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


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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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Drivers of colony-level variation in condition and resilience for reef-building corals


Tuesday, 14th of October 2014; 10:00 to 11:00 hrs

Building 19 (Kevin Stark Research Building) Room #106 (upstairs), JCU, Townsville.
Chiara Pisapia, ARC CoE for Coral Reef Studies, JCU, Townsville
Chiara Pisapia, ARC CoE for Coral Reef Studies, JCU, Townsville

Abstract:  Many studies have documented significant variation in the capacity of corals to withstand and recover from major disturbances, but the underlying basis of this variation is still poorly understood. This study attempted to account for these differences in susceptibility, based on inherent and experimentally-induced variation in colony condition. Specifically this study quantified background rates of partial mortality for coral populations at a hierarchy of spatial scales along the Great Barrier Reef and compared it with background mortality rates in the Maldives, Indian Ocean. This study also tested influence of disturbance history versus other biological and environmental factors on colony condition and explicitly tested whether partial mortality influenced “resilience” (resistance and recovery) of corals to thermally-induced bleaching.

Biography: Chiara is originally from Rome, Italy where she completed both her Undergraduate and Postgraduate degree in Marine Science. She always dreamed about doing research on coral reefs and after working on corals in Indonesia she moved to Townsville to start a Master of Applied Science in Marine Biology. In 2012 Chiara started her PhD at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. She is interested in understanding intra-specific variation in the ability of corals to withstand disturbances.


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