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JCU Orpheus Island Research Station

JCU’s Orpheus Island Research Station provides a living laboratory for our students and researchers located on the Great Barrier Reef. The rich biodiversity and geographical remoteness of the station create a unique and inspirational learning environment.

Here are two ways to support Orpheus Island Research Station:

Operating a research station is a costly activity that is vitally important to our students and researchers. Whilst JCU covers the operational expenses, there are often special projects that the station manager would like to undertake that would enhance the student and research experience. This might include upgrades to vessels that enable research activities, accommodation facilities, footpaths and bush tracks. Each calendar year the station manager will identify the project of greatest need and all donations raised in that year will be spent on that project.

Sometimes our students need a little extra help to gain a hands-on experience, get an additional data set or complete their research at Orpheus Island. Donations to this fund provide grants to JCU students to enable research and vital study experiences or to alleviate financial burdens associated with visiting the station.

JCU is a teaching and research-intensive university that aims to create a brighter future for life in the tropics worldwide, though graduates and discoveries that make a difference.

Hands-on experiences undertaken within our region at JCU Research Stations like the Orpheus Island Research Stations help our students and researchers solve the complex issues facing the world’s oceans, its inhabitants and those whose lives depend on a healthy ocean ecosystem.

JCU is a leading tertiary institution in Australia and the Asia Pacific and among the best universities in the world.

Set within the heart of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, with access to historic shipwrecks, Indigenous sites, reef flats and mangroves, Orpheus Island Research Station offers a range of diverse habitats for study, including fringing and mid shelf reefs, intertidal zones, forests and grass plains.

The Station features modern teaching and research facilities, including climate-controlled research rooms, wet laboratories, a versatile saltwater aquarium system, aquarium raceways as well as boating, SCUBA diving and snorkelling options. The station has hosted a diverse range of research including studies that examined:

  • The recovery of benthic communities from severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi
  • The role of herbivores in phase shifts
  • Interrelationships of fish and coral
  • Habitat use of sharks and rays
  • Coral disease, bleaching and genetics
  • The impact of stress on the calcifying machinery of corals, and
  • The effect of sedimentation on sponges.

Key researchers at the station include internationally renowned marine scientists, such as  Professor David Bellwood, A/Prof David Bourne and Emeritus Professor Bette Willis.

Students are at the heart of our university and our place is powerful. JCU students go on to become the leaders and change-makers of the future.

By supporting our students to undertake hands-on research experiences like those provided at the Orpheus Island Research Station you can help make positive change for our region, for Australia and for the World.

James Cook University is an Australian registered Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR), which means donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible.