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 research on imperiled ape featured in Christian Science Monitor

TESS research on imperiled ape featured in Christian Science Monitor

A project as sweeping as China’s multitrillion-dollar "Belt and Road" initiative has the potential to shake up global trade and geopolitics. But its toll on the environment may be just as significant.

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In July, TESS videos are watched for over 3,000 minutes on Youtube—watch them yourself!

In July, TESS videos are watched for over 3,000 minutes on Youtube—watch them yourself!

In July, TESS videos are watched for over 3,000 minutes on Youtube—watch them yourself!

Watch the videos
TESS team goes ultra-high-tech to study mangroves

TESS team goes ultra-high-tech to study mangroves

This paper contributes to the debate on why scientists need to learn to program, not only to challenge prevailing approaches to mangrove research, but also to expand the temporal and spatial extents that are commonly used for mangrove research.

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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.