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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F. Joseph Pollock

F. Joseph Pollock

PhD Graduate

James Cook University

Joe grew up in Charleston, West Virginia (USA) among the majestic hills and valleys of America’s Appalachian Mountains and more than 1000 kilometers from the nearest coral reef. He was first drawn to marine research as an NSF-funded undergraduate fellow at Mote Marine Laboratory where he helped to develop a restoration plan for Florida’s ailing Atlantic bay scallop populations. After graduating summa cum laude in Biology from the University of Kentucky, Joe expanded his interests in marine science through short-term fellowships at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (Panama) and the Hawaii Institute of Marine Science (USA). Armed with new expertise in genetics and molecular biology, Joe was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to travel to Australia where he developed the first quantitative PCR assay to detect a known coral pathogen. Joe was granted a joint MSc for this work through the College of Charleston (USA), the Australian Institute of Marine Science, and James Cook University, but his passion for coral disease research and two excellent supervisors, Dr. David Bourne and Prof. Bette Willis, lured him back to Australia to continue this work. As an AIMS@JCU PhD student, Joe employed the latest techniques in microbiology, genetics, histopathology, and disease ecology to untangle the interplay between the complex coral host, dynamic ocean environment, and poorly understood pathogens that leads to coral disease on Indo-Pacific reefs. For more information, please visit FJPollock.com.


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Coral Reef Studies