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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Paola G Rachello-Dolmen

Paola G Rachello-Dolmen

PhD Graduate

University of Queensland

Paola is originally from Bogota (Colombia) but rose by Italian parents. She completed her BSc (Hons) in Biology at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and her MSc in Biological Sciences at the University of Amsterdam. Then, she and her partner Alberto moved to Brisbane where she completed her PhD in Marine Science at The University of Queensland under the supervision of John M. Pandolfi, Winston F. Ponder and Vera Weisbecker. Her research looked at microgastropods (<5mm) found as fossils in sedimentary cores and in modern death assemblages collected in Moreton Bay, a heavily impacted marine region of subtropical Queensland, Australia. She established the temporal and spatial variability of species diversity and taxonomic composition prior to and following European settlement (~1840). An inventory of 53,260 specimens belonging to 219 species was recorded. Micromollusc abundances were linked to key environmental parameters (substrate, nitrogen, temperature, turbidity and depth), traits (shape, sculpture, distribution, and feeding type) and Holocene assemblages had persistent community composition from 7500 to 160 yrsBP. Community shifts are interpreted to be the result of declining water quality from human impacts. Currently, Paola is working as a Post-doctoral Research Associate for Dr. Ethan L. Grossman and Dr. Aaron O’Dea at Texas A&M University and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Her current research focused on the environmental drivers of Neogene biotic turnover in the Caribbean.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies