1

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.

2

Ecosystem dynamics: past, present and future

Examining the multi-scale dynamics of reefs, from population dynamics to macroevolution

3

Responding to a changing world

Advancing the fundamental understanding of the key processes underpinning reef resilience.

Coral Bleaching

Coral Bleaching

Coral Reef Studies

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University Townsville
Queensland 4811 Australia

Phone: 61 7 4781 4000
Email: info@coralcoe.org.au

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People and ecosystems

IntroductionIntroduction PeoplePeople ProjectsProjects

Program 1: People and Ecosystems

Program Leaders: Professor Terry Hughes & Professor Bob Pressey

This program expands the scope of contemporary coral reef research, from a predominantly biological focus to a broader understanding of the links between coral reef ecosystems, the goods and services they provide to people, and the wellbeing of human societies.

The key objective is to improve the governance and management of natural systems and to enhance our capacity to sustain both human and natural capital.

Our research examines the economic, social, historical and cultural aspects of resource use and governance, while recognising that there is no simple, single solution to the wicked problem of preserving reefs while promoting development.

This inter-disciplinary program is being conducted on a global scale with study areas spread over 25 countries across the Indo-Pacific and Caribbean.

Research Themes

Social Adaptation, Resilience and Transformation – Examines the resilience and adaptive capacity of coral reef dependent societies across the tropic to inevitable change, particularly climate change and overfishing.

Integrated Land-Sea Planning – A primary goal is developing a new conceptual framework for planning human activities in coastal areas and seascapes, particularly in Australia, the Coral Triangle, Fiji and India.

Fish, Fishers and Fisheries – Aims to develop theory and test new models for understanding the dynamics of coupled ecological and social systems, where one or both components exhibit threshold dynamics.

People

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Terry Hughes

Terry Hughes

Professor, Centre Director and Program 1 Leader

James Cook University

+61 (0)7 4781 4000

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Bob Pressey

Bob Pressey

Professor; Chief Investigator and Program 1 Leader

James Cook University

+61 (0)7 4781 6194

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Jorge G. Álvarez-Romero

Jorge G. Álvarez-Romero

Research Fellow

James Cook University

+61 07 4781 6517

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Neil Andrews

Neil Andrews

Pacific Director and Partner Investigator

WorldFish

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Michele Barnes

Michele Barnes

Visiting Research Fellow

University of Hawaii/ James Cook University

+61 (0)7 4781 6328

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David Bellwood

David Bellwood

Professor and Chief Investigator

James Cook University

+61 (0)7 4781 5729

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Jessica Blythe

Jessica Blythe

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

James Cook University/ WorldFish

+61 (0)7 4781 3198

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Jana Brotankova

Jana Brotankova

Research Associate

James Cook University

+61 (0)7 4781 5222

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Joshua Cinner

Joshua Cinner

Professorial Research Fellow and Chief Investigator

James Cook University

+61 (0)7 4781 6751

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Philippa Cohen

Philippa Cohen

Research Fellow

James Cook University & WorldFish

+61 (0)7 4781 3197

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Graeme S. Cumming

Graeme S. Cumming

Professor and Coral Reef Research Leader

James Cook University

+61 (0)7 4781 6072

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Mike Fabinyi

Mike Fabinyi

Former Research Fellow

James Cook University

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Georgina Gurney

Georgina Gurney

Environmental Social Science Research Fellow

James Cook University

+61 (0)7 4781 6483

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Mélanie A. Hamel

Mélanie A. Hamel

Research Consultant, Adjunct Research Fellow

James Cook University

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Cindy Huchery

Cindy Huchery

Senior Research Scientist

James Cook University

+61 (0)7 4781 3189

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Geoff P. Jones

Geoff P. Jones

Professor and Chief Investigator

James Cook University

+61 (0)7 4781 4559

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James Kerry

James Kerry

Senior Research Officer

James Cook University

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Laurence McCook

Laurence McCook

Adjunct Principal Research Fellow; President's International Visiting Professorial Fellow

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies; Chinese Academy of Sciences

+61 408 804765 (Australia)

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David Mills

David Mills

Visiting Research Fellow

WorldFish

+61 (0)7 4781 6747

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Tiffany Morrison

Tiffany Morrison

Research Leader of Social Science

James Cook University

+61 (0)7 4781 6825

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John Pandolfi

John Pandolfi

Professor, Chief Investigator and Program 2 Leader

University of Queensland

+61 (0)7 3365 3050

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Garry Russ

Garry Russ

Professor and Chief Investigator

James Cook University

+61 (0)7 4781 4432

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Andrew Song

Andrew Song

Research Fellow – Regional Governance of Fisheries

James Cook University, Townsville

+61 7 4781 6483

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Rebecca Weeks

Rebecca Weeks

Research Fellow

James Cook University

+61 7 4781 6134

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Amelia Wenger

Amelia Wenger

Former Research Fellow

James Cook University

+61 (0)7 4781 6143

Program 1: People and Ecosystems

Members of this program work across a range of themes (see introduction). Some are also part of individual research groups (below).

Individual Research Groups

The Conservation Planning Group, led by Bob Pressey:

Kubulau community MPA planning_270111We focus on spatial solutions to diverse resource management problems, involving the design of conservation areas and applications of a variety of conservation actions. In designing and conducting our research, we place a high value on engagement with managers and policy makers, from local communities to local, state and federal governments and non-government organizations. Our blog features regular updates about our research and collaborations.

 

The Bellwood Lab, led by David Bellwood:

ParrotfishOur lab focuses on reef fish ecology, ecosystem function and resilience. Our approach is eclectic, ranging from molecular phylogenetics and global biogeography to functional morphology and behavioural ecology. Yet we are all united by a single focus – to understand the role of biodiversity in ecosystem function and to find novel solutions to the problems faced by coral reefs. Our ultimate goal is to understand how coral reefs work, to identify the critical roles of fishes in coral reef ecosystems, and to develop new approaches to reef management that will include people as part of the solution.

 

Cinner Research Group, led by Josh Cinner:

joshcinner-pageOur research group focuses on the interface between social science and ecology to develop solutions for a wide range of issues facing coral reefs and the millions of people who depend on them. We integrate theories and methods from geography, economics, political science, ecology, and modeling to explore issues at the forefront of applied conservation. Our social science research is rigorous, quantitative, comparative in nature, and often conducted at extremely large scales.

 

Marine Palaeoecology Lab, led by John Pandolfi:

parrotfish_flickrIn the marine Palaeoecology Lab we conduct investigations into the effects of natural and anthropogenic climate change, as well as other anthropogenic stressors, on tropical and sub-tropical reefs in a historical context. Coral reefs are experiencing increasing degradations, but systematic studies of these amazing environments are only recent. To really know how these environments looked like before human influence we need to be creative in the use of tools that give us an insight into the recent past (hundreds to thousands of years) as well as the deep past (hundreds of thousands to millions of years). Historical ecology, along with fossil records and genetic studies allow us to establish appropriate baselines for the study and management of marine ecosystems.

 

Environmental Governance Group, led by Tiffany Morrison:

courier mailWe focus on understanding and improving complex environmental governance regimes. We draw on the disciplines of political science, public administration, geography, and sociology to explore specific national cases and transnational trends across the US, Australia, Asia, and Europe. This systematic comparative approach is generating important contributions to governance theory and practice, particularly in relation to scale, power, and institutional change. We also work closely with a range of physical, natural, and social scientists and policymakers on inter-disciplinary and applied approaches to environmental governance problems.

Seminars

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Australian Research Council Pandora

Partner Research Institutions

Partner Partner Partner Partner
Coral Reef Studies

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University Townsville
Queensland 4811 Australia

Phone: 61 7 4781 4000
Email: info@coralcoe.org.au