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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Catalina Aguilar-Hurtado

Catalina Aguilar-Hurtado

PhD graduate

James Cook University

Catalina was born and grew up in Cali, Colombia. She completed her BSc in Biology at University of los Andes and did her research on Caribbean octocoral systematics. Shortly after, she did some internship at research stations in South America and in 2008 joined a master program at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan. During these two years she studied the systematics of an octocoral family (Melithaeidae) and sampled corals throughout the Ryukyu Archipelago. In 2011 she began her PhD studies at JCU within the School of Pharmacy and Molecular Sciences under the supervision of Dr David Miller. Her PhD research focuses on the coral transtriptomic analysis under different environment conditions, including the effects of elevated CO2 on the coral immune system.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies