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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Björn Illing

Björn Illing

Research Fellow

James Cook University

Björn completed his diploma (equiv. to M.Sc.) and doctoral studies at the University of Hamburg, Germany. During the latter, he investigated how biotic and abiotic factors determine important characteristics of the early life stages of the Atlantic herring. Moving from temperate to tropical waters, Björn visited Assoc. Prof. Jodie Rummer’s group at the Centre of Excellence in 2016 with a three-month travelling fellowship from the Journal of Experimental Biology, and returned in 2017 – now funded by a six-month scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). In December 2017, he got awarded a 2-year postdoctoral research fellowship from the German Research Foundation (DFG). At the Centre of Excellence, Björn’s research integrates physiological and behavioral observations of coral reef fish larvae to investigate how coral reef fish offspring will cope with more extreme conditions under the projected climate change conditions.

Selected publications:

Moyano, M., Illing, B. Christiansen, L. and M.A. Peck, “Linking rates of metabolism and growth in marine fish larvae”, Marine Biology, vol.165:5, 2018.

Illing, B. and J. Rummer, “Physiology can contribute to better understanding, management, and conservation of coral reef fishes”, Conservation Physiology, vol. 5, no. 1, cox005, 2017.

Moyano M., Illing, B., Peschutter P. and M.A. Peck, “Thermal impacts on growth, development and ontogeny of critical swimming speed in Atlantic herring larvae”, Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A, vol. 197, no. 4, pp. 23–24, 2016.

Illing, B., Moyano M., Berg J., and M.A. Peck, “Behavioural and physiological responses to prey match-mismatch in larval herring”, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, in press.

Illing, B., Moyano M., Hufnagl M. and M.A. Peck, “Projected habitat loss for Atlantic herring in the Baltic Sea”, Marine Environmental Research, vol. 113, pp. 164–173, 2016.

Illing, B., Moyano M., Niemax J. and M.A. Peck, “Direct effects of microalgae and protists on herring (Clupea harengus) yolk sac larvae”, PLoS One, e0129344, 2015.

Silva, L., Moyano M., Illing, B., Faria, A.M., Garrido, S. and M.A. Peck, “Ontogeny of swimming capacity in plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) larvae”, Marine Biology, vol. 162, pp. 753–761, 2015.



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