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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Katie Peterson

Katie Peterson

PhD candidate

James Cook University, Townsville

Katie was born and raised in California but also lived in Louisiana for a number of years. There, she completed a dual BSc in Biology and Coastal Environmental Science at Louisiana State University, and upon graduating worked as a wetlands biologist for a few years. She escaped the swamp to return to California and attained her Master’s of Environmental Science and Management at University of California, Santa Barbara, where she focused on rights-based management in tropical artisanal fisheries. She followed her love of tropical ecology to Australia and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. For her PhD project, Katie is examining the role of ecological coexistence mechanisms in ecosystem stability, under the supervision of Prof. Terry Hughes, Prof. Sean Connolly, and Dr. Mike Bode.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies