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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Jennifer Wilmes

Jennifer Wilmes

PhD candidate

James Cook University

Jennifer completed her degree in Biological Sciences at the Free University of Brussels (Belgium). She attended the BIOMAR marine biology laboratory for six months, where she wrote her final year thesis on the biodiversity of Antarctic starfish. She continued to display her passion for the marine environment through various roles: as marine research officer in Madagascar, marine environmental consultant in the United Kingdom and crown-of-thorns starfish (CoTS) diver in Australia. From 2014 to 2016, she spent more than 450 days at sea working with the CoTS control program on the Great Barrier Reef. This position provided her with ample opportunities to observe and study crown-of-thorns starfish in their natural environment and set in motion her PhD on juvenile crown-of-thorns starfish. Jennifer hopes that her research will contribute to our understanding of crown-of-thorns starfish population dynamics and inform management control actions. She is conducting her PhD under the supervision of Morgan Pratchett, Andrew Hoey and Vanessa Messmer.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies