The Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science (TESS) is based at James Cook University (JCU), Australia's leading tropical research university.

Our mission is to promote cutting-edge ecological and environmental research in the tropics, and the wise management, conservation and sustainable use of tropical terrestrial and coastal ecosystems, in Australia and internationally.

Latest news


TESS’s Reuben Clements helps protect critical habitats for tigers in Peninsular Malaysia

TESS’s Reuben Clements helps protect critical habitats for tigers in Peninsular Malaysia

“This new protected area not only brings more key wildlife habitat under protection, but also protects vital forested watersheds that provide important ecosystem services to the people of Terengganu,” Sheema Abdul Aziz, a conservation ecologist and president of the Malaysia-based conservation research NGO Rimba, said in a statement.

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TESS’s Sean Ulm: Archaeological discoveries affect all Australians

TESS’s Sean Ulm: Archaeological discoveries affect all Australians

Follow archaeologist Professor Sean Ulm's journey from growing up in a small country town in coastal eastern Australia to collaborating with Aboriginal communities across northern Australia to help tell the incredible epic story of Australia's past.

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TESS’s Nicolas Younes and Yvette Everingham have strong showings 3-Minute-Talk Competition

TESS’s Nicolas Younes and Yvette Everingham have strong showings 3-Minute-Talk Competition

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia. JCU has a proud history of participating in the event.

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Outstanding Research

TESS research addresses the pressing, complex, trans-disciplinary and interconnected issues of S3D – Sustainability Science and Sustainable Development – across the tropical world


JCU is the only Australian university to receive the highest ranking of 5 (well above World Standard) in Environmental Science and Management in the Australian Government’s Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment for every round.

JCU's unique location enables researchers and students from Australia and overseas to work in a diverse physical environment unparalleled by any university in the world. Nowhere else is it possible to visit reef, rainforest and savanna in a single day, returning to world-class laboratory facilities in a vibrant and attractive tropical city.