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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Mia Comeros

Mia Comeros

PhD candidate

James Cook University

Mia grew up in Cebu, Philippines where she completed her BSc in Marine Biology at the University of San Carlos. She spent the next couple of years after college working with local fishermen in the islands of the central Philippines looking at trends in artisanal fisheries catches and implications of implementing place-based management options such as MPAs. She then moved to Norfolk, Virginia to complete her Masters with Prof. Kent Carpenter at Old Dominion University where she looked at the drivers of extinction risk in a suite of marine fishes. Her Master’s thesis was on identifying key predictors of extinction risk in seabreams and porgies (Family: Sparidae). While stationed in Virginia, Mia worked extensively with the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and its global partners, helping compile information for, facilitate assessment workshops, and publish over 5,000 marine species and maps on the Red List website. It was through work with the IUCN that Mia met one of her supervisors, Prof. Howard Choat, who helped foster and encouraged her high affinity for parrotfishes. Mia moved to American Samoa in 2014 where she worked as Research Scientist for the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency (AS-EPA). While with the EPA, she led multiple island-wide projects looking at Ridge to Reef ecosystem health connections, developed a Territorial geospatial framework for climate change adaptation, and co-authored a marine debris action plan for the Territory. She is currently studying the processes driving abundance and assemblage structure of parrotfishes and surgeonfishes in American Samoa under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Hoey, Prof. Howard Choat, and Prof. Garry Russ.


Lavides, M.N., Polunin, N.V.C., Stead, S.M., Tabaranza, D.G., Comeros, M.T. and Dongallo, J.R. 2010. Finfish disappearances around Bohol, Philippines inferred from traditional ecological knowledge. Environmental Conservation 36 (3): 235-244

Comeros-Raynal, M., Choat, J.H., Polidoro, B., Clements, K.D., Abesamis, R., et al. 2012. The likelihood of extinction of iconic and dominant herbivores and detritivores of coral reefs: The Parrotfishes and Surgeonfishes. PLoS ONE 7 (7): e39825

Corrigan, C., Ardron, J., Comeros-Raynal, M., Hoyt, E., Notarbartolo di Sciara, G. and Carpenter, K. 2014. Working towards the development of Important Marine Mammal criteria: what can be learned from Ecologically or Biologically Significant Areas and Key Biodiversity Areas? Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 24 (Supplement 2): 166-183

Butchart, S.H.M., Clarke, M., Smith, R.J., Sykes, R.E., Scharlemann, J.P.W., Harfoot, M., Buchanan, G.M., Angulo, A., Balmford, A., Bertzky, B., Brooks, T.M., Carpenter, K.E., Comeros-Raynal, M.T., et al. 2015. Shortfalls and Solutions for Meeting National and Global Conservation Area Targets. Conservation Letters DOI: 10.1111/conl.12158.

Nieto, A., Ralph, G.M., Comeros-Raynal, M.T., Kemp, J., García Criado, M., Allen, D.J., Dulvy, N.K., Walls, R.H.L., Russell, B., Pollard, D., García, S., Craig, M., Collette, B.B., Pollom, R., Biscoito, M., Labbish Chao, N., Abella, A., Afonso, P., Álvarez, H., Carpenter, K.E., et al. 2015. European Red List of marine fishes. Luxembourg: Publications of the Office of the European Union.

Comeros-Raynal, M.T., Polidoro, B., Broatch, J., Mann, B.Q., Gorman, C., Buxton, C.D., Goodpaster, A.M., Iwatsuki, Y., MacDonald, T., Pollard, D., Russell, B. and Carpenter, K.E. 2016. Key Predictors of Extinction Risk in Sea Breams and Porgies (Family: Sparidae). Biological Conservation http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2016.08.027.

Beth A. Polidoro, Mia T. Comeros-Raynal, Thomas Cahill, Cassandra Clement, et al. 2017. Land-based sources of marine pollution: pesticides, PAHs and phthalates in coastal stream water, and heavy metals in coastal stream sediments in America Samoa. Marine Pollution Bulletin. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.12.058

Raynal, J.M., Levine, A.S., Comeros-Raynal, M.T. 2017. American Samoa’s Marine Managed Areas: Designing and assessing marine resource management in a multi-level governance system. Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13880292.2016.1248679

Beth A. Polidoro, Gina Ralph, Kyle Strongin, Michael Harvey, Kent E. Carpenter, Titus Ayo Adeofe, Rachel Arnold, Paul Bannerman, Jean Noel Bibang Bi Nguema, Jack R. Buchanan, Khairdine Camara, Bruce B. Collette, Mia T. Comeros-Raynal, et al. 2017. The Status of Marine Biodiversity in the Eastern Central Atlantic. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Research. https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.2744

Paul G. Fernandes, Gina M. Ralph, Ana Nieto, Mariana García Criado, Paraskevas Vasilakopoulo, Christos D. Maravelias, Robin Cook, Nick Dulvy, Riley A. Pollom, Marcelo Kovačić, David Pollard, Edward D. Farrell, Ann-Britt Florin, Beth A. Polidoro, Julia M. Lawson, Pascal Lorance, Franz Uiblein, Matthew Craig, David J. Allen, Sarah Fowler, Rachel Walls, Mia T. Comeros-Raynal, et al. In Press. Loss of megafauna and regional discrepancy in status of Europe’s marine fishes. Nature Ecology and Evolution.

Stephanie R. Januchowski-Hartley, Mia T. Comeros-Raynal, Kimberly A. Selkoe, Christopher E. Bird and J Derek Hogan. In review. Tracking changes in high human impact for an ecologically and culturally important reef fish group. Diversity and Distributions.


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