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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Marian Wong

Marian Wong

PhD Graduate

James Cook University

Marian Wong completed her BA in Zoology from the University of Cambridge, U.K. and then went on to conduct her PhD in Marine Biology at James Cook University under the supervision of Drs. Philip Munday and Geoff Jones. Her current research focuses on understanding the evolution of social and reproductive behaviour using fishes as model organisms. During her PhD, she used the coral-dwelling goby, Paragobiodon xanthosomus, to test key hypotheses for the evolution of monogamy, group-living and conflict resolution, using experimental techniques. Currently, she is based at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada where she is collaborating with Dr. Sigal Balshine in investigating various aspects of the social and reproductive behaviour of the African cichlid fish, Neolamprologus pulcher. This fascinating species exhibits a complex social system which makes it ideal for testing a broad range of theories for the evolution of cooperative behaviour, social aggression and the formation and maintenance of dominance relationships, as well as the molecular correlates of social behaviour.


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Coral Reef Studies