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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Maternal stress in salmon: the poetry and the science


Thursday 11th of June 2015 – 16:00 to 17:00 hrs

Building 19 (Kevin Stark Research Building) Room #106 (upstairs), JCU, Townsville
Dr Natalie Sopinka
Dr Natalie Sopinka


Abstract: Imagine if your first date involved swimming 100s of kms, with no breaks for food. En route, you have to maneuver around fishing hooks and nets but are unable to escape the industrial, agricultural and urban run-off. The water is uncomfortably warm at times and, oh, there are seals and grizzly bears trying to eat you. I’m stressed thinking about this, are you?! This is what first dates are like for Pacific salmon migrating from the ocean to the rivers where they were born. When they meet their date, it’s love at first sight, and they spawn. The first date is also the last; salmon die after they spawn. Everything offspring need to survive is in a mother’s egg. But what if the stressful first-date journey changed what went into the eggs? Will offspring be equipped to survive? Natalie will talk about the intergenerational effects of stress in Pacific salmon and the role that egg hormones play in shaping offspring.

Natalie Sopinka first got hooked on fish during her undergraduate and MSc degrees at McMaster University, Canada. She studied the behaviour of invasive round goby and the sperm quality of plainfin midshipman living in polluted bodies of water. Natalie then headed west to the University of British Columbia where she earned her PhD studying what happens to sockeye salmon babies when their mom is stressed out. While she embarks on new fishy adventures, you can find her on Twitter at @phishdoc and her poems at www.phishdoc.com


Australian Research Council Pandora

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