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

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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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Governing marine social-ecological systems: institutions, knowledge and resilience


Friday, 30th October 2009 9.00am - 10.00am

ARC Centre of Excellence Conference Room, JCU (DB044).
Dr Louisa Evans, WorldFish Center, Malaysia

Louisa is a social scientist with interests in governance of marine systems in developing countries. Her PhD, completed through the University of East Anglia (UK), used institutional analysis to explore issues of inclusion, knowledge and complexity in marine social-ecological systems in Kenya. Following this, Louisa moved to the WorldFish Center in Malaysia to continue work in resilience thinking and how these concepts can be applied to small-scale fisheries in the developing world.


A number of alternative approaches to environmental management and social development are available. Many of these emerged in opposition to conventional models of intervention and so they share underlying principles that aim to make management more legitimate and effective. However, in practice, normative approaches to governance face considerable challenges. This presentation takes legitimate governance as its overarching theme. It presents empirical work on evolving governance processes to explore historical, socio-political and institutional factors that influence how inclusive governance processes are on the ground at different scale. Implications for resilience are outlined. It then takes a step back to consider some of the more conceptual and practical issues involved in operationalising resilience-based management. An overview of implementation frameworks and decision-support tools, which can provide a means for legitimate decision-making relevant to resilience perspectives, is presented. The discussion concludes by suggesting how different resource management and human development frameworks might be integrated for future research to address critical gaps in marine governance.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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