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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Madeleine van Oppen

Madeleine van Oppen

Professor and Partner Investigator

Senior Principal Research Scientist in the "A Healthy and Resilient GBR" Program.

PhD, University of Groningen, Netherlands

Member and adjunct Professorial Research Fellow of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrated Coral Reef Studies at JCU (2006-2021)
Great Barrier Reef Foundation working group Solutions and Adaptations (2009-2011)
Member of the ReFuGe2020 consortium (2012-present)
Subject editor Molecular Ecology (2010-present)

Australian Institute of Marine Science

+61 (0)7 4753 4370

Madeleine holds a halftime position as a Senior Principal Research Scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), and a halftime Chair in Marine Biology at the University of Melbourne (School of BioSciences). Her research focuses on microbial symbiosis in corals, adaptation/acclimatisation to climate change, and connectivity of coral reefs. Her work is increasingly focusing on ‘assisted evolution’, where mechanisms of adaptation and acclimatisation in corals and genetic manipulations to enhance stress tolerance and fitness of corals in a changing environment are explored.

Link to researcher’s profile


Australian Research Council Pandora

Partner Research Institutions

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Coral Reef Studies