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


Responding to a changing world

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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Agriculture, mining and the future of tropical nature


Thursday 5th of June 2014; 12:00 to 13:00 hrs

Building 19 (Kevin Stark Research Building), Room #106 (upstairs), JCU, Townsville. Video-linked to the University of Queensland (GCI Boardroom, Level 7, Gehrmann Building 60.
Prof Jeff Sayer, College of Marine and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University, Cairns
Prof Jeff Sayer, College of Marine and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University, Cairns

Abstract:  A perfect wave of land use conflicts is emerging in many tropical developing countries. This has major implications for conservation investments. Conservationists will have to make hard choices and these should be based upon evidence and not emotion. There is a need to switch from threat-based to outcome-based strategies. Examples will be given from current strategic studies being conducted by Cairns-based faculty on potential impacts of expansion of mining infrastructure and changes in agricultural development patterns. I will argue that trade-offs and synergies can best be addressed at the landscape scale. I will illustrate these arguments with examples from Central Africa and Eastern Indonesia.

Biography: Jeff Sayer has worked throughout the tropics managing conservation and development programmes. He spent many years in Africa and South-East Asia where he worked for FAO and IUCN. He was the first head of the Forest Conservation Programme at IUCN in Switzerland and subsequently Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) from 1993 until 2001. He held the Prince Bernhardt Chair of International Nature Conservation at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. He is now Professor in the College of Marine and Environmental Sciences at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia where he has established a graduate programme in Conservation and Development Practice. His research focuses on conservation and development trade-offs and on integrated, landscape approaches to reconciling conflicting development agendas. He is currently focussing on ways in which we can feed the world’s future populations and satisfy its demand for minerals without destroying the environment.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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