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 team resolves phylogenetic relationships of pitcher plants (Nepenthes)

TESS team resolves phylogenetic relationships of pitcher plants (Nepenthes)

This study showed that genome skimming provides well resolved nuclear and plastid phylogenies that provide valuable insights into the complex evolutionary relationships of Nepenthes.

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TESS's Silvia Tavares shows urban design drives the microclimate and it can impact the local economy

TESS's Silvia Tavares shows urban design drives the microclimate and it can impact the local economy

A simple thing like designing an area to make it more walkable can boost local business profits.

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TESS's Bill Laurance recognized as top global expert on natural resources

TESS's Bill Laurance recognized as top global expert on natural resources

Recognized as an Expertscape World Expert in Conservation of Natural Resources.

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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.