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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Samantha Aird

Samantha Aird

PhD Graduate

BA/Hons and PhD

James Cook University

+61 7 4781 4266

Samantha’s research interests rest across the fields of archaeology and marine science. Her passion for tropical marine environments and cultural heritage led to the completion of her undergraduate degree (BA (hons) Archaeology) at James Cook University in 2014. Samantha’s PhD research focuses on the long-term importance and resilience of marine resources in socio-ecological settings. Her PhD study site is one of the most significant archaeology sites in the Great Barrier Reef due to its size and age – Woppaburra’s Mazie Bay midden, North Keppel Island. Radiocarbon dates confirm Woppaburra’s Mazie Bay midden to be at least 5000-years-old. More specifically, Samantha employs morphometric, sclerochronology, and stable isotope techniques to reconstruct palaeoclimates using archaeological mollusc remains. She completed a 5-month internship at the Australian Museum’s Lizard Island Research Station in 2016-2017 and continues to work as a research assistant on archaeological material from key Papua New Guinea sites. Her PhD supervisory panel includes A/Prof. Katherine Szabó (Monash University), Dr Andrew Hoey (JCU), Dr Patrick Faukner (University of Sydney), A/Prof. Mike Rowland (JCU) and Dr Amy Prendergast (University of Melbourne).


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