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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Zoe Loffler

Zoe Loffler

PhD graduate

James Cook University

Zoe grew up diving in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria. In search of sunnier skies and warmer weather, she moved to Townsville to study Marine Biology at JCU in 2010. She completed her honours year with Dr. Andrew Hoey and Prof. David Bellwood in 2013, studying the influence of habitat and macroalgal associations on herbivore foraging decisions. After working as a research assistant at MACRO – the Centre for Macroalgal Resources and Biotechnology for a year, she decided to start her PhD in 2015 under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Hoey and Prof. Morgan Pratchett. Her PhD is focussed on the effect of canopy forming macroalgae on fish behaviour and benthic succession on coral reefs. Specifically, how the removal of macroalgae from naturally occurring stands affects the surrounding fish and benthic community, and whether coral reef herbivores are able to prevent the return of macroalgae in manually cleared patches.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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Coral Reef Studies