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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Sybille Hess

Sybille Hess


James Cook University, Townsville

Sybille’s PhD research investigates the effects of declining water quality, in particular increasing levels of suspended sediments, on the physiology and behaviour of coral reef fishes. She is especially interested in how suspended sediments may change gill morphology and the consequences this may have for oxgyen uptake, metabolic performance and predator escape performance in juveniles. Sybille is originally from Switzerland, where she completed a Bachelor’s degree in ecology and evolution before relocating to Townsville. After completing a Master’s degree by coursework in coral reef studies at JCU, she started her PhD under the supervision of Dr Jodie Rummer, Dr Andrew Hoey and Dr Amelia Wenger.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies