Online registration is now closed but if you still wish to register please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We are please to announce that the program for the ACRS 2022 conference is now live. To view or download a PDF copy, please click here.
The booklet of Abstracts is available to help you decide which of the many talks to go and enjoy. To view or download a PDF copy, please click here.
This year’s conference is located at a number of venues. Please click here to see a map showing where to be and when.
Thank you for your patience while this program was being completed. We are delighted to have such a diversity of talks and excited to see you all soon!
This year’s conference is a special 100-year anniversary event and to celebrate we have a number of special events included in our agenda.
Conference opening and registration at our welcome event at the Queensland Museum. This will include welcome speeches, opening keynote speaker, canapes and drinks. In addition, this event will include two 100-year anniversary events! This year ACRS have put together an exhibition called ‘Making Waves, 100 years of Australian reef science’. This event opened in August and will run until February 2023. Conference participants are invited to view the exhibition at this welcome event. We will also have the launch of our ACRS centenary book ‘Coral Reefs of Australia: Perspectives from beyond the water’s edge’
Day 1 of talks at Mod West, University of Queensland.
Morning and afternoon tea are included.
COE Coral reefs plated lunch at St Lucy’s Restaurant.
An evening event at Queensland University of Technology’s The Cube venue. This will be our poster session and will include canapes, drinks and live music.
Day 2 of talks at Mod West, University of Queensland. Lunch, morning and afternoon tea are included.
Our evening event will be a dinner and awards presentation.
Monday 28th & Tuesday 29th
Coral identification workshop at University of Queensland. This is a 2 day coral ID workshop run by Russell Kelley and based around the Coral Finder 2022, which has been updated to reflect the changes in molecular taxonomy in corals. Includes 2 days of tuition, morning and afternoon tea as well as take home training materials
Online registration is now closed but if you still wish to register please contact email@example.com
The registration rates are:
Student members $270
Full members $300
Student non-members $300
Full non-members $350
We are delighted to announce our confirmed keynote speakers for the conference.
Tom Spencer (University of Cambridge, UK)
The Great Barrier Reef Committee and the making of modern coral reef science
The establishment of the Great Barrier Reef Committee (GBRC) in Brisbane on 12 September 1922 was
underpinned by the activities of some remarkable pioneers: Sir Matthew Nathan, Charles Hedley, J. Stanley
Gardiner and, above all, Henry Caselli Richards, the first Professor of Geology at the University of
Queensland. The Committee’s early history encapsulates the shift in reef studies from nineteenth century
theoretical and deductive modes of environmental reasoning – so clearly exemplified by Darwin’s coral reef
theory – to a twentieth century focus on empirical and analytical studies over contemporary timescales.
Born out of the science of the Pan-Pacific Union, the Committee’s early geological focus was exhausted by
efforts to drill to a supposedly non-carbonate reef basement. The subsequent focus on biological studies, of
necessity an Anglo-Australian collaboration, led, after several false starts, to the 1928-1929 Great Barrier
Reef Expedition, led by C. Maurice Yonge. Its intensive, rather than extensive, investigations involved
meticulous microscopic work and painstaking laboratory and field observation, measurement and
experimentation, cataloguing linkages between reef habitats, tidal processes and physical and chemical
properties of water, as well as a quantitative inventory of reef-flat and reef-front biota spatially grounded in
high resolution transect surveys. Fundamentally, by being housed on a single reef and sand cay (Low Isles,
northern Great Barrier Reef) for a period of 13 months, the Expedition emphasised for the first time the
relationships between reef growth and environment and the critical importance of their study in the field.
Specifically, the precision of the Expedition’s field studies provided what has become an almost unique set
of ecological and geomorphological benchmarks against which to assess a century of ecological and
morphological change. But more widely the GBRC’s early championing of these activities effectively set the
template for much of modern coral reef science.
Bob Muir (AIMS)
Progress in facilitating genuine reef research partnerships with Australian Traditional Custodians
Coauthor(s): Manuwuri Traceylee Forester, Martial Depczynski, Jordan Ivey, Bianca McNeair, Libby Evans-
For millennia, Traditional Owners have held inherent rights, interests and knowledge of Australian reefs.
The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) is implementing an institutional research governance
model to respect and uphold these rights and interests to achieve genuine research partnerships with
Traditional Owners. We present progress in implementing this approach since the presentation provided to
ICRS 2021. Our focus on processes to seek and obtain Free Prior Informed Consent upholds Lore and
positions Traditional Owners as decision makers on their sea Country. This approach supports aspirations
within the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which are not yet embraced in
the regulatory framework in Australia. Indigenous interest in coral reef sea Country is especially significant
in Australia given continuous occupation of coastal areas at least since the time of the last glacial maximum
when areas such as the Great Barrier Reef were a vast inhabited coastal plain.
Case studies of Traditional Owner partnerships in reef restoration science and reef monitoring will be
presented, along with new initiatives in meaningful training and capacity building. The AIMS approach has
influenced others involved in reef science and management in Australia including across the Reef
Restoration and Adaptation Program. Besides celebrating significant success, this ‘warts and all’
presentation will also describe the challenges and lessons learnt along the way.
John Pandolfi (University of Queensland)
The ecological novelty of future reef ecosystems
Earth has entered the Anthropocene: a new geological period. Like many other ecosystems, coral reefs are
changing faster and in different ways from any time in the past, driven by human-induced exploitation,
habitat degradation, pollution and climate change, with substantial flow-on consequences for human
society. This has already resulted in dramatic changes in the species composition of coral reef communities
across the globe, resulting in novel communities living in novel climates, residing in novel ecosystems and
driving novel human and ecosystem interactions. Our ability to recognize and quantify novelty in coral reef
ecosystems has suffered from the lack of a quantitative framework to push it forward into real-world
applications useful at the scale of ecosystem management. In this talk, I will provide a high-level conceptual
framework we recently developed based on five universal components of quantitative novelty that allow for
a theoretical, quantitative, and predictive foundation for ecological novelty, drawing on data and principles
from conservation biology and palaeoecology. I will then apply this framework to time-series analysis of
ecological change on the Great Barrier Reef. Application of our consistent framework in describing
ecosystem novelty allows comparison of findings among ecosystems, sites, and time scales, so patterns in
coral reef temporal trajectories can be placed in a global context. Anticipating future novelty and its
consequences for coral reefs should help to deliver benefits to real-world ecological management and
Kate Quigley (Minderoo Foundation)
Where to next? How connectivity may shape ecosystem persistence into the future
Reef architecture, defined by three-dimensional (3D) features of scleractinian corals, is an important
component in the functioning of coral reefs. Highly complex reef architecture is often linked to greater
diversity of reef fish as they provide important niches and refuge. Despite the apparent influence on fish
communities, assessments of reef architecture typically involve two-dimensional (2D) measures which
underestimate 3D structural attributes that may be ecologically important to fish. We aim to build on an
existing 3D functional-structural model to investigate how different coral morphological combinations and
arrangements influence reef architecture. Our model, CoralCraft 2.0, will track the temporal dynamics of
simulated coral communities with varying combinations of where corals first recruit and their initial
community composition. The number of colonies, percentage cover and volume of each morphology, total
coral cover, reef architecture of the community and diversity of morphologies will be recorded. Reef
architecture will be measured using linear rugosity and five 3D metrics – the surface area and total volume
of all corals, spatial refuge, surface area to volume ratio and shelter size. This research presents an
important step in modelling the interactions between long-lived, slow growing coral communities and their
environment, and the implications on reef architecture. This provides the capacity to explore the effects of
different coral community composition and arrangements on metrics such as shelter volume, architectural
complexity and diversity, that are functionally important to reef-associated fish. Importantly, this research
can potentially inform future restoration plans to maximise reef habitat quality for fish communities.
Kerrie Foxwell-Norton (Griffith University)
The Women of the Great Barrier Reef: Untold Stories of Gender and Conservation
Feminist scholars have noted a profound ignorance about the roles women have performed in Australian
society and the suppression of their contribution in our telling of the nation’s history. In a similar vein, we
note that in the domains of politics and science—where the official story of the Great Barrier Reef has been
largely told—women have had to battle for entry, inclusion and fair representation. Precisely because of
their struggle for social equality, many women’s historical influence upon and contributions to Reef
knowledge and conservation are less apparent.
This presentation offers insights from ‘The Women of the Great Barrier Reef’, a project that aims to uncover
and share the untold stories of women who have championed the value of the Great Barrier Reef to
Australians and beyond since the 1960s. This is an important chapter of Queensland’s past and a notable
gap in the historical record. Women of various walks of life made landmark contributions to Reef
knowledge, regulation and protection in Queensland. They have done so as individuals and through
collective action, in urban, regional and remote parts of the state: from the crucial voices of First Nations
women to the endeavours of researchers in a variety of disciplines; from the efforts of activists, artists and
journalists to the struggles of women in business, public service and the unions—and more. By retelling
modern Reef history through women’s experiences and achievements, we seek to develop new
understandings of the Reef that interrogate the dominance of patriarchal and Western systems of
knowledge and power.
Three women’s stories centre this presentation: those of Reef lovers Carden Wallace, Alison Rickert and
Terrie Ridgway. Theirs are among the dozen oral-history narratives recorded so far for the project, each of
which offers different conceptions of the Reef, views of the gendered relationship between humans and
non-human nature, and reflections on the significance of broader movements for women and
environments—revealing tensions between the public lives of men and private lives of women.
Andy Hoey (James Cook University)
The changing face of herbivory on coral reefs
There is a long-held and widely-accepted view that herbivory is a critical process for the health and
resilience of coral reefs. Early evidence for the importance of herbivory on coral reefs was largely based on
correlative data and exclusion experiments that showed macroalgae flourished in areas with low
abundances of herbivores. The availability of underwater video technologies, however, have changed our
understanding of herbivory on coral reefs. By enabling the foraging and behaviour of fishes to be directly
quantified in the absence of divers, remote underwater videos have provided novel insights into the
behaviour and foraging ecology of herbivorous fishes. In particular, identifying the roles of individual taxa
and key players in critical ecosystems processes, and questioned the relationship between biodiversity and
ecosystem function. In this presentation I will describe key changes in our understanding of herbivory on
coral reefs, highlighting current and emerging research themes, as well as sharing personal experiences in
navigating a successful research career.
This year we are excited to offer two formats for oral presentations:
- Traditional presentation: 12 min presenting, 2 min question time 1 min change over
- ACRS 360 presentation:, This aim of this format is to engage actively with the audience through an activity or a longer targeted discussion, or it could be used to teach people how to use a certain website, or analysis or app, or gather peoples opinion on a certain topic. In principle you would present 360 sec (6 min) and interact and engage for 360 sec (6 min) with the audience, a remaining 2 min for question time and 1 change over. The format could be one of several options but as example:
- 6 min presentation, 6 min guided discussion with the public
- 6 min activity with the audience (e.g. run an app, or polls), and 6 min presentations, or the other way around
- 2 min presentation, 2 min activity, and repeated twice
The concept of the new 360 presentation format was developed and applied at www.earthobsforum.org
Each presenter needs to have their poster ready to send to us by 10th November. The poster night will be held at The Cube at QUT at Garden’s Point. Posters will be digitally presented at the Cube resulting in a no waste event. Each presenter will be given an hour to discuss their work and then the posters will rotate to another set. This way poster presenters will have time to look at other posters and generally enjoy the rest of the evening. Food and drinks will be provided as well as live music.
For more information on the formatting of posters, please read and follow the instructions – The Cube – content creation
Poster templates – CubeEventTemplates_Z1-4
Session themes for the 2022 ACRS Conference
|1||Coral reef fisheries|
|2||Hi technology solutions|
|3||Microbes on reefs|
|4||Early life histories on coral reefs|
|6||Biogeochemistry of reefs|
|7||Biology of fishes|
|8||Measuring and monitoring|
|10||Connectivity of reefs|
|12||Species on the move|
|13||Reef structure and habitat|
|15||Invertebrates on reefs|
|16||Mutualisms on reefs|
|18||Restoration of reefs|
|19||History of Australian reefs|
For those who need accommodation, rooms will be available at Kings College. This is about a 5 minute walk from the conference venue. The rooms cost $80 per night plus $15 for breakfast. Only single rooms are available. For pictures and more information, click here.
For those who do not wish to stay at Kings College, there are hotels in St Lucia. Alternatively, accommodation is also available near City Hall. Buses between City Hall and UQ run every 10 minutes and takes about 9 minutes.
Coral identification workshop
Click here for more information. Brisbane Coral ID workshop Nov 28-29 2022
Please be aware that there will be an additional cost for attendance at the coral ID workshop (see link above)