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 Wenger

Amelia Wenger

Former Research Fellow

James Cook University

+61 (0)7 4781 6143

Amelia was born and raised in Washington, D.C. She completed her B.A. in Biology at Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City. Seeking warmer weather, she moved to Townsville to complete her Graduate Diploma and PhD at The ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University. Amelia’s PhD research focused on the effects of suspended sediment on early life history stages of coral reef fish.  During this time, Amelia also worked as a water quality scientist for the Marine Monitoring Program at TropWater.

Research Interests

Amelia’s broader research focuses on connecting ecological and spatial data to assess responses of coastal and marine systems to threats, in order to determine ecological ramifications of ecosystem degradation. She uses this ecological information to aid in decision making about management interventions. Amelia’s current research focuses on the prioritization of management actions on islands in Western Australia and Queensland. The aim of this work is to create a decision support software to aid managers in objective decision making about where to allocate resources to achieve the greatest gains in biodiversity protection. This project is in collaboration with the Department of Parks and Wildlife in Western Australia and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. Her work is part of the Conservation Planning research group led by Prof. Bob Pressey. She is also involved in several other collaborative research projects. These include: 1) understanding how dredging affects fisheries in Western Australia, in collaboration with Curtin University, WA Department of Parks and Wildlife, and WA Fisheries, as part of the WAMSI Dredging Science node; 2) Quantifying the effects of land-based runoff on fisheries in Melanesia, as part of a SNaPP working group led by University of Queensland; and 3) Understanding drivers of coral reef health in Myanmar, in collaboration with Cornell University, the Environmental Defense Fund, and Fauna & Flora International.

Link to researcher’s profile


For a full list of publications, please visit Amelia’s JCU research profile. Amelia can also be found on Google Scholar and ResearchGate.


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