Students and staff in the Reef and Ocean Ecology Laboratory largely focus on whole organism marine ecology. The emphasis of those in the laboratory is on ecological questions that relate to reef fishes, the habitats they live in and the degree to which they are protected. We also work on the oceanographic links between populations of fishes and invertebrates. As a result of venturing into the pelagic environment we have also had many projects on the ecology jellyfishes, including those that are dangerous to humans.
The main campus of James Cook University is based on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). As a result, therefore we have access so some the most beautiful and diverse coral reefs in the world. The reef extends over 2000 km and, at last count, includes about 2500 individual reefs. This matrix of reefs that in some cases extend hundreds of kilometres from the coast, provides amazing opportunities for research on whole reef assemblages as well as individual groups and species of fishes and invertebrates. The coastal regions of Queensland also offer a plethora of opportunity to our research group in that here we find deadly jellyfish and fishes that spend some time in estuaries and the rest of lives in reefal waters of the GBR.
The intent of this web site is to explain more about what this research group does, the people, and some of the projects we are undertaking. There are also images of where we work, Townsville and it surroundings and some of our favourite study animals; there are also some sources for background information on reef-based organisms and ecosystems. If you would like to work with us we also provide some details on how to get involved in the JCU postgraduate program.
One of our papers received a good reception from the Journal of Fish Biology: Published in the section of the journal entitled ‘Between the covers’ Tropical inshore seascapes are truly captivating environments, and they conjure up images of pristine blue waters punctuated with the vibrant colours of reef fish. These properties often make tropical inshore seascapes the dream study system for many fish biologists. In addition to the inspiring aesthetics, tropical inshore seascapes support a rich ...Read
Some fish do well after cyclones. An international team demonstrates that changes in habitats drive connectivity. Neon damselfish flourish rubble slopes and export babies to other reefs until live coral recovers. https://tinyurl.com/367w4f8u ...Read
A world first study within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park has found limited fishing zones (yellow zones) are still important conservation and fisheries management tools when paired with no-fishing zones. Lead author Dr April Hall, from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University (Coral CoE at JCU), said partially protected yellow zones still contain healthy numbers of reef fish targeted for recreational and commercial fishing. These include coral trout, tropi ...Read