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


Political Discourses at the Heart of Sustainability Issues by Tess's team

Political Discourses at the Heart of Sustainability Issues by Tess's team

The landscape sustainability discourses studied here suggests that landscape approach “learners” must focus on ways to remedy poor governance if they are to achieve sustainability and multi-functionality.

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TESS's Alison Bowen and team show that soil type influences the impacts of Panama disease in Queensland

TESS's Alison Bowen and team show that soil type influences the impacts of Panama disease in Queensland

The results indicate that the risk of Fusarium wilt negatively impacting banana growth differs between soils of the main Australian banana-growing region.

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TESS’s Fabio Roque calls for the inclusion of human dimension to the meta-ecosystem approach

TESS’s Fabio Roque calls for the inclusion of human dimension to the meta-ecosystem approach

Incorporating complex social system into metaecosystem approaches will be more useful towards a better understanding of our changing world.

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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.