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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Why are there so many endemic species in the Red Sea?


Friday 2 September, 1:30 PM (AEST)

https://jcu.zoom.us/j/89404920772 and Bldg 19 - Room 106 at James Cook University, Townsville
Prof. Michael Berumen
Prof. Michael Berumen


The Reef Ecology Lab in KAUST’s Red Sea Research Center explores many aspects of movement ecology of marine organisms, ranging from adult migrations to intergenerational larval dispersal. This talk will explore, in some general terms, which groups of coral reef associated animals have high levels of endemism in the Red Sea, an ecosystem with many unique properties. I will also address patterns of biodiversity and biogeography in the Arabian region, including some highlights of new species recently described in the region. For some taxonomic groups, genetic and genomic patterns are investigated to help understand how the distributions of these organisms originated and how their distributions are maintained. The talk will highlight some of the interesting features of the Red Sea, such as the environmental conditions that mirror climate change forecasts for other reef regions, and how the Red Sea fits in the larger picture of biogeography of the Indian Ocean.


Mike received a Zoology degree from the University of Arkansas (USA) in 2001. He then completed his PhD at JCU in 2007, specializing in life history and ecology of butterflyfishes. Mike accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he focused on larval connectivity in coral reef fishes. Mike joined the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in July 2009 as a founding faculty member in the Red Sea Research Center (RSRC). His research focuses on advancing understanding of Red Sea coral reefs and more broadly making contributions to movement ecology, which is a critical aspect of developing marine conservation plans. As the Director of KAUST’s RSRC since 2018, Mike has focused on expanding the Center across numerous disciplines (engineering, geology, biology, and more) to provide scientific knowledge of how the Red Sea can sustainably support the Saudi Arabia’s goals for growth and economic diversification.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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