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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.

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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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Behaviour and population responses to sea level rise by shorebirds


Thursday 31 March 2022, 1 PM (AEST)

https://jcu.zoom.us/j/88659054639 Passcode: 590140
Dr. Martijn Van de Pol
Dr. Martijn Van de Pol


Being a new staff member at JCU, I will start with a short overview of my research. Next I will zoom in on a specific topic that I have been interested in for a long time: the impact of extreme climatic events and sea level rise on shorebirds. Sea level rise can affect the exposure of intertidal foraging grounds of shorebrids as well cause flooding of their nests. Little is known about how individuals may behaviourally response to flooding events, or to extreme climatic events more general. Here I will show results based on a 30+ year study of oystercatchers changing their nest site and habitat selection in response to more frequent flooding events. By integrating climate projection models on sea level rise, geomorphological models of saltmarsh accretion and behavioural and demographic models of shorebird responses to flooding I will next quantify the population dynamical consequences of sea level rise.


Martijn is a global change ecologist who combines mathematical modeling with long-term field studies and eperiments to understand how wildlife copes with our rapidly changing environment. Before joining the Maths group at JCU at the end of 2021 he worked at various institutes across the globe (Netherlands, Germany, Norway) and as an ARC Future Fellow at the Australian National University. His research focusses on topics such as how different human impacts accumulate on wildlife, plasticity to extreme climatic events and on understanding inter- and intra-specific variation in responses to climate change.


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