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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Ryan Lowe

Ryan Lowe

Professor, Chief Investigator and Program 3 Leader

Ph.D. Stanford University • M.S. Stanford University • B.S. University of California

University of Western Australia

+61 (0)8 6488 2706

My research involves the study of how oceanic and atmospheric forcing drives the circulation and distribution of wave energy within a broad range of coastal systems (e.g., on beaches, coral reefs, rocky shorelines, and in estuaries). In most cases, this work is motivated by the need to improve our understanding of the coupling between hydrodynamics and other key processes occurring in marine environments, such as sediment transport, biogeochemical cycling and spatial ecology. As part of this work, I employ a wide range of field, laboratory and numerical modelling techniques. Major research interests include:
Coastal and estuarine hydrodynamics
Numerical modelling of waves and coastal circulation
Coastal sediment transport
Remote sensing of coastal systems
Benthic boundary layer and canopy flow dynamics
Biophysical interactions in marine systems

Link to researcher’s profile 


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Coral Reef Studies