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.

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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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Sex roles are negotiated in sequentially hermaphroditic fish


12 -1 pm Thursday 25 October 2012

Building 19 (new Centre building) Room #106, JCU, Townsville; with live video-link to UQ GCI Boardroom
Stefan Walker, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University. 


Abstract: Changing sex is risky business, not least because the success of a given sexual strategy depends on the sexual strategies of others. Here, I summarise recent work on sex-changing hermaphroditic coral reef fishes, illustrating how individuals contend with uncertainty and assess the risks associated with alternative sexual strategy options. In doing so, I reveal a novel behavioural mechanism for cooperative sex allocation outcomes at the scale of local breeding groups that, in turn, has important implications for the ecology and evolution of sexual development, animal communication, and behavioural diversity.

Biography: Stefan has broad interests in ecology, evolution, and behaviour. In 2010 he received a PhD from JCU for his work on reef fish breeding systems and strategies, and is now working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the ARC Coral Reef Centre. His current research focuses on collective-action and consensus-decision problems and the evolution of behavioural decision rules, animal communication, and strategic cooperation.



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