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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Taylor Whitman

Taylor Whitman

PhD Candidate

James Cook University

Taylor is originally from California, United States, where she grew up fascinated by the temperate oceans and Redwood forests. After primary school, she traveled to Hawai’i to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.
The major focus of her degree pertained to invertebrate biology and ecology, with a major focus on coral ecology and physiology. Her passion for tropical marine research led her to James Cook University (Townsville, Australia) to complete a Masters of Science in Marine Biology and Ecology degree. During this time, she completed a minor research project in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Marine biology, investigating the role of biochemicals cues from crustose coralline algae (CCA) to induce settlement of diverse coral taxa.
She published that work as first author in the journal Scientific Reports and her results reinforced our understanding of the inductive role of CCA for acroporid corals, while demonstrating a lack of induction in several other genera, suggesting that other environmental cues may be responsible for the induction of non-acroporid coral larvae on reefs. These experiences have led her to where she is today, a PhD candidate ready to explore the biological and environmental drivers of coral recruitment.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies