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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Melissa Hampton-Smith

Melissa Hampton-Smith

PhD student

James Cook University, Townsville

Born in Australia, I have lived in Egypt, Tanzania and now Germany since 2011. Along the way I completed a Bachelor of Social Sciences and Master of Environmental Science, as well as working as a professional diver in the Red Sea and the Western Indian Ocean. My Master research looked at the reduction of blast fishing in Tanzania on coastal fishing communities and involved conducting household and reef surveys along the length of Tanzania’s coastline. During my Master degree I published a literature review of the global impact and distribution of blast fishing and received a grant from the Rufford Foundation for data collection in Tanzania. Having just started my PhD with Professor Joshua Cinner and Doctor Georgina Gurney as supervisors, I am looking forward to exploring my research interests which lie in the management of marine coastal areas, as well as in examining the ways in which socio-ecological systems function in changing environments.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies