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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Jessica Spijkers

Jessica Spijkers

PhD candidate

James Cook University, Townsville

PhD Candidate

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University. Environmental Governance group

Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University

Jessica Spijkers is a cotutelle PhD student enrolled at both the Stockholm Resilience Center and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (James Cook University, Australia). She holds a Master in European Studies (completed at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium) and a Master in Social-Ecological Resilience for Sustainable Development (completed at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sweden).

Her project seeks to understand where, why and with what social-ecological consequences international conflicts over shared fish stocks occur. The project merges global-scale database analyses with case study approaches to combine the strength of global descriptive understandings of conflicts with in-depth analytical insights. The findings are combined with existing scenarios for climate change, will be used to explore high-risk areas for future conflict. This understanding will enable the development of recommendations on how to cope with and adapt to change, how to reduce the risk of conflict, and increase the prospects for sustainable, equitable use of shared marine resources.


Project Title

Navigating International Conflicts in the Governance of Shared Stocks



Dr. Tiffany Morrison (ARC), Dr. Henrik Österblom (SRC)

Professor Graeme Cumming (ARC), Dr. Matthew Osborne (SRC)


Blasiak, R., Spijkers, J., Tokunaga, K., Pittman, J., Yagi, N., Henrik, O., 2017. Climate change and marine fisheries : Least developed countries top global index of vulnerability 1–15. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0179632

Spijkers, J., Boonstra, W.J., 2017. Environmental change and social conflict: the northeast Atlantic mackerel dispute. Reg. Environ. Chang. doi:10.1007/s10113-017-1150-4

Österblom, H., Jouffray, J.-B., Spijkers, J., 2016. Where and how to prioritize fishery reform? Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 113, 201605723. doi:10.1073/pnas.1605723113


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies