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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Amber Datta

Amber Datta

PhD candidate

James Cook University

Amber was born in Hawaii, where she grew up with a passion for the ocean and the communities that depend on it. This drives her research interest in the management and governance of coral reefs, which she is pursuing through her PhD research on the networks of actors that govern coral reefs in the Great Barrier Reef region and Hawai’i. Amber completed a B.A. in Environmental Analysis (Biology focus) from Pomona College in 2013. She spent 2.5 years working for The Nature Conservancy on a project to improve collaboration around key conservation issues in the Great Lakes Region (U.S.). She then completed an M.S. in Resource Conservation (option in International Conservation and Development) at the University of Montana (UM) in 2018. She also completed a certificate in Natural Resource Conflict Resolution at UM, which focuses on professional skills for collaborative conservation. Amber is enrolled as a cotutelle PhD student at JCU and the University of Montana. She is advised by Michele Barnes (primary) and Tiffany Morrison at JCU, and by Brian Chaffin (primary), Jill Belsky, and Carina Wyborn at UM. She hopes her work will contribute to our understanding of the governance arrangements that facilitate adaptive responses to coral bleaching and other rapid environmental and social changes in coral reef systems. 


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies