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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Jake Lowe

Jake Lowe

PhD candidate

James Cook University

Jake grew up less than 500m from the Noosa River on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland and spent much of his youth on the water fishing, surfing and diving. Going for a fish before the school bus arrived at 7:30am wasn’t unusual for Jake, as the proximity of his family home to the river enabled Jakes love of all things marine to blossom from an early age. Jake pursued his dream to work with marine fishes and moved to Townsville in 2013 to complete a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Marine Biology. After getting a taste for Fisheries Science during undergrad, in 2016 Jake embarked on a Graduate Certificate of Research Methods supervised by Professor Garry Russ where he investigated the effects of no-take marine reserve protection and benthic habitat drivers on the density of tropical wrasses in the Philippines. This research led Jake to start his Master’s Degree supervised by Professor Garry Russ and Emeritus Professor Howard Choat which delved deeper into the biology of wrasses investigating the effects of fishing on the life-history characteristics of tropical wrasses. Thanks to collaboration with Dr. David Williamson in 2018 Jake decided to upgrade his Masters research to a PhD and also partition the effects of benthic habitat and no-take marine reserve protection on the density, diversity, size structure and biomass of tropical wrasses on the inshore Great Barrier Reef. Jakes findings could potentially improve management of reef fisheries and the conservation of coral reef environments.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies