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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Cellular conversations between cnidarian hosts and dinoflagellate symbionts use a common language


Thursday 22nd November, 4.00pm

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies Conference Room, JCU. Video linked to Centre for Marine Studies Conference Room, UQ
Simon Dunn, Postdoctoral Fellow

Simon is a newly appoint postdoctoral fellow in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef
Studies based at UQ.


Cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis is key to the productivity and growth of coral reefs. The underlying cellular pathways that control the onset, maintenance and breakdown of cnidarian– dinoflagellate symbiosis are just beginning to be described. The pathways that have been shown to operate during these processes are highly conserved from yeast to complex metazoans, including higher vertebrates. Two examples of these pathways are apoptosis and autophagy, which are crucial to development, tissue homeostasis and immunity. Apoptosis and autophagy are active within the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis and are being shown to be part of a common cellular language present throughout all metazoans. This commonality gives key insight into many processes that control this important symbiosis.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies