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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.

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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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Forget the crystal ball: Applying spatial scenarios to conservation planning for the GBR coast.


Thursday 5th of September 2013; 12:00 to 13:00 hrs.

Building 19 (Kevin Stark Research Building), Room #106 (upstairs), JCU, Townsville; video-linked to the University of Queensland (GCI Boardroom, Level 7, Gehrmann Building 60).
Dr. Amélie Augé, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies - James Cook University, Townsville
Dr. Amélie Augé, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies - James Cook University, Townsville

Abstract: Coastal zones around the world have been under high and increasing sporadic development pressures on land and at sea. Functioning coastal ecosystems require healthy cohesively-managed terrestrial and marine areas. The combination and complexity of these two issues for coastal management generate the wicked problem of coastal syndromes. In this talk, I will start by showing why coastal management is such a great challenge for conservation planning and why we need a novel approach that requires forgetting the crystal ball most commonly used. Qualitative scenarios have been used in the past to facilitate coastal management; however, spatially-explicit scenario planning can be applied to coastal zones and has flexibility advantages that should allow conservation planning to include the uncertainty in future coastal development. The Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA) is a typical example of a coastal marine protected area with a fast and unpredictably changing coast and where the terrestrial part has not been considered. This talk will end with the presentation of the progress and intents of an on-going project aimed at developing a new methodology to incorporate the field of scenarios in systematic conservation planning using land use change modelling and impact and goal assessments with spatial analyses to draw strategic priorities for conservation along the GBRWHA coast in the light of plausible coastal development in the next 25 years.

Biography: Amélie took a postdoctoral research fellowship at the ARC CoE Coral Reef Studies in mid-2012 in the Conservation Planning Program working on the NERP (National Environmental Research Program) project “Conservation planning for a changing coastal zone” led by Prof. Bob Pressey. She has a PhD in Zoology (2011) and an MSc in Spatial Ecology (2007) from the University of Otago, New Zealand. Amélie works in the realm of marine and coastal ecology and conservation and her research interests include the use of spatial tools (GIS, spatio-temporal analyses, bio-logging, habitat mapping) to understand and mitigate impacts of anthropogenic activities and changes on wildlife and natural values. Her postdoc work includes scenario planning, land use change modelling, impact assessments, and development of conservation goals and priorities for coastal protection and restoration for the Great Barrier Reef coastal zone.


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