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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The role of live coral in moderating key ecological processes for coral reef fishes


Thursday, 14 January 2010 2.00pm - 4.00pm

ARC Centre of Excellence Conference Room, JCU (DB44)
Darren Coker


On coral reefs, the biological and physical habitat provided by scleractinian corals is critical for coral reef fishes. Consequently, declines in the quality or quantity of coral habitat have had significant effects on the abundance and diversity of many reef associated fishes. Coral reef ecosystems around the world are very sensitive to changes in environmental conditions, particularly the effects brought on by global climate change leading to the bleaching and degradation of coral habitats. Coral bleaching also tends to have the greatest effect on branching coral species that support many coral-dwelling fishes.
My PhD aims to explore the importance of live coral for coral reef fishes, with a view to predicting the likely extent of fishes that may be affected by sustained and ongoing loss of corals due to global climate change. The focus of my PhD will be on corals as habitat, and thus fishes that typically occupy live corals. I aim to investigate what factors and processes (e.g. competition, predation, migration) cause declines in the abundance of coral reef fishes following extensive coral bleaching and coral loss.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies