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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Julie Vercelloni

Julie Vercelloni

Former Research Fellow

• ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers, Research Associate (2015-2016)

• PhD, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia (2015) • MSc, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris 6, France (2010) • BSc, Université Aix Marseille II, Marseille, France (2008)

Global Change Institute, The University of Queensland

Research Interests:

Julie’s research interests focus on combining state-of-the-art technologies for wide-scale reef monitoring offered by machine learning, virtual reality and by the rise of citizen science and, modern statistical methods to help understanding complex problems related to coral reef conservation.




Vercelloni, J., S. Clifford, M.J. Caley, E.E. Peterson, et al. 2018. Using virtual reality to estimate aesthetic values of coral reefs. Royal Society Open Science DOI: 10.1098/rsos.172226.

Adjeroud, M., Kayal, M., Iborra-Cantonnet, C., Vercelloni, J. et al. 2018. Recovery of coral assemblages despite acute and recurrent disturbances on a South Central Pacific reef. Scientific Reports: e9680.

Vercelloni, J., M.J. Caley and K. Mengersen. 2017. Crown-of-Thorns starfish undermine the resilience of coral populations on the Great Barrier Reef. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 26:846–853.

Vercelloni, J., K. Mengersen and M.J. Caley. 2017. Improved coral population estimation reveals trends at multiple scales on the Great Barrier Reef. Ecosystems, 20: 1337.

Mengersen, K, E. E. Peterson, S. Clifford, Vercelloni, J. et al. 2017 Modelling imperfect presence data obtained by citizen science. Environmetrics. 28:e2446.

Berdnarz, T., K. Mengersen, E.E. Peterson, Vercelloni, J. et al. 2016. Virtual Reality for conservation. Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Web3D Technology.

Kayal, M., J. Vercelloni, M.P. Wand and M. Adjeroud. 2015. Searching for the best bet in life-strategy: a quantitative approach to individual performances and population dynamics in reef-building corals. Ecological Complexity, 23, 73-84.

Vercelloni, J., M.J Caley, M. Kayal, S. Low-Choy and K. Mengersen. 2014. Understanding Uncertainties in Non-Linear Population Trajectories: A Bayesian Semi-Parametric Hierarchical Approach to Large-Scale Surveys of Coral Cover. PLoS ONE 9: e110968.

Kayal, M., J. Vercelloni, T. Lison de Loma, Bosserelle P. et al. 2012. Predator crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) outbreak, mass mortality of corals, and cascading effects on reef fish and benthic communities. PloS one 7:e47363

Mourier, J., J. Vercelloni and S. Planes. 2012. Evidence of social communities in a spatially structured network of a free-ranging shark species. Animal Behavior 83(2), 389-401




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Coral Reef Studies