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 Bleaching

Coral Bleaching

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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Funded in 2005, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies undertook world-best integrated research for sustainable use and management of coral reefs until the cease of its operations in 2022.

Since its inception, the mission of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies was to provide knowledge that fostered the sustainable use, adaptive governance and effective management of the world’s coral reefs to enhance human wellbeing. We achieved this through innovative, collaborative and transdisciplinary research that achieved a better understanding of the science, both social and natural, of the dynamic changes currently occurring on coral reefs worldwide; and built coalitions to communicate and implement scientific recommendations.

Established under the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centres of Excellence program, this prestigious research centre was headquartered at James Cook University, in Townsville. The ARC Centre was 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 cemented Australia’s leading contribution to coral reef sciences, and fostered 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 ranked in the top 20 institutions world-wide for citations for coral reef science with JCU ranking 1st (among 1644 institutions in 103 countries). Collectively, the ARC Centre created the world’s largest concentration of coral reef scientists.

The Centre Directors were Professor Terry Hughes (2005-20, JCU) and Professor Graeme Cumming (2020, JCU).  Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg (UQ) and Professor Malcolm McCulloch (UWA) are the Deputy Directors. 

The ARC Centre of Excellence focused 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.

The Centre of Excellence took a leading role in multi-national research programs. It was the largest single institutional contributor to the Global Coral Reef Targeted Research Program, funded by The World Bank, and was an Institutional Member of the Resilience Alliance. The Centre of Excellence had strong links to the Census of Marine Life project, and to coral reef management agencies worldwide, particularly the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in Townsville.

Corals in a warming world

The transformational research of marine reserves

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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