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 Bill Laurance gives keynote address at Brazilian nature congress image

TESS’s Bill Laurance gives keynote address at Brazilian nature congress

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TESS's Noel Preece reveals flooding drives diversity in Australia's Gulf Plain image

TESS's Noel Preece reveals flooding drives diversity in Australia's Gulf Plain

Influence of floods on the Australian biota should be considered an ongoing ecological and evolutionary driver, and one that is likely to intensify as extreme floods are expected to become more frequent under climate change.

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TESS team challenges the status quo for monitoring mangrove forests image

TESS team challenges the status quo for monitoring mangrove forests

Maps of mangroves have often been limited to showing the presence or absence of mangrove trees and seldom have studies shown an important indicator of ecosystem integrity such as vegetation cover.

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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.