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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Elliott Schmidt

Elliott Schmidt

PhD Candidate

Master of Science

James Cook University


Elliott Schmidt is a current PhD student under the supervision of Dr. Jennifer Donelson (JCU) and Dr. Gergely Torda (JCU). His research project broadly aims to investigate how evolutionary perspectives can be incorporated into conservation thinking. To do so he plans to examine local adaptation, phenotypic plasticity in heritability (adaptability), and the potential advantages and/or disadvantages associated with interpopulation hybridization within a reef fish (Acanthochromis polyacanthus). Results will provide an understanding of how different populations across a specie’s range may respond differently to environmental changes, to achieve more effective conservation outcomes that ensure the long-term survival and adaptive potential of wild populations without perpetual anthropogenic involvement. Elliott is in building 32, room 105, and his email is elliott.schmidt@my.jcu.edu.au


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies