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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Ailsa Kerswell

Ailsa Kerswell

PhD Graduate

James Cook University

Ailsa Kerswell has recently submitted her PhD thesis entitled “Biogeography and Macroecology of Benthic Marine Algae”. Her research focused on world-wide patterns of maroalgal (i.e. seaweed) diversity and community structure. The major outcome of this research paper was that global contours of algal species richness were documented for the first time. Unlike many other organisms (e.g. corals and reef fishes), macroalgae have diversity hotspots in temperate regions in southern Australia and Japan. This research helps us to understand where biologically important algae communities are located and also what processes underpin global patterns of biodiversity. Originally working for the Department of Environment, Ailsa now runs her own consulting business, Extreme Ecology.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies