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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Dominique McCowan

Dominique McCowan

PhD Graduate

James Cook University

Dominique grew up in southern Indiana, where she observed fossilized Devonian reefs. She went to a local college while working full-time and graduated with a BS in Biology with a minor in Geology and an AA in Chemistry. During her undergraduate studies, she was part of a field biology club, through which she experienced coral reef ecology and the ocean (for her first time when she was 18). She did research on mosquitoes and West Nile Virus for three years during her undergraduate course work, so Dominique is absolutely ecstatic about working with corals. She came to Townsville as soon as they accepted her for postgraduate work, and has completed her graduate diploma in marine biology. She is now undertaking her PhD, which focuses on the ecological and evolutionary vulnerabilities of scleractinian corals to mass bleaching events. Her supervisors are Dr. Morgan Pratchett, Dr. Andrew Baird, and Dr. Terry Hughes. In her free time, Dominique likes to be in or near water or doing something artistic.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies