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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Jorge G. Álvarez-Romero

Jorge G. Álvarez-Romero


Research Fellow


Research Fellow, ARC CoE Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University (2012 to date)

Casual research and GIS support, TropWater, James Cook University (2011-2012)

Mexico’s CITES Scientific Authority Coordinator, CONABIO (2003-2008)


PhD, James Cook University (2012)


Program 1: People and Ecosystems; The Conservation Planning Group


James Cook University



+61 07 4781 6517



Professional experience

Research Fellow, NESP Northern Australia, ARC CoE Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University (2016 to date)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, NERP Northern Australia, ARC CoE Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University (2012-2015)

Casual research and GIS support, Marine Monitoring Program, TropWater, James Cook University (2011-2012)

Mexico’s CITES Scientific Authority Coordinator, CONABIO (2003-2008)

Curriculum vitae

Social media

Google ScholarResearch Portfolio | Research Gate | Blog

Short bio

Jorge was born and grew up in Mexico. He completed his BSc in Biology at the National University of Mexico (UNAM) with research on invasive terrestrial vertebrates. He then did a Masters in management, conservation and international wildlife trade at the International University of Andalusia (UNIA), Spain. His PhD in Systematic Conservation Planning (James Cook University) focused on marine conservation planning in the Gulf of California, Mexico, and involved a review and further development of planning exercises undertaken in the region with an integrated land-sea planning perspective. Previous work experience includes conservation, management, and sustainable use and trade of wildlife. Jorge is currently working at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies as part of the Conservation Planning Research Group.

Research Interests

My broad interests regard planning for the sustainable use of natural resources to achieve biodiversity conservation and development goals. I am interested in contributing to further develop systematic conservation planning theory and practice through the integration of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine conservation planning.

My research explores theoretical and methodological aspects of decision-making problems associated with an integrated land-sea planning approach, such as integrating cross-system threats (e.g. how land-based threats affect marine and freshwater ecosystems), identifying co-benefits and trade-offs associated with land/water use and management decisions (e.g. spatial congruence between local and downstream values), and improving collaboration among diverse stakeholders with diverse (and sometimes conflicitng) goals. My research covers marine conservation planning, including the development of novel approaches to designing marine reserve networks considering ecological connectivity and the effects of global warming.

Selected publications 

Álvarez-Romero, J. G., R. L. Pressey, N. C. Ban, K. Vance-Borland, C. Willer, C. J. Klein, S. D. Gaines. 2011. Integrated land-sea conservation planning: the missing links. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 42: 381-409

Álvarez-Romero, J. G., A. Munguía-Vega, M. Beger, M. Mancha-Cisneros, A. Suárez-Castillo, G. Gurney, R. L. Pressey, L. R. Gerber, H. Morzaria-Luna, H. Reyes-Bonilla, V. M. Adams, M. Kolb, E. Graham, J. VanDerWal, A. Castillo-López, G. Hinojosa-Arango, D. Petatán-Ramírez, M. Moreno-Baez, C. Godínez-Reyes, J. Torre. 2017. Designing connected marine reserves in the face of global warming. Global Change Biology 00: 1–21

Hughes, T. P., J. T. Kerry, M. Álvarez-Noriega, J. G. Álvarez-Romero, K. D. Anderson, A. H. Baird et al. 2017. Global warming and recurrent mass bleaching of corals. Nature 543 (7645): 373-7

Adams, V. M., R. L. Pressey, J. G. Álvarez-Romero. 2016. Using optimal land-use scenarios to assess trade-offs between conservation, development, and social values. PLoS ONE 11(6): e0158350

Álvarez-Romero, J. G., R. L. Pressey, N. C. Ban, J. Brodie. 2015. Advancing land-sea conservation planning: integrating modelling of catchments, land-use change, and river plumes to prioritise catchment management and protection. PLoS ONE 10(12): e0145574

Álvarez-Romero, J. G., V. M. Adams, R. L. Pressey, M. Douglas, A. Dale, A. Auge, et al. 2015. Integrated cross-realm planning: a decision-makers’ perspective. Biological Conservation 191: 799-808

Gurney, G., R. L. Pressey, N. C. Ban,  J. G. Álvarez-Romero, S. Jupiter, V. Adams. 2015. Integrating socioeconomic considerations into conservation planning: stakeholders-specific objectives produced more efficient and equitable designs in a marine protected area case study from Fiji. Conservation Biology 29: 1378-1389

Stoeckl, N., T. Chaiechi, M. Farr, D. Jarvis, J. G. Álvarez-Romero, M. J. Kennard, V. Hermoso, R. L. Pressey. 2015. Co-benefits and trade-offs between agriculture and conservation: a case study in Northern Australia. Biological Conservation 191: 478-494

Álvarez-Romero, J. G., S. N. Wilkinson, R. L. Pressey, N. C. Ban, J. Kool, J. Brodie. 2014. Modeling catchment nutrients and sediment loads to inform regional management of water quality in coastal-marine ecosystems: a comparison of two approaches. Journal of Environmental Management 146: 164-178

Adams, V. M., J. G. Álvarez-Romero, J. Carwardine, L. Cattarino, V. Hermoso, M. J. Kennard, S. Linke, R. L. Pressey, and N. Stoeckl. 2014. Planning across freshwater and terrestrial realms: co-benefits and tradeoffs between conservation actions. Conservation Letters 7: 425-440

Mills, M., J. G. Álvarez-Romero, K. Vance-Borland, H. Ernstson, P. Cohen, A. Guerrero, R. L. Pressey. 2014. Linking regional planning and local action: towards using social network analysis in systematic conservation planning. Biological Conservation 169: 6-13

Álvarez-Romero, J. G., R. L. Pressey, N. C. Ban, J. Torre-Cosío, O. Aburto-Oropeza. 2013. Marine conservation planning in practice: lessons learned from the Gulf of California. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 23: 483-505

Visconti, P., M. Di Marco, J. G. Álvarez-Romero, S. R. Januchowski-Hartley, R. L. Pressey, R. Weeks, C. Rondinini. 2013. Effects of errors and gaps in spatial data sets on assessment of conservation progress. Conservation Biology 27: 1000-1010

Álvarez-Romero, J. G., M. Devlin, E. Teixeira da Silva, C. Petus, N. C. Ban, R. L. Pressey, J. Kool, J. J. Roberts, S. Cerdeira-Estrada, A. S. Wenger, J. Brodie. 2013. A novel approach to model exposure of coastal-marine ecosystems to riverine flood plumes based on remote sensing techniques. Journal of Environmental Management 119: 194-207

Ban, N. C., S. Januchowski-Hartley, J. G. Álvarez-Romero, M. Mills, R. L. Pressey, S. Linke, D. de Freitas. 2013. Marine and freshwater conservation planning: from representation to persistence. In: Conservation Planning: Shaping the Future. L. Craighead and C. Convis (editors). ESRI Press, Redlands, CA

Current projects

Multi-objective planning in northern Australia: Given proposed expansion of developments in northern Australia and the potential tensions among stakeholders, there is a need to develop and trial spatially explicit tools to guide planning and management that support multiple uses of land and water, while maintaining environmental and cultural values. This project aims to demonstrate how to operationalise multi-objective catchment planning, by which stakeholders can collaboratively construct and assess the outcomes of alternative development and management scenarios (including identifying co-benefits and trade-offs between objectives). We are following a participatory scenario planning approach in close collaboration with stakeholders in the Fitzroy River catchment, Kimberley Region, Western Australia.

Marine reserve networks in the Gulf of California: Overfishing and climate change threaten marine biodiversity and fisheries. Addressing these problems is critical in areas of high species richness and endemicity, such as the Midriff Islands, Gulf of California (Mexico), where livelihoods of coastal communities are threatened by depletion of fish stocks and potential loss of species associated with climate change. In collaboration with fishers, government agencies, and NGOs, we are guiding the design and implementation of a network of marine reserves for this priority conservation area. We developed a novel approach to designing marine reserve networks that consider the effects of ocean warming on larval connectivity (see video).

Collaboration networks and natural resource management: Collaborative networks are widely suggested as a key factor affecting the success of natural resource management (NRM) and conservation projects. Social network analysis (SNA) can be useful to study social relationships and interpreting their implications for NRM. Through the integration of SNA and other analytical methods, we are improving our understanding of collaboration networks in northern Australia. Our results can be useful to planners to identify key actors to facilitate engagement with diverse stakeholder groups, identify missing actors, and find ways to enable collaboration.

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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