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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Amelia Desbiens

Amelia Desbiens

PhD Candidate

University of Queensland

+61 450 551 435

Amelia completed a Bachelor of Advanced Science (Hons Class I) at the University of Queensland in 2019. Her Honours research, under the supervision of Prof. Pete Mumby at the MSEL lab, focused on the development of a structural equation model to tested hypotheses concerning shark-driven trophic cascading. She has subsequently worked as a research assistant at the Australian Rivers Institute of Griffith University and The Nature Conservancy, exploring management practices of tuna fisheries and hawksbill turtle conservation in countries of the Western Pacific.

In 2020, Amelia began her PhD working on the ecology of the pervasive crown-of-thorns starfish (CoTS). Her thesis will feature both empirical studies on the interactions of juvenile CoTS with invertebrate cryptofauna in rubble habitats as well as broader-scale modelling of population dynamics and outbreak initiation mechanisms. In tandem with this experimental work, she is an ongoing contributor to a project led by Dr. Kennedy Wolfe on the role of cryptic invertebrates and invertivores in reef trophodynamics. This work began with the design and subsequent deployment of RUbble Biodiversity Samplers (RUBS) in Palau in 2019 and has now been expanded to incorporate GBR sites.

Amelia is passionate about the application of statistical methods to ecological problems in marine systems and has specific interests in trophic interactions, food web ecology and ecosystem modelling. She hopes to continue exploring these interests throughout her candidature and ongoing collaborations.


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