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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Coral genomics and animal evolution: the state-of-play and prospect before us


Thursday 12 March 2009,  5.00pm

Rydges Southbank Convention Centre, Palmer Street, Townsville
Professor David Miller - Inaugural Professorial lecture


Corals sit near the base of the tree of animal life – along with sea anemones, they are about as simple as a true animal gets. However, looks are misleading and our recent studies have established that corals have as many genes as mammals, and have much the same set of genes as man – nominally the pinnacle of animal evolution. Surprisingly, most of the widely studied invertebrates have fewer genes in common with man than does the humble coral. These findings have led to the idea that most ‘animal’ genes arose very early in evolution, and that genes have subsequently been lost at different rates in the various animal lineages.

Professor David Miller will discuss the evidence for ‘ancestral genetic complexity’, and its implications for animal evolution and coral biology.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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