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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Samuel Payet

Samuel Payet

PhD Graduate

James Cook University

Sam grew up in North-West Australia on a plantation in the small coastal town of Carnarvon. He was given free rein to explore on weekends and quickly developed a curiosity for the ocean through fishing and diving. In 2014 Sam completed a BSc. (Hons.) in Marine Science at Curtin University where he studied hybrid reef fish at Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. He then worked as a research intern at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. This time, studying colour polymorphism in coral reef fish. Upon returning home Sam spent a memorable year living in a shack in Shark Bay, Western Australia. He worked as an Aquarist and Dive Master in the world heritage site and after spending a little too long away from civilization he decided it was time to do a PhD. Sam started at JCU in 2017 and is studying the role of natural selection and hybridisation in the evolution of Coral Trout (Genus: Plectropomus). His research is based in the Coral Sea where he hopes to combine genetic and ecological tools to study these iconic species.


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Coral Reef Studies