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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Tracy Ainsworth

Tracy Ainsworth

Former Science Fellow

ARC Super Science Fellow (2012-2015)
ARC Postdoctoral ResearchFellow (2008-2012),

James Cook University

+61 (0)7 4781 4442

I am a Senior Research Fellow studying meta-organism response to environmental stressors, host-microbe interactions, and symbioses in the marine environment. My research aims to determine how host-microbe interactions influence organism physiology, adaptation and acclimation, and responses to climate change.



Research Areas: Stress biology, Cell biology, Immunity, Disease, Symbiosis 

The main focus of my research is to investigate the cellular and molecular response’s of corals to environmental stressors as a means to better understand the impact of climate change and disease in reef ecosystems.


Student projects are available in the following research areas

Publications online

Selected Publications


Australian Research Council Pandora

Partner Research Institutions

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Coral Reef Studies