Professor Terry Hughes

Centre Director and Leader Program 5: Resilience of linked Social-Ecological Systems

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

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

In the past five years, my 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. My 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.

My 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)

Select Publications

  • Craig, R and Hughes, T (2014). Marine protected areas, marine spatial planning, and the resilience of marine ecosystems. In: Garmestani, AS and Allen, C. (eds). Social-Ecological Resilience and Law, Columbia University Press, 416 pp.
    Link to full text or pdf
  • Hughes, TP, Huang, H and Young, MAL (2013). The wicked problem of China’s disappearing coral reefs. Conservation Biology 27(2): 261-269.
    Link to full text or pdf
  • Hughes, TP, Linares, C, Dakos, V, Van De Leemput, IA and Van Nes, EH (2013). Living dangerously on borrowed time during slow, unrecognized regime shifts. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 28(3): 149-155.
    Link to full text or pdf
  • Levin, S, Xepapadeas, T, Crépin, A, Norberg, J, De Zeeuw, A, Folke, C, Hughes, T, Arrow, K, Barrett, S, Daily, G, Ehrlich, P, Kautsky, N, Mäler, K, Polasky, S, Troell, M, Vincent, JR and Walker, B (2013). Social-ecological systems as complex adaptive systems: modeling and policy implications. Environment and Development Economics 18(2): 111-132.
    Link to full text or pdf
  • Madin, JS, Hughes, TP and Connolly, SR (2012). Calcification, storm damage and population resilience of tabular corals under climate change. PLOS ONE. 7(10): e46637.
    Link to full text or pdf
  • Craig, RK and Hughes, T (2012). Marine protected areas, marine spatial planning, and the resilience of marine ecosystems, in Resilience and the Law (Forthcoming) FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 550
  • Bellwood, DR, Hoey, AS and Hughes, TP (2012). Human activity selectively impacts the ecosystem roles of parrotfishes on coral reefs. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B, Biological Sciences 279 (1733) 1621-1629.
    Link to full text or pdf
  • Hughes, TP, Baird, AH, Dinsdale, EA, Moltschaniwskyj, NA, Pratchett, MS, Tanner, JE and Willis, BL (2012). Assembly rules of reef corals are flexible along a steep climatic gradient. Current Biology 22(8): 736-741.
    Link to full text or pdf
  • Hughes, T, Bellwood, D, Baird, A, Brodie, J, Bruno, J and Pandolfi, J (2011). Shifting base-lines, declining coral cover, and the erosion of reef resilience. Coral Reefs 30(3): 653-660.
    Link to full text or pdf
  • Hughes, T (2011). The future of marine governance in Solutions: for a sustainable and desirable future, 2(1) 3-5.
    Link to full text or pdf
  • Karlson, RH, Connolly, SR and Hughes, TP (2011). Spatial variance in abundance and occupancy of corals across broad geographic scales. Ecology 92(6): 1282-1291.
    Link to full text or pdf
  • Kerr, A, Baird, AH, and Hughes, TP (2011). Correlated evolution of sex and reproductive mode in corals (Anthozoa: Scleractinia). Proceedings of the Royal Society B:Biological Sciences 278 (1702): 75-81.
    Link to full text or pdf 
  • Steneck, RS, Hughes, TP, Cinner JE, Adger, WN, Arnold, SN, Boudreau, SA,  Brown, K, Berkes, F, Folke, C, Gunderson, L, Olsson, P, Scheffer, M, Stephenson, E, Walker, B, Wilson, J and Worm, B (2011). High economic value creates a gilded trap for the Maine lobster fishery.  Conservation Biology 25(5): 904-912.
    Link to full text or pdf
  • Gelcich, S, Hughes, TP, Olsson, P, Folke, C, Defeo, O, Fernández, M, Foale,  S, Gunderson, LH, Rodríguez-Sickert, C, Scheffer, M, Steneck, R and Castilla, JC (2010). Navigating transformations in governance of Chilean marine coastal resources.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107: 16751-16799.
    Link to full text or pdf 
  • Hughes, TP, Graham, N, Jackson, JBC, Mumby, PJ and Steneck, RS (2010). Rising to the challenge of sustaining coral reef resilience. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 25: 633-642.
    Link to full text or pdf 
  • McCook, LJ, Ayling, T, Cappo, M, Choat, JH, Evans, RD, De Freitas, DM, Heupel, M, Hughes, TP, Jones, GP, Mapstone, B, Marsh, H, Mills, M, Molloy, FJ,  Pitcher, CR, Pressey, RL, Russ, GR, Sutton, S, Sweatman, H, Tobin, R, Wachenfeld, DR and Williamson, DH (2010). Adaptive management of the Great Barrier Reef: A globally significant demonstration of the benefits of networks of marine reserves. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107: 18278-18285.
    Link to full text or pdf 
  • Walker, B, Barrett, S, Polasky, S, Galaz, V, Folke, C, Engstrom, G, Ackerman, F, Arrow, K, Carpenter, S, Chopra, K, Daily, G, Ehrlich, P, Hughes, T, Kautsky, N, Levin, S, Maler, K-G, Shogren, J, Vincent, J, Xepapadeas, T and de Zeeuw, A (2009). Looming global-scale failures and missing institutions. Science 325(5946): 1345-1346.
    Link to full text or pdf 
  • Cinner, JE, McClanahan, TR, Daw, TM, Graham, NAJ, Maina, J, Wilson, SK and Hughes, TP (2009). Linking social and ecological systems to sustain coral reef fisheries. Current Biology 19: 201-212.
    Link to full text or pdf 
  • Connolly, SR, Dornelas, M, Bellwood, DR and Hughes, TP  (2009). Testing species-abundance models: A new bootstrap-based approach applied to Indo-Pacific coral reefs. Ecology 90: 3138-3149.
    Link to full text or pdf 
  • Elmhirst, T, Connolly, SR and Hughes, TP (2009). Connectivity, regime shifts and the resilience of coral reefs. Coral Reefs 28: 949-957.
    Link to full text or pdf 
  • Hughes, TP (2009).  Confronting the global decline of coral reefs.  In: Duarte, CM (ed). Loss of Coastal Ecosystems, BBVA Foundation, Madrid, 140-166 pp.
    Link to full text or pdf
  • Hughes, T.P. 2009.  Seascape patterns and dynamics of coral reefs.  In:  S. Levin (ed). The Princeton Guide to Ecology, Princeton University Press, 482-487 pp.
    Link to full text or pdf 
  • Rockstrom, J, Steffen, W, Noone, K, Persson, A, Chapin, FS, Lambin, EF, Lenton, TM, Scheffer, M, Folke, C, Schellnhuber, HJ, Nykvist, B, de Wit, CA, Hughes, T, van der Leeuw, S, Rodhe, H, Sorlin, S, Snyder, PK, Costanza, R, Svedin, U, Falkenmark, M, Karlberg, L, Corell, RW, Fabry, VJ, Hansen, J, Walker, B, Liverman, D, Richardson, K, Crutzen, P and Foley, JA (2009). A safe operating space for humanity. Nature 461(7263): 472-475.
    (This article was the topic of the Editorial in the same issue, along with seven Commentaries solicited by Nature).
    Link to full text or pdf 
  • Olsson, P, Folke, C and Hughes, TP (2008). Navigating the transition to ecosystem-based management of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. PNAS 105: 9489-9494.
    Link to full text or pdf 
  • Scheffer, M, van Nes, EH, Holmgren, M and Hughes, TP (2008).  Pulse driven loss of top-down control: The critical rate hypothesis. Ecosystems 11: 226-237.
    Link to full text or pdf 
  • Cornell, HV, Karlson, RH and Hughes, TP (2007). Scale-dependent variation in coral community similarity across sites, islands, and island groups. Ecology 88: 1707-1715.
    Link to full text or pdf
  • Hughes, TP, Bellwood, D, Folke, C, Pandolfi, J, Steneck, R (2007). No-take areas, herbivory, and resilience of coral reefs. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 22: 1-3.
    Link to full text or pdf
  • Hughes, TP, Rodrigues, MJ, Bellwood, DR, Ceccarelli, D, Hoegh-Guldberg, O, McCook, L, Moltschaniwskyj, N, Pratchett, MS, Steneck, RS and Willis, B (2007). Phase shifts, herbivory, and the resilience of coral reefs to climate change. Current Biology 17(4): 360-365.
    Link to full text or pdf
  • Hughes, TP, Gunderson, LH, Folke, C, Baird, AH, Bellwood, D, Berkes, F, Crona, B, Helfgott, A, Leslie, H, Norberg, J, Nystrom, M, Olsson, P, Osterblom, H, Scheffer, M, Schuttenberg, H, Steneck, RS, Tengo, M, Troell, M, Walker, B, Wilson, J and Worm, B (2007). Adaptive management of the Great Barrier Reef and the Grand Canyon World Heritage areas. Ambio 36(7): 586-592.
    Link to full text or pdf
  • Karlson, RH, Cornell, HV and Hughes, TP (2007). Aggregation influences coral species richness at multiple spatial scales. Ecology 88: 170-177.
    Link to full text or pdf
  • McCook, LJ, Marshall, P, Folke, C, Hughes,TP, Nystrom, M, Obura, D, Salm, R (2007). Ecological resilience, climate change, and the Great Barrier Reef: An introduction. In: Johnson, J and Marshall, P (eds). Climate Change and the Great Barrier Reef,  GBRMPA, Townsville, 1-29 pp.
    Link to full text or pdf
  • Lebel, L, Anderies, JM, Campbell, B, Folke, C, Hatfield-Dodds, S, Hughes, TP and Wilson, J (2006). Governance and the capacity to manage resilience in regional social-ecological systems. Ecology and Society 11(1): 19.
    Link to Full text or pdf
  • Berkes, F, Hughes TP et al. (2006).  Policy forum: Globalization, roving bandits, and marine resources. Science 311: 1557-1558.
    Link to Full Text or pdf
  • Dornelas, M, Connolly, SR, and Hughes, TP (2006). Coral reef diversity refutes the neutral theory of biodiversity. Nature 440: 80-82.
    Link to Full Text or pdf
  • Hughes, TP, Bellwood, DR, Folke, C, Steneck, RS, and Wilson J (2005). New paradigms for supporting the resilience of marine ecosystems.  Trends in Ecology & Evolution 20: 380-386.
    Link to Full Text or pdf
  • Adger, WN, Hughes,TP, Folke, C, Carpenter, SR, and Rockstrom J (2005). Social-ecological resilience to coastal disasters. Science 309: 1036-1039.
    Link to Full Text or pdf
  • Bellwood, DR, Hughes, TP, Folke, C, and Nyström, M (2004). Confronting the coral reef crisis. Nature 429: 827-833.
  • Ayre, DJ, and Hughes, TP (2004). Climate change, genotypic diversity and gene flow in reef-building corals. Ecology Letters 7: 273-278.
  • Hughes, TP, Baird, AH, Bellwood, DR, Card, M, Connolly, SR, Folke. C, Grosberg, R, Hoegh-Guldberg, O, Jackson, JBC, Kleypas, J, Lough, JM, Marshall, P, Nystrom, M, Palumbi, SR, Pandolfi, JM, Rosen, B, Roughgarden, R (2003). Climate change, human impacts, and the resilience of coral reefs. Science 301: 929-933.
  • Pandolfi, JM, Hughes, TP, and 10 co-authors. (2003). Global trajectories of the long-term decline of coral reef ecosystems. Science 301: 955-958.
  • Jackson, JBC,  Hughes, TP, and 16 co-authors. (2001). Historical overfishing and the recent collapse of coastal ecosystems. Science 293: 629-638.
  • Hughes, TP, Baird, AH, Dinsdale, EM, Moltschaniwskyj, NA, Pratchett, MS, Tanner, JE, and Willis, BL (1999).  Patterns of recruitment and abundance of corals along the Great Barrier Reef. Nature 397:59-63.
  • Hughes, TP and Connell, JH (1999). Multiple stresses on coral reefs. Limnology & Oceanography 44(3):932-940.
  • Hughes, T.P (1994). Catastrophes, phase-shifts, and large-scale degradation of a Caribbean coral reef. Science 265: 1547-1551.
  • Hughes, TP and Jackson, JBC  (1985). Population dynamics and life histories of foliaceous corals.  Ecological Monographs 55: 141-166.

Contact Details

phone: +61 (0)7 4781 4000
email terry.hughes@jcu.edu.au

Comments are closed.