Ecology of fishes and coral reefs

Coral reefs are one of the most visually appealing, yet threatened ecosystems in the world. In our lab we look beyond the colour (except for PhD student Christopher Hemingson who is looking at the colouration of reef fishes) and view the organisms which make up coral reefs as machines. By studying the morphology, behaviour and ecosystem interactions of various coral reef organisms we can determine why, where, when and how coral reef organisms perform particular functions. Many such functions are vital in maintaining resilient coral reefs. Additionally we assess how various stressors on coral reef environments affect organisms performing their respective functions and how this may influence coral reef systems as a whole. By understanding the ecology of coral reefs in this manner we gain important insights into how they function and how coral reefs can be managed in a changing world.     

A steephead parrotfish  Chlorurus microrhinos . © J.P. Krajewski.

A steephead parrotfish Chlorurus microrhinos. © J.P. Krajewski.

Featured Articles

Bellwood, D. R., Hughes, T. P., Folke, C., Nystrom, M. (2004). Confronting the coral reef crisis. Nature, 429(6994), 827-833.


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Goatley, C. H. R., Bonaldo, R. M., Fox, R. J., Bellwood, D. R. (2016). Sediments and herbivory as sensitive indicators of coral reef degradation. Ecology and Society21(1), 29.



Brandl, S. J., Bellwood, D. R. (2015). Coordinated vigilance provides evidence for direct reciprocity in coral reef fishes. Scientific Reports, 5, 14556.


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