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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Zombie ecology? Classifying coral life-history strategies to predict future reefs


12pm - 1pm Thursday 2 Aug 2012

Townsville - Sir George Fisher Building Conference Room #114 (DB32 upstairs)
Emily Darling, Earth to Ocean research group at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada

Abstract:  Understanding what coral reefs will look like in the future may largely depend on the composition of reef-building corals. While there is increasing concern that coral communities are shifting from historically dominant species towards assemblages of stress-tolerant and opportunistic species, there is currently no life-history framework that allows for tests of these predictions. I will propose a trait-based approach that we have used to classify life-history strategies for global scleractinian corals, evaluate how coral life-history composition has changed over 20 years on Kenyan reefs, and finally, consider the resilience of coral assemblages to local and global stressors in a changing climate.

Biography:  Emily Darling is currently finishing her PhD with Isabelle Côté in the Earth to Ocean research group at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. In 2005, she completed a BSc (Hons) looking at the evolution of range limits in plants at Queen’s University. Before starting her PhD, Emily worked with Tim McClanahan at the Coral Reef Conservation Project in Kenya looking at the effects of management on small-scale coral reef fisheries. She has continued to work closely with CRCP in Kenya and the western Indian Ocean to study the impacts of fishing and climate change on coral communities.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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