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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Cristina Ruano Chamorro

Cristina Ruano Chamorro

PhD candidate

James Cook University

Cristina is from Sevilla, Spain. She studied Biology at the University of Sevilla and an International Master of Science in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (EMBC) at Bremen University and the University of Oviedo. During her MSc, she became very interested in social-ecological systems and fisheries management. For her master thesis, she went to Chile to study how fishers perceive the abundance of resources and evaluate whether these perceptions could be used as a source of information to assess data-poor small-scale fisheries. Then, after working as a research assistant in projects on ecological aspects of marine systems at the Marine Conservation Center of Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, she decided to focus her work on the human dimensions of environmental management. She joined the Marine Energy Research and Innovation Center (MERIC) to study the human dimensions of marine renewable energies. Her studies and work experience in Chile inspired her to start a PhD in the human dimensions of fisheries management and conservation. Under the supervision of Joshua Cinner and Georgina Gurney, she will be investigating fisher’s perceptions of equity and its implications in fisheries management and conservation.


Ruano-Chamorro, C., Lau, J., Lawless, S., Cohen, P., Deering, K., McDougall, C. (2022). Advancing gender equity in coral reef social-ecological systems. Women in Fisheries Information Bulletin. 35 (pp 6-14).

Mark Andrachuk, Graham Epstein, Gildas Andriamalala, Tamatoa Bambridge, Natalie Ban, Jessica Cheok, Erica Cunningham, Emily Darling, Georgina Grace Gurney, Emilie Litsinger, Emma McIntosh, Morena Mills, Tiffany Morrison, Sangeeta Mangubhai, Jenny Oates, Diana Pietri, Cristina Ruano-Chamorro, Rocky Sanchez Tirona, Colette Wabnitz, and Jeff Young (2022). Coral reef governance: strengthening community and collaborative approaches. A Vibrant Oceans White Paper. WCS. Vibrant Oceans Initiative.

Ruano-Chamorro, C., Gurney, G., Cinner, J. (2021). Advancing procedural justice in conservation. Conservation Letters. e12891. https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12861

Rojas, C., Cinner, J., Lau, J., Ruano-Chamorro, C., Contreras-Drey, F.J., Gelcich, S. An Experimental look at trust, bargaining, and public goods in fishing communities.  Scientific Reports. 11, 20798. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-00145-5

Lawless, S., Lau, K., Ruano-Chamorro., C., Corcoran, E., Cohen, P., & McDougall, C. (2021). Advancing gender equality and equitable livelihoods in coral reef social-ecological systems: Policy Brief. CARE International

Lau, J., Ruano-Chamorro, C., Lawless, S. & McDougall, C. (2021). Gender transformative approaches for advancing gender equality in coral reef social-ecological systems: Good Practice and Technical Brief. CARE International.

Lau, J & Ruano-Chamorro, C. (2021). Gender Equality in Coral Reef Social-ecological systems: Literature Review. CARE International (https://coralreefrescueinitiative.org/resources/gender-equality-in-coral-reef-socio-ecological-systems).

Gelcich S, Martínez-Harms MJ, Tapia-Lewin S, Vasquez-Lavin F, Ruano-Chamorro C (2019). Comanagement of small-scale fisheries and ecosystem services. Conservation Letters. e12637. https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12637

Cristina Ruano-Chamorro, Juan Carlos Castilla, Stefan Gelcich (2018). Human dimensions of marine hydrokinetic energies; Current knowledge and research gaps. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 82, 1979-198.

Ruano-Chamorro, C., Ortiz, V., Castilla, J.C., Navarrete, S. & Gelcich, S. (2018). Cambio global y pesquerias.  In Marquet, P.A., Valladares, F., Magro, S., Gaxiola, A. and Enrich-Prast, A. (Eds). Cambio global, una mirada desde Latinoamerica (pp 205 – 224). Madrid. ACCI.

Cristina Ruano-Chamorro, Maria Dulce Subida, Miriam Fernández  (2017). Fishers’ perception: An alternative source of information to assess the data-poor benthic small-scale artisanal fisheries of central Chile. Ocean & coastal management  146, 67-76.

Miriam Fernández, Marta Blanco, Cristina Ruano-Chamorro, Maria Dulce Subida (2017). Reproductive output of two benthic resources (Fissurella latimarginata and Loxechinus albus) under different management regimes along the coast of central Chile.  Latin american journal of aquatic research 45 (2), 391-402.

Monserrat C. Rodríguez-Ruiz, Miguel Andreu-Cazenave, Catalina S. Ruz, Cristina Ruano-Chamorro, Fabian Ramírez, Catherine González, Sergio A. Carrasco, Alejandro Pérez-Matus, M Fernández (2014). Initial assessment of coastal benthic communities in the Marine Parks at Robinson Crusoe Island. Latin american journal of aquatic research 42 (4), 918-936.



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