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.


Ecosystem dynamics: past, present and future

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


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

Coral Bleaching

Coral Bleaching

Coral Reef Studies

From 2005 to 2022, the main node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies was headquartered at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland (Australia)

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A Planetary Health Approach to Watershed Management for Downstream Reefs and Human Well-Being


Thursday 13th MAY 1pm (AEST)

https://jcu.zoom.us/j/82369129314 Password: 836226
Stacy Jupiter
Stacy Jupiter

Abstract: Research from the Pacific Islands during the past decade has linked watershed modification to degradation in downstream freshwater and coral reef communities. However, even creative communication of these messages has not been enough to inspire behaviour change with respect to decision-making around upstream land use. Focused work in Fiji on incidence in water-related disease, such as typhoid, has shown that some drivers of disease risk in people (e.g., riparian forest loss, density of road networks) are also associated with negative impacts on fish species and coral reef benthos. These findings have provided the evidence base for the design of the innovative Watershed Interventions for Systems Health in Fiji (WISH Fiji) project. WISH Fiji is a model case for transdisciplinary and sectoral cooperation through the implementation of holistic integrated watershed management, combining nature-based solutions with water and sanitation infrastructure improvements to achieve multiple simultaneous benefits for human and environmental health. Watershed management interventions are being co-designed with local communities and government to address factors affecting whole-of-system health at nested scales. The science leading up to the development of the WISH Fiji project will be shared, along with the next steps for mainstreaming and scaling integrated watershed management through predictive models that can identify targeted areas for investment and innovative platforms of blended finance.

Biography: Stacy Jupiter is the Melanesia Regional Director for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), based out of Suva, Fiji, where she previously directed WCS’s Fiji Country Program. Originally from the U.S., she completed her undergraduate studies at Harvard University and doctoral research at the University of California, Santa Cruz and at the University of Queensland while on a Fulbright scholarship. She was a postdoc with the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies between 2006 and 2008, in a joint position with the Australian National University and Australian Institute of Marine Science. Broadly, the scope of Stacy’s work could be captured under the umbrella of integrated catchment-to-reef management, though this has taken various forms, including: evaluating effectiveness of locally-managed marine areas and integrated island management projects; undertaking spatial planning to achieve biodiversity and livelihoods outcomes; assessing downstream impacts of catchment modification on biodiversity and human health; and understanding drivers of resilience in Pacific coastal communities. Stacy was named a 2019 MacArthur Fellow.


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