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.

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TESS teams studies risks of new roads for Sumatran forests and wildlife image

TESS teams studies risks of new roads for Sumatran forests and wildlife

We urge that ungazetted protected forests be given equal priority to gazetted protected forests in regard to conservation planning for road development, and also that gazetted forests be expanded in the Leuser Ecosystem and Batang Toru area to hedge against further incursions.

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TESS's Steve Williams summarises the research priorities for natural ecosystems for adaptation to climate change image

TESS's Steve Williams summarises the research priorities for natural ecosystems for adaptation to climate change

Given the pace of climate change, it is imperative that we inform and accelerate adaptation progress in all regions around the world.

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TESS is very proud to announce our 2019 Retreat winners! image

TESS is very proud to announce our 2019 Retreat winners!

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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.