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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David Abrego

David Abrego

PhD Graduate

AIMS/ James Cook University

Having recently complete his PhD, David is now part of the ‘Understanding Marine Microbes and Symbioses’ team at AIMS working on ‘Inter kingdom communication in the coral holobiont’. David is originally from Mexico, where early ambitions of becoming a marine biologist were easily nourished by many trips to the Pacific and Caribbean coasts with family and friends. After obtaining his Bachelor of Science degree in Aquatic Biology from the University of California in Santa Barbara, he grabbed his backpack and visited many reefs in the Indo-Pacific before returning home to find funding to study a PhD at JCU. His research looked at the flexibility in the coral-Symbiodinium symbiosis and the physiological attributes of different host-symbiont combinations in order to understand how these associations may change in the future. David was supervised by Professor Bette Willis and Dr. Madeleine van Oppen.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies