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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Tessa Hill

Tessa Hill

PhD candidate

MSc Marine Biology – James Cook University; BSc Environmental Science – University of East Anglia, England

James Cook University

Originally from the UK, Tessa Hill completed a BSc in Environmental Science at the University of East Anglia. She then worked in agriculture, and land management and conservation, both in the UK and in Australia, before moving to work with the marine environment. Tessa’s research looks at the interactions corals make with other corals and other taxa, which affect both how a reef looks and how it functions. She focuses on both competition for resources, and predator-prey relationships. Comparing healthy reefs to those which have been affected by climate change or other environmental stressors, Tessa measures the differences in frequency and intensity of these interactions to identify how reefs might look in the future. This work is designed to identify whether scaling up the findings of experimental studies to a reef level will give us an accurate picture of what the reef will look like in the future, or whether these interactions can either mitigate or exacerbate these effects.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies