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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Applying an integrated land-sea planning framework for addressing the current and accelerating coastal crisis


27 Februrary 2020 12:00-1:00PM AEST

Building 19 (Kevin Stark Research Building) Room 106 (upstairs), JCU, Townsville
Patrick Crist
Patrick Crist

Abstract: Approximately 40% of the world’s and U.S. populations live in coastal regions and these populations are also among the fastest growing. Coastal areas have high exposure to various flooding threats and increasingly, sea-level-rise (SLR). Displacement from SLR will become, in many current residents’ lifetimes, one of the most significant challenges for human society. Society and planners (e.g., conservation, land use, infrastructure, hazards management) in coastal regions will be forced to confront the need for “managed (or planned) retreat” inland. Relocation of communities will compete with existing production areas (e.g., agriculture), natural areas important for biodiversity conservation, and migrating species and coastal ecosystems; raising unprecedented environmental, socioeconomic, and political challenges. Research into solutions has been ongoing for some years, but there is a pressing need to operationalize methods and rapidly make these accessible to thousands of coastal planners and resource managers globally. Over many years I have worked with colleagues at James Cook University, the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency, and others to develop and apply frameworks for “integrated land-sea planning” (ILSP) that had focused primarily on preventing or reducing delivery of land-based pollutants into marine ecosystems. As threats from flooding and SLR have increased, we have started to integrate these considerations into the ILSP frameworks. This seminar will lay out an ILSP framework, opportunities to address coastal adaptation (including managed retreat), and illustrate a recent set of coastal resilience and prioritization assessments in the U.S. and conclude with a group discussion about issues raised in the seminar.

Biography: Dr. Patrick Crist is a multidisciplinary practitioner at the interface of biodiversity conservation and integration of human needs. He is a thought leader in the development and application of decision support systems for improved assessment and planning. Dr. Crist works collaboratively with a variety of organizations and geographic scales to scope, create, and direct complex projects and initiatives that integrate science and technology to solve real problems. Drawing from his diverse background in landscape architecture, planning, conservation biology, and biogeography, Dr. Crist brings a wealth of experience to solving “wicked problems” in conservation and multi-objective land and sea use and resiliency. He is a frequent contributor to advisory groups serving diverse sectors such as electrical transmission and transportation planning, forestry, green infrastructure, and climate change adaptation. Capacity building is a focus of his work and he is a frequent mentor of students and early-career practitioners.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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