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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Bridget Ayling

Bridget Ayling

PhD Graduate

Australian National University

Bridget grew up in Napier, New Zealand and completed a BSc(Hons) in geology and physical geography at Victoria University of Wellington. Her Honours thesis examined locally-derived aeolian sediments deposited on coastal glaciers in South Victoria Land, Antarctica, as indicators of regional wind regime. She moved to Canberra to pursue a PhD at the ANU with Professors Malcolm McCulloch and John Chappell, reconstructing seasonal climate from two warm interglacial periods of the last 500 thousand years, using the skeletal geochemistry of fossil Porites corals and giant Tridacna clams. She submitted her PhD early 2006, and was employed in the 2006-intake of Geoscience Australia’s 12-month graduate program. During the program she worked in a variety of projects including characterising seabed fluid escape features on Australia’s continental shelf, and the use of predictive modelling in earthquake risk assessment. She graduated with her PhD in December 2006.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies