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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Margaux Hein

Margaux Hein

PhD candidate

Msc. Marine Biology. James Cook University 2014

James Cook University


Margaux grew up in Monaco playing basketball, skiing in the Alps, and eating croissants. She graduated with a Bachelor of Honours from the University of Queensland in 2010 after spending a year researching dung beetles’ responses to fragmentation in North Queensland’s rainforests. She then volunteered on various marine conservation programs in South Africa (Oceans Research), and Thailand  (NHRCP) and decided to come back to Australia to study Marine Biology. She completed her MSc at JCU in 2014 with a project looking at the “Effects of newly implemented marine protected areas on coral health and diversity in Koh Tao, Thailand”. She is now doing a PhD looking at the potential long-term socio-ecological benefits of active coral restoration and applications to the Great Barrier Reef.

Project title:

Characterising the effectiveness of coral restoration to build reef resilience: A socio-ecological perspective

Project description:

The project investigates if coral restoration projects can re-establish a functioning reef ecosystem delivering the ecological and socio-economic goods and services of a healthy coral reef. To do so, Margaux is surveying well-established coral restoration projects in Thailand (NHRCP), the Maldives (Reefscapers), Florida (Coral Restoration Foundation), and the Caribbean (The Nature Conservancy) using indicators of ecological, as well as socio-cultural and economic successes.

Another component of her research will involve consultation with coral reef managers at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to discuss the relevance of active intervention for managing the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

The results of her research will be used to produce a globally applicable bthumb_IMG_3138_1024est-practice guide to evaluate coral restoration effectiveness from a socio-ecological perspective. The guide will summarise the potential benefits of coral restoration, and the challenges to both reef managers and scientists in using reef restoration as a tool to secure and enhance the sustainable provision of reef ecosystem services.



Supervisors:thumb_IMG_2780_1024 (1)

Principal supervisor: Dr Alastair Birtles

Secondary supervisors: Professor Bette Willis, 

Dr Roger Beeden (GBRMPA), Dr Naomi Gardiner,

and Dr Nadine Marshall (CSIRO)

Publication list:

Hein MY, Birtles A, Willis BL, Gardiner N, Beeden R, Marshall NA (2019) Coral restoration: Socio-ecological perspectives of benefits and limitations. Biological Conservation 229:14-25

Boström-Einarsson L, Ceccarelli D, Babcock RC, Bayraktarov E, Cook N, Harrison P, Hein M, Shaver E, Smith A, Stewart-Sinclair P.J, Vardi T, McLeod IM (2018) Coral restoration in a changing world – A global synthesis of methods and techniques – A report for the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program, Subproject 1a – Review of existing technologies/pilots and new initiatives. 85pp.

Hein MY, Couture F, Scott CM (2018) Ecotourism and coral restoration: case studies from Thailand and the Maldives. In “Coral Reefs: Tourism, Conservation and Management”. 1st Edition Edited by Bruce Prideauxand Anja Pabel

Hein MY, Willis BL, Beeden R, Birtles A (2017) The need for broader ecological and socioeconomic tools to evaluate the effectiveness of coral restoration programs: Socioecological effectiveness of coral restoration revisited. Restoration Ecology doi: 10.1111/rec.12580

Hein MY, Lamb JB, Scott CM, Willis BL (2014) Assessing baseline levels of coral health in a newly established marine protected area in a global scuba diving hotspot DOI:10.1016/j.marenvres.2014.11.008

Lamb JB, Van de Water JAJM, Bourne DG, Altier C, Hein MY, Fiorenza EA, Abu N, Jompa J, Harvell DC (2017) Seagrass ecosystem reduce exposure to bacterial pathogens of human, fishes and invertebrates. Science 355:731-733 DOI: 10.1126/science.aal1956

Pollock FJ, Katz SM, van de Water JAJM, Davies SW, Hein MY, Torda G, Matz MV, Beltran VH, Bürger P, Pulli-Sephan E, Abrego D, Bourne DG, Willis BL (2017) Coral larvae for restoration and research: A large-scale method for rearing Acropora millepora larvae, inducing settlement, and establishing symbiosis Peerj.3732

Scott CM, Mehrotra R, Hein MY, Moerland MS, Hoeksema BW (2017) Population dynamics of corallivores (Drupella and Acanthaster) on coral reefs of Koh Tao, a diving destination in the Gulf of Thailand. Raffles Bulletin of Biology 65:68-79

Awards and Grants: 

Selected media:

Researchgate profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Margaux_Hein

Twitter: @MargauxHein

Appearance on French National TV news: Talking about bleaching

Newsletter article: http://www.newheavendiveschool.com/articles/volunteers-words-margaux/

Presentation at the GBR Restoration Symposium in Cairns- July 2018: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6CBWH7VGP4







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