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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Christopher Hemingson

Christopher Hemingson

PhD candidate

James Cook University

Christopher grew up on the coast of Texas, in the United States. His love for the ocean blossomed at a very young age when he would frequently vacation to the beach during summer months. When Chris was a teenager, he and his family became certified to SCUBA dive. Following this were many trips to various locations around the Caribbean to dive on coral reef ecosystems. It was at this time that he realised he wanted to pursue a career involving the marine environment. He received a Bachelor’s of Science in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University (gig ‘em!) but his love for coral reef ecosystems brought him to James Cook University. Upon completion of his Masters of Science under the supervision of Professor David Bellwood, he decided to further pursue research by embarking on a PhD. Chris and his advisers, David Bellwood and Peter Cowman, aim to investigate questions involving the vast diversity of colouration and patterns present in reef fish taxa. They are looking into both the evolutionary basis and the ecological role that colour and patterns serve on coral reefs.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies