One of the great things about James Cook University, for folks who want to work in tropical marine systems, is its access to field sites, including well-equipped field stations on the Great Barrier Reef.

Orpheus Island

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Orpheus Island Research Station (OIRS) is managed by James Cook University, is located just off of Lucinda, Queensland in the Palm Island Group. Its nearness to the University means it’s easy and inexpensive to get to (a couple of hours by car and ferry), and close enough for last minute deliveries. OIRS has been the location for some of our research on the larval and dispersal ecological of corals, and the physiology and energetics of corals.

Lizard Island


Lizard Island Research Station (LIRS) can be reached from JCU in a few hours, by way of two short flights. Managed by the Australian Museum, LIRS has been the location for most of the group’s ecological work – including the biomechanics and energetics of corals and the community ecology of corals, butterflyfishes, and damselfishes.

One Tree Island


One Tree Island (OTI) is managed by the University of Sydney and is one of the most remote research stations on the GBR.  The lagoon at OTI makes this research station unique: it is completely enclosed at low tide.  Although this creates some logistical headaches (work outside the lagoon must be started and finished during high tides, which sometimes limits work time to less than an hour), it also creates some unique combinations and a broad range of environmental conditions in close proximity. This makes it a good place to work on organisms’ responses to environmental gradients. Thus, not surprisingly, OTI has been the location for a lot of our ecophysiological work.

Reef HQ Aquarium

ReefHQ has kindly provided space to us for recent experimental work on corals’ responses to climate change.

Marine & Aquaculture Research Facility

MARF is JCU’s on-campus marine laboratory space, including microcosm-scale and mesocosm-scale work.