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 shows that planned road-building scheme would decimate the rainforests of Sarawak, Borneo image

TESS team shows that planned road-building scheme would decimate the rainforests of Sarawak, Borneo

"...However, the implications of the development of highway and dams for forest integrity, biodiversity and ecosystem services remained largely unreported"..

Read the article
TESS researchers fear climate threats to biodiversity hotspots image

TESS researchers fear climate threats to biodiversity hotspots

Biodiversity hotspots that have given species a safe haven from changing climates for millions of years will come under threat from human-driven global heating, a new study has found.

Read the news
TESS researchers ring alarm bells about Sumatra’s wildlife and forests image

TESS researchers ring alarm bells about Sumatra’s wildlife and forests

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.

Read the article

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.