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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Rachel King

Rachel King

PhD Candidate

BAdvSc, BPhil, Msc, PhD candidate

Project Phoenix - https://coralprojectphoenix.org/
Cowman Lab Group - https://petercowman.weebly.com/

James Cook University


Originally from Sydney, Rachel has had a strong passion for ocean conservation since she was very young. She started pursuing her dream at Macquarie University completing a Bachelor of Advanced Science with a specialization in biology and a Bachelor of Philosophy before moving to Townsville to finish her studies, completing a Master of Science. Mid-year 2021 she began her Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Tom Bridge, Dr. Peter Cowman, and Prof. Andrew Baird. Rachel has broad interests in the conservation, biodiversity, and biogeography of coral reef systems. Her project titled, “An Integrated Taxonomic Approach to Understanding the Biodiversity and Biogeography of Australian Reef Corals”, will use novel phylogenetic techniques to answer key taxonomic and evolutionary questions about the history and future of corals on the Great Barrier Reef. Rachel’s desk is located in building 19; room 123, or is contactable via email.


Awards and Grants:

Australian Coral Reef Society Travel award

James Cook University Research Training Program Stipend

David Yellowlees Excellence in Research Award



Dr Tom Bridge (ARC, QMN)

Dr Peter Cowman (ARC, QMN)

Prof Andrew Baird (ARC)





Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies