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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Citizen science meets research and conservation: the good, the bad and downright ugly


Thursday 2nd of April 2015 – 16:00 to 17:00 hrs

Building 19 (Kevin Stark Research Building) Room #106 (upstairs), JCU, Townsville
Dr Andrew Chin
Dr Andrew Chin

Abstract: There has been increasing interest in engaging community based volunteers – Citizen Scientists – in research and monitoring efforts around the world. These increases have often been attributed to shrinking research budgets, technological advances, and the need to better engage communities in science. While citizen science projects can be very successful, a citizen science project is not a ‘magic bullet’. In some cases, a poorly planned and implemented Citizen Science project can do more harm than good. However, other case studies have demonstrated that citizen science has provided essential information about the status and trajectories of species and ecosystems. There are lots of myths and assumptions about Citizen Science, and there are polarised positions on the value and role of citizen science projects. This seminar will provide an overview of citizen science and present case studies from the Great Barrier Reef. The pros and cons of citizen science approaches will be discussed, as will ‘rules of engagement’ that scientists, policy makers and citizen science groups should carefully consider. The seminar will also present the results of a survey that explored the perceptions of citizen science amongst scientists, natural resource managers and citizen science groups. While this seminar will present a primer on the relationship between citizen science and research and conservation, robust discussion about the values and roles of citizen science in marine research and conservation is welcomed.

Bio: Dr Andrew Chin has worked in marine research since the 1990s. Starting at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Andrew then spent ten years working at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) on coral reef surveys, impact assessments and environmental monitoring, and also developing training and capacity building programs such as the Eye on the Reef Program.  Since moving to James Cook University in 2008, Andrew’s research has focused on coastal ecology and fisheries, particularly sharks and rays. He is particularly interested in the spatial ecology of coastal predators, and has a special interest in coastal fisheries in the Pacific.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies