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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Ian Butler

Ian Butler

PhD candidate

University of Queensland

Ian grew up in Canada, the United States and Australia.  He received his BSc in Marine Biology from James Cook University in 1990.  He received his MSc in Marine Biology from James Cook University in 1996, working on lethal wounding in Crown-of-Thorns starfish with Hugh Sweatman and John Lucas.  He spent the next nine years variously working as a Fisheries Biologist in Cambodia, Papua New Guinea and the USA as well as a software developer with WildTangent and Microsoft.  The next 7 years were spent as an at-home dad and that job continues.  Having missed Marine Biology a great deal, in 2011 Ian returned as a remote student to start a PhD at The University of Queensland with John Pandolfi and Jian-xin Zhao.  The focus of his project is the historical ecology of the terrigenoclastic coral reefs around Hervey Bay, Queensland Australia.

Link to student’s profile 


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies