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 corals of Lord Howe Island


Thursday, Aug 16 2018, 12:00 to 13:00 hrs (AEST)

Building 19 (Kevin Stark Research Building) Room 106 (upstairs), JCU, Townsville, UQ videolink Room 501 Goddard, UWA videolink IOMRC Level 5 Board Room
Andrew Baird
Andrew Baird


The World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island (LHI) has a highly distinctive marine fauna that includes 9 endemic fish and 47 endemic algae. LHI also contains the southern-most coral reef in the world. The corals of LHI have long been considered a depauperate subset of species also found in the tropics. However, our research has revealed that a high proportion of the coral species on LHI have yet to be described and are likely to be found nowhere else on earth making the LHI assemblage far more distinct than previously recognised. Our findings reveal the extraordinarily high conservation value of LHI and suggest that a mass bleaching event on LHI could lead to the first extinctions of scleractinian corals in the Anthropocene.


Professor Andrew Baird is a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. He has broad interests in coral reef science. His current research focuses on the systematics and biogeography of reef-building corals.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies