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 synthesis: a case study of West Nile Virus spread in Texas bird communities


Thursday June 27, 12:00 to 13:00 hrs (AEST)

Building 19 (Kevin Stark Research Building) Room 106 (upstairs), JCU, Townsville
Ben Bolker
Ben Bolker

West Nile Virus (WNV), a mosquito-borne virus of birds, emerged in North
America in 1999; the invading strain was then displaced within a few
years by a novel mutant. In order to understand this competitive
displacement event, and to predict transmission of WNV in bird
communities comprising hundreds of species, we collected data on bird
and mosquito infections, bird community composition, and mosquito biting
preferences from lab experiments, field observations, and
citizen-science databases. We use a Bayesian framework, including a
method for phylogenetic imputation applied to species with missing data,
to synthesize information across the entire disease life cycle and
throughout the community.

Ben Bolker is a quantitative ecologist with broad interests in the
ecology and evolution of host-pathogen interactions, ecological and
statistical modeling of population dynamics, and mixed models. After a
PhD in the epidemic dynamics of measles (Cambridge University) and
postdoctoral work on ecosystem carbon dynamics and spatial plant
competition (Princeton University), he worked at the University of
Florida and moved in 2010 to McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario,
Canada), where he is jointly appointed in the departments of Biology and
Mathematics & Statistics.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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