[Coral-List] James Cook University wins prestigious ARC Centre of Excellence

Andrew Baird andrew.baird at jcu.edu.au
Wed Jun 15 11:16:25 EDT 2005

James Cook University wins prestigious ARC Centre of Excellence 

The Australian Research Council has announced major new funding for coral
reef science, establishing an international Centre of Excellence
headquartered at James Cook University, in Townsville.  The new Centre,
entitled ARC Centre of Excellence  Innovative science for sustainable
management of coral reef biodiversity will replace the existing Centre for
Coral Reef Biodiversity at JCU, and is strategically located adjacent to
the Great Barrier Reef and reef systems in Asia and the Pacific.  The
budget for the Centre of Excellence will be approximately A$40 million over
the next 5 years.  The bid for the Centre was led by Professor Terry Hughes
(JCU), who will be the inaugural Director.

The Centre of Excellence will cement Australia’s leading contribution to
coral reef sciences, and foster stronger collaborative links between James
Cook University and 28 other leading institutions in nine countries.
According to ISI Essential Science Indicators, JCU ranks 1st in the world
(among 1644 institutions in 103 countries) for citations in coral reef
science (http://www.esi-topics.com/coralreef/inst/c1a.html).  Three other
Australian institutions will be partners in the new Centre of Excellence
(the Australian Institute of Marine Science, the Australian National
University, and the University of Queensland).  Collectively, the JCU-led
Centre will create the world’s largest concentration of coral reef scientists.

The Centre of Excellence will focus initially on 5 research programs, each
one under the stewardship of Program Leaders from James Cook University,
the Australian National University and the University of Queensland:

Program 1: Evolutionary and environmental change (Associate Director
Malcolm McCulloch, ANU) 
Program 2: Understanding and managing coral reef biodiversity (Prof David
Bellwood, JCU) 
Program 3: Marine reserves and reef connectivity (A/Prof Garry Russ, JCU) 
Program 4: Genetic, molecular and physiological processes (Associate
Director Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, UQ)  
Program 5: Resilience of linked social-ecological systems (Director Terry
Hughes, JCU)

The Centre of Excellence will take a leading role in multi-national
research programs.  It will be, by far, the largest single institutional
contributor to the Global Coral Reef Targeted Research Program funded by
the World Bank.  The Centre of Excellence will replace the current JCU
Centre for Coral Reef Biodiversity as an Institutional Member of the
Resilience Alliance.  The Centre of Excellence will have strong links to
the Census of Marine Life project, and to coral reef management agencies
worldwide, particularly the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in

Contact: Mr. Jim O’Brien, JCU Media (61-747814822), jim.obrien at jcu.edu.au

Dr Andrew H. Baird, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Coral Reef
Biodiversity, School of Marine Biology and Aquaculture, James Cook
University, Townsville, Qld, 4811, Australia. Tel + 617 47814857, Fax:  +
617 47251570, email: andrew.baird at jcu.edu.au 

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