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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Coral immunity and persistence in a changing climate


9.30am, Thursday 9 December 2010

ARC Centre of Excellence Conference Room room 114, Sir Gerorge Fisher Building (DB32)
Caroline V. Palmer, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies


Hard corals underpin the existence and biodiversity of tropical reefs. However they are declining globally at an alarming rate, largely because of increases in disease prevalence and thermal bleaching events. As immunity represents a key life-history trait that determines an organism’s ability to resist infection and recover from injury, coral immunology is an emerging field, highly relevant to understanding the capacity of corals and coral reefs to persist in a warming world.

My research to date has laid the foundations for the rapid development of this field, including identifying and quantifying components of coral innate immunity and the relationship of immunity levels to bleaching and disease susceptibility. This headway enables the natural – and urgently needed – progression into more extensive investigations relating to the impacts of climate change, and into the development of tools that may enable the effects of disturbance events to be mitigated.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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