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 symbioses are restructured by mass coral bleaching


Thursday 9 June, 2 PM (AEST)

https://jcu.zoom.us/j/82138104483 and Bldg 19 - Room 106 at James Cook University, Townsville
Dr. Kate Quigley
Dr. Kate Quigley


The past few years have seen unprecedented coral bleaching and mortality on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) but the consequences of this on biodiversity are not yet known. This talk will explore if mass bleaching has resulted in a loss of symbiont diversity across three key coral species along the GBR and examine if surviving coral populations contain a higher prevalence of heat tolerant algal symbionts – depending on their availability in the environmental pool. Results have implications for developing a spatially explicit understanding of symbiosis after bleaching to identify key coral populations for protection, key reefs for resilience management, and potential breeding stock for use in reef restoration activities.


Kate is a Senior Research Scientist at Minderoo Foundation and Research Director of the Minderoo Exmouth Research Laboratory and holds adjunct research positions at the University of Western Australia, the Australian Institute of Marine Science, and James Cook University. As a molecular ecologist, her current research focusses on understanding adaptation and the genomic basis of stress tolerance and resilience of coral reef organisms across the Indo-Pacific and Indian Oceans. She uses ‘omics tools (population genomic, transcriptomic, metagenomic) and coral reproductive biology with field, experimental, and modelling methods to understand what makes some species resistant to stress while others are more vulnerable.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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