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 Mason Campbell shows the value of leeches in detecting vertebrates in tropical forests

TESS's Mason Campbell shows the value of leeches in detecting vertebrates in tropical forests

Debugging diversity ‐ a pan‐continental exploration of the potential of terrestrial blood‐feeding leeches as a vertebrate monitoring tool.

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TESS’s Bill Laurance says a giant snake can teach us how to design our cities

TESS’s Bill Laurance says a giant snake can teach us how to design our cities

We need to make our urban areas more welcoming to wildlife.

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In national-radio interview, TESS’s Bill Laurance explains why we should fear the Belt & Road

In national-radio interview, TESS’s Bill Laurance explains why we should fear the Belt & Road

It’s being called the biggest infrastructure project in human history, the likes of which Planet Earth has never seen before.

Listen to the interview

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.