IMG_4427.jpg

THE BELLWOOD Reef Fish LAB

Reef Fish Ecology & Evolution

About Us

We are based at James Cook University, Townsville, Australia. Our lab focuses on the study of 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. 

The humphead maori wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus). © V. Huertas.

The humphead maori wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus). © V. Huertas.

Fossils of reef fishes. (A) Brembodus ridens, (B) Pycnosteroides levispinosus, (C) Eorandallius rectifrons, & (D) Chaetodon ficheuri. Source: Bellwood et al. 2015. The evolution of fishes on coral reefs: fossils, phylogenies and functions. In: Ecology of Fishes on Coral Reefs: The Functioning of an Ecosystem in a Changing World.

Fossils of reef fishes. (A) Brembodus ridens, (B) Pycnosteroides levispinosus, (C) Eorandallius rectifrons, & (D) Chaetodon ficheuri.

Source: Bellwood et al. 2015. The evolution of fishes on coral reefs: fossils, phylogenies and functions. In: Ecology of Fishes on Coral Reefs: The Functioning of an Ecosystem in a Changing World.


A lined surgeonfish (Acanthurus lineatus).    © S.B. Tebbett.

A lined surgeonfish (Acanthurus lineatus).    © S.B. Tebbett.

“Reefs as we know them are the consequence of changes in fish feeding abilities.

Prof. David R. Bellwood

Latest Publication

Parrotfishes feeding on a coral reef crest.

Parrotfishes feeding on a coral reef crest.

Algal turf sediments and sediment production by parrotfishes across the continental shelf of the northern great barrier reef

Tebbett S.B., Goatley C.H.R., Bellwood D.R.

PLoS One