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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Adrian Arias

Adrian Arias

PhD Graduate

James Cook University

PhD Graduate

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University

Email: adrian.arias@my.jcu.edu.au

Adrian grew up in and around saltwater in Costa Rica. He gained his undergraduate degree in Biology with emphasis on sustainable development; later completed a master’s degree in Natural Resource Management at JCU. After some years in Costa Rica he worked with a wide range of marine issues such as fisheries, tourism, coastal reforestation, science communication and marine spatial planning. Back again in JCU Adrian is a member of Program 6, supervised by Prof. Bob Pressey. His project examines marine conservation planning in Costa Rica and will focus on marine protected area design and, compliance and enforcement.

Project Title:

Avoiding and reversing ‘paper parks’: integrating fishers’ compliance into conservation efforts

Project Description:

Adrian’s project looks into compliance as related to natural resource use. Natural resource management is inherently about influencing peoples’ behaviour towards nature; therefore adequate user compliance is critical for conservation and sustainability. Adrian focuses on fishers’ compliance with marine protected areas (MPAs); however, his work is applicable to a broad range of activities in both marine and terrestrial environments. To understand compliance Adrian is drawing on knowledge from diverse fields such as psychology and political science, and complementing it with empirical data from case studies in his native Costa Rica. This work will not only contribute to science, it will considerably enhance the social and environmental effectiveness of MPAs.


Principal supervisor: Professor Bob Pressey

Supervisory committee: Prof. Joshua Cinner, Dr. Jorge Álvarez-Romero, Dr. Alastair Birtles



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