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 Stella

Jessica Stella

PhD candidate

James Cook University

Jessica grew up near Boston in the USA and became passionate about marine science after she began diving in the chilly waters of the Eastern US. She spent a year living in Bermuda undertaking a double internship as an aquarist for the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo and conducting seagrass and coral baseline surveys as part of the BREAM Programme with the Bermuda Zoological Society. She also volunteered with the Bermuda Turtle Project tagging and collecting DNA from juvenile green turtles. She then moved to Townsville to complete a BSc (Honours) at JCU in 2008 and began her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Geoffrey Jones, Dr. Morgan Pratchett and Dr. Philip Munday from JCU, and collaborations with Dr. Pat Hutchings of the Australian Museum and Dr. Elvira Poloczanska of CSIRO. Her research aims to expand our taxonomic knowledge of reef invertebrate species, examine the level of habitat specialisation exhibited by many coral associated invertebrates and also to determine ! the effects that climate change may have on invertebrate biodiversity.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies