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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Jeroen van de Water

Jeroen van de Water

PhD Graduate

James Cook University

Jeroen’s  background: Since he was a little boy he has always been interested in animals/nature and he was always attracted to the water. It was no surprise that he decided to study Biology and finished his BSc cum laude at Utrecht University, The Netherlands in 2005. However, his interest shifted towards the molecular cell biology and he continued his education with a MSc in Biomolecular Sciences (graduated cum laude in 2007) at Utrecht University. In the following 2.5 years, he worked as a pre-doctoral research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston, United States of America on the development of stem cell-based brain cancer therapies. But after spending so many years being locked up in the lab, he wanted to do something more exciting and in the field where his heart truly lies: Marine Biology.  In 2010 he took up a scholarship at James Cook University, where he completed his PhD under the supervision of  Bette Willis and Bill Leggat from JCU, and Madeleine van Oppen and David Bourne from AIMS. His research focused on the immune system of scleractinian corals and the effect that environmental and physiological factors have on the ability of corals to fight disease. Thesis title: Molecular mechanisms of immunity in scleractinian corals and the influence of environmental factors on coral immuno-competence.


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Coral Reef Studies