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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Sam Burgess

Sam Burgess

PhD Graduate

Australian National University

Sam grew up moving around four States and Territories in Australia before moving to South Australia to complete undergraduate studies in geology and environmental biology at the University of Adelaide. She moved to New Zealand to complete an MSc in marine ecology at the University of Auckland, examining the biogeography and reproductive ecology of deep-sea coral with Russ Babcock. Sam took a break from study for a year to work as a marine consultant for the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI). Continuing on with the cold-water coral theme, she started a PhD in 2003 at the Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University with Malcolm McCulloch, Mike Gagan and Tim Ward (from SARDI). The project was investigating the geochemical ecology of a high-latitude species of coral, commonly found in temperate waters around Australia. Sam enjoys spending her spare time outdoors, preferably by the ocean, doing something active such as diving, hiking or mountain biking. She is pursuing a post-doctoral fellowship at Oxford, building on her geochemical and ecological background in paleoenvironmental archives.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies