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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Ecological drivers of community stability in space and time


Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 - 11:00 to 12:00 hrs

Building 19, Room 106, JCU Townsville Campus
Katie Peterson
Katie Peterson

Abstract. Natural communities are inherently subject to environmental fluctuations of varying forms and magnitudes, and some communities may depend on such fluctuations to persist through time. Sustainable management of natural resources necessitates a thorough understanding of how communities’ ecological properties and processes respond to fluctuations. Community stability has been studied from two distinct approaches: applying process-based models or decomposition of time-series data into statistical indices. This project will merge and test different approaches used to analyse the stability of ecological communities in a variety of contexts, and across spatial scales.

Biography. Katie was born and raised in California but also lived in Louisiana for a number of years. There, she completed a dual BSc in Biology and Coastal Environmental Science at Louisiana State University, and upon graduating worked as a wetlands biologist for a few years. She then returned to California, where she earned a Master’s of Environmental Science and Management at University of California, Santa Barbara. Her master’s thesis was on rights-based management in tropical artisanal fisheries. She followed her love of tropical ecology to Australia and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. For her PhD project, Katie is examining the role of ecological coexistence mechanisms in ecosystem stability, under the supervision of Prof. Terry Hughes, Prof. Sean Connolly, and Dr. Mike Bode.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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