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

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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f the world fails to reach net zero emissions by 2050, Australia could face potentially insurmountable challenges to its cities, ecosystems, industries and food and health systems. Read our media release: https://www.science.org.au/news-and-e… Read the report now: https://science.org.au/warmerworld

The Great Barrier Reef has experienced the third mass coral bleaching event in five years.

Research has found that marine heatwaves don’t just upset the delicate balance between a coral and its friendly microbes—they can cause the coral skeleton itself to decay.

Read more here.

Video by the Australian Academy on Sciences on our media release “Global warming disrupts recovery of coral reefs.

The damage caused to the Great Barrier Reef by global warming has compromised the capacity of its corals to recover, according to new research published today in Nature.

Prof Josh Cinner led a massive study of nearly 1,800 tropical coral reefs around the world, and found that marine reserves near heavily populated areas struggle to do their job – but are a vast improvement over having no protection at all. Read more: http://ow.ly/ETN530kvCgr

Credit: Dean Miller

Corals growing in high-latitude reefs in Western Australia can regulate their internal chemistry to promote growth under cooler temperatures, according to new research at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at The University of Western Australia by Claire Ross.
Read more here.
Credit: University of Western Australia Media Team

The world’s reefs are under siege from global warming, according to a novel study published today in the prestigious journal Science.

For the first time, an international team of researchers has measured the escalating rate of coral bleaching at locations throughout the tropics over the past four decades. The study documents a dramatic shortening of the gap between pairs of bleaching events, threatening the future existence of these iconic ecosystems and the livelihoods of many millions of people.

Video courtesy of Australian Academy of Science.

Media release here.

New research suggests an urgent need to find out why sea snakes are disappearing from known habitats, after it was discovered some seemingly identical sea snake populations are actually genetically distinct from each other and can’t simply repopulate if one group dies out.

Video produced by Australian Academy of Science

Media Release here

Congratulations to Assoc. Prof. Tracy Ainsworth from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies – Coral CoE at JCU, who has been awarded the 2018 Dorothy Hill Medal by the Australian Academy of Science.

Her research aims to determine the impact of environmental stress on reef-building corals, their host-microbe interactions, symbioses and disease outbreaks.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2yPBAzu

Credit: JCU Media

Declining water quality due to human activities threatens the health of coastal reefs globally. But, what does this mean for reef inhabitants such as the iconic damselfish?

Researchers at Coral CoE, led by PhD student Sybille Hess, examined three species of coral reef damselfishes. They found that all three species remodelled their gills in response to elevated suspended sediments levels.

Video courtesy of Australian Academy of Science

Blog Post here

Unprecedented coral bleaching in consecutive years has damaged two-thirds of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, aerial surveys have shown. The bleaching – or loss of algae – affects a 1,500km (900 miles) stretch of the reef, according to scientists. The latest damage is concentrated in the middle section, whereas last year’s bleaching hit mainly the north. Experts fear the proximity of the two events will give damaged coral little chance to recover.

Credit: BBC News

60 minutes’s special report on the recent Great Barrier Reef mass bleaching event.
The Great Barrier Reef has always been Australia’s great treasure. It’s not just beautiful, it’s also bountiful, and worth billions of dollars in tourism revenue. But now the largest living structure on the planet is becoming the largest dying structure.

Professor Terry Hughes on why he is an optimist when it comes to saving coral reefs.

Scientists say their worst fears have been confirmed as they assess the damage from coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.

Catalyst explores the lethal threat of bleaching to the Great Barrier Reef.


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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