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 molecular revolution in coral systematics and the implications for coral reef ecology


Thursday, May 19th 2016 - 16:00 to 17:00 hrs.

Building 19, Room 106 (upstairs), JCU, Townsville
Professor Andrew Baird
Professor Andrew Baird

Abstract: The molecular revolution has put the old morphological taxonomy of the Scleractinia to the sword. Recent molecular work reveals that almost none of the 27 morphological families were monophyletic, indeed, few of the 235 morphological genera have survived the upheaval intact. The implications of this revolution are profound with the potential to radically alter our understanding of reef coral community ecology, biogeography and evolution. Yet too few coral reef scientists have heard the revolutionary cry that “Morphology does not capture phylogeny” or considered the implications for their respective disciplines. The aim of this talk is to convince you that it is time to listen and encourage you to join this revolutionary endeavor. A workable phylogeny, the ready availability of an extensive catalogue of reef coral traits and biogeographical distributions mean that these are the best of times to be a reef coral ecologist.

Bio: Andrew is a postdoctoral fellow in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and has been searching for a decent revolution all his adult life


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