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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Ocean Acidification: Should we View it as a Trend, Threshold or Tipping Point?


12pm - 1pm Thursday 13 October 2011

Townsville - Sir George Fisher Building Conference Room #114 (DB32 upstairs)
Dr. Benjamin McNeil, Senior Fellow, Climate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales

Ben McNeil is an Australian academic who is an expert in a range of areas relating to climate change science, policy and energy economics. After completing his PhD in 2001 he worked as a research fellow at Princeton University, USA and returned to Australia in 2004, where he is now a senior research fellow at the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.  In 2007, he was chosen as an expert reviewer for the United Nations Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change 4th assessment report and was invited to present his research to the Prime Minister and cabinet at Parliament House in Canberra. He was also recently elected to represent young scientists in the Federation of Australian Science and Technological Societies. Dr McNeil also has a Masters of Economics in Political Economy from the University of Sydney.


Although ocean acidification is a relatively new field for research, there has been an explosion of experimental and in-situ work over the world’s oceans into understanding how higher CO2 and the lower pH  will impact marine ecosystems.  This work has shown that both the nature and magnitude of impacts vary widely depending on species and regions. In this talk I present and discuss in-situ data from the Antarctic to the Great Barrier Reef in order to provide some insight into the nature of the ‘Ocean Acidification’ problem.  In particular I will provide an overview of the difference between a trend, threshold and ‘tipping point’ from a climate science perspective and try to suggest how we move forward in the marine science community to best truly understand the risks posed by ocean acidification.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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