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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Conservation planning, marine reserves

cplanC-Plan conservation planning system. An interactive decision support system for conservation planning developed by Matt Watts and Bob Pressey.


Coral Triangle Initiative: 2008 workshop materials and outputs. As part of its contribution to a Coral Triangle Initiative workshop held in 2008, the Centre of Excellence in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Marine Science, circulated some background papers on issues related to designing a network of Marine Protected Areas in the Coral Triangle.




Coral health

Coral health assessment in Caribbean or Indo-Pacific reefs. Produced by the GEF CRTR Program with research by Centre researchers Roger Beeden, Bette Willis and Cathie Page. Click on the images to download .pdf versions.

CRTR_Disease Handbook_Final

Coral Disease Handbook. Guidelines for Assessment, Monitoring & Management

0807 Indo Pacific Underwater ID Cards

Underwater Cards for Assessing Coral Health on Indo-Pacific Reefs

0807 Caribbean Underwater ID Cards

Underwater Cards for Assessing Coral Health on Caribbean Reefs












Climate change

Guide produced by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority includes contributions from Centre of Excellence researchers, Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Dr Andrew Baird, Dr Ken Anthony and Dr Laurence McCook.



How the Great Barrier Reef and its industries can adapt to climate change: some scenarios. This report draws four alternative future scenarios – snapshots of possible futures – which are designed to help the communities, businesses and industries involved in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to understand and discuss how climate change may affect the Reef and those who depend on it. Authors: Louisa Evans, Pedro Fidelman, Christina Hicks, Allison Perry, Renae Tobin. August 2011.




Preserving reef connectiviCRTR_ConnectivityHandbookty: a handbook for marine protected area managers. This handbook, co-authored by Geoff Jones, aims to assist MPA managers and others in understanding and applying the concept of connectivity in their work. In this way, it hopes to help managers strengthen their ability to tackle the challenging task of sustaining coastal marine environments.



Coral health

CRTR_Disease Handbook_FinalCoral Disease Handbook: Guidelines for Assessment, Monitoring and Management. Handbook produced by the GEF Coral Reef Targeted Research (CRTR) Program, includes research undertaken by Centre researcher Professor Bette Willis and others.



Resilience (social, ecological, social-ecological)

Assessing Resilience in Social-Ecological SystemsAssessing and managing resilience in social-ecological systems: A practitioners workbook. Manual prepared by the Resilience Alliance, a Centre of Excellence partner.



resilience_herbivorous_monitoringMonitoring functional groups of herbivorous reef fishes as indicators of coral reef resilience: A practical guide of coral reef managers in the Asia Pacific region. Guide produced by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) was written by Alison Green and David Bellwood. It provides practical advice to field practitioners based on an example from the Asia Pacific Region. Key functional groups of herbivores are identified, species are assigned to each functional group, and methods are provided for monitoring their abundance, biomass and size structure.



Governance & People

Policy Brief: Promoting collaborative management of small-scale fisheries in the tropics. Collaborative (co-) management provides resource users with a greater say in making and enforcing rules for small-scale fisheries. When properly implemented, co-management can help to sustain fisheries and the livelihoods of people that depend on the ocean. Co-management is most successful when key socio-economic, contextual, and institutional conditions are in place. These conditions are highlighted in this policy brief by Joshua Cinnner and Tim McClanahan.


Considering gender: Practical guidance for rural development initiatives in Solomon Islands. This program brief highlights and summarizes the findings and knowledge sharing of two workshops between 2015 and 2016 with representatives from national and provincial governments, and nongovernmental organizations of Solomon Islands. Combining these insights and findings from a WorldFish study helps formulate the gender-transformative approach where development actors and communities closely work together to identify, examine, question and attempt to shift, in locally appropriate ways, harmful or inequitable gender norms and power imbalances between women and men.


The Great Barrier Reef has experienced multiple mass coral bleaching events in the last six years. How can we navigate this unprecedented change and the uncertainty it brings? Navigating climate crises in the Great Barrier Reef is a document that summarises knowledge that aims to understand catalysts and barriers to responses to coral bleaching, and participants’ hopes and recommendations on where to go from here. Published on January 2022.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies