director and Program 1 Leader


ARC Laureate Fellow (2012-2017), Federation Fellow (2002-2007, 2007-2012); Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies; Professor (2000-2002), Associate Professor (1997-2000), Senior Lecturer (1993-1996), Lecturer (1990-92), School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University; Lecturer (1989-90), Research Biologist (1986-88), Postdoctoral Fellow (1984-86), University of California at Santa Barbara.


PhD, MA, Johns Hopkins, USA • BA, Trinity College, Dublin


James Cook University



+61 (0)7 4781 4000


Professor 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.

Research Interests

In the past five 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 and people.

This new program focuses on solutions for managing resilience and for coping with change and uncertainty in complex social-ecological systems. The ARC Centre is developing further research capacity in this area by strategic recruitment of social scientists, creating a unique multi-disciplinary team of the highest calibre. Terry’s recent work has focussed on market drivers of ecological change, missing institutions, identifying safe planetary boundaries for human development, avoiding social traps, and transformative governance of the sea in Australia, Chile, China, the Galapagos Islands, Gulf of Maine and the Coral Triangle.

His future research will focus on the linkages between coral reef ecosystems, the goods and services they provide to people, and the welfare of human societies. The objective is to improve the governance and management of natural systems and enhance their capacity to sustain human and natural capital.  The overarching goal is to integrate the science of coral reef resilience with decision-making and management.

Publications online (since 1999)

Selected Publications

Seminars

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Coral Reef Studies

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University Townsville
Queensland 4811 Australia

Phone: 61 7 4781 4000
Email: info@coralcoe.org.au