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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François O. Seneca

François O. Seneca

PhD Graduate

James Cook University

François O. SenecaFrancois completed his PhD at James Cook University (School of Pharmacy and Molecular Sciences, AIMS@JCU, CoE for Coral Reef Studies) and the Australian Institute of Marine Science in 2010, supervised by Prof. David Miller and Dr. Madeleine van Oppen. His thesis research involved the novel use of transcriptomic techniques to address the molecular stress response in corals exposed to natural bleaching conditions, as well as pollutants. While finishing his doctoral work, Francois also participated in several other projects that investigated heat and oxidative stress, immunity, and the establishment of symbiosis in corals in collaboration with Dr. Bill Leggat, Dr. Tracy Ainsworth, and Prof. Bette Willis at JCU. In 2011, he moved to Monterey, California for a postdoctoral position in Prof. Steve Palumbi’s Lab at Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University. At Hopkins, Francois studied the role of adaptation and acclimatization in the coral response to climate change. Francois recently moved back to Hawai’i, where he graduated with his B.S. in Zoology from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, to work as a junior researcher with Prof. Robert Richmond at the Kewalo Marine Lab. His research there focuses on the development and validation of a protein biomarker assay for the diagnosis of coral health with the goal to detect sublethal effects of insidious stressors such as pollutants from runoffs. foseneca.com



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Coral Reef Studies