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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Mario Conde-Frias

Mario Conde-Frias

PhD candidate

University of Western Australia


Born and raised in Barranquilla a coastal city in the North part of Colombia, Mario moved to the Capital of Colombia to complete a BSc in Physics. He then came back to his born city to pursuit a MSc in Applied Physics with concentration in Physical Oceanography. Now, Mario is PhD student at UWA in Perth, under the supervision of Prof. Ryan Lowe, his research focuses on the near-bed flow and sediment transport in large and complex bottom roughness.

Research Interest

My primary research interest has been the observation and modeling of nearshore processes, including the evolution of waves across the continental shelf to the shoreline, the corresponding wave-driven circulation generated by wave breaking, and subsequently changes to coastal morphology (e.g. sediment transport, beach erosion and accretion). For my PhD research, I am particularly interested in investigate the near-bed flow and sediment transport in large and complex bottom roughness that is common feature in coastal ecosystems, such as in coral reefs and seagrass meadows. Improving predictions of sediments transport in these environments is critically important to control the stability of the seabed (including coastal erosion) and the health of marine communities that form these ecosystems. However, the mechanics of sediment transport in the large and complex bottom roughness remains poorly understood, in large part because knowledge of sediment transport has been based largely on studies of sandy beach environments that ignore the effects of large bottom roughness. Therefore, it has become clear that the use of numerical models used to predict coastal sediment transport severely breakdown when applied to many coastal ecosystems. The goal of my research is to provide an additional insight into the sediment dynamics in these types of environments using innovative experimental techniques.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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